Through Streets Broad And Narrow

These match reports appear to be getting later and later after the match. It’s not that I’m delaying writing them as they get written live in situ. It’s my apathy to type stuff up that is holding the process up, I need to pull my finger out and get back to typing them up the same night instead of fannying around playing games.

It is back to league action today after a cup interlude. Last weekend’s defeat in the FA Cup to Accrington was written about. Then came Tuesday night’s 3-1 loss to Championship Burnley in the Carabao Cup, and with that Lancashire double whammy it saw out interest in cup competitions come to an end for the season.

We are playing Barrow, who start the game in fourth place in the league; a single place outside the automatic promotion spots. It will be the third game out of four that Crawley have played against the team occupying that spot at kick off. Our last home league game against Mansfield saw them start there (and we won). Our last league game against Bradford City saw them start there (and we drew). So, a similar result again today would be most welcome.

We start twentieth, sixteen places and seventeen points behind Barrow, and a place lower than we were at the end of our last game. Rochdale have won a game at some point since we last played in the league.

It’s a sunny day, but I have layers with me, and a hat and gloves, just in case; as I am going straight to the game from writing. And I’m very early. So much so that the turnstiles weren’t even open when I arrived. But it did give me a chance for a chat with Al before they opened. He’s stewarding the home terrace today, and sounded thrilled about the prospect.

I have plenty of time to read the programme, and I could find no obvious typos for a change, and after two issue elevens it had issue thirteen on this time around. The music starts early and is loud, and it is a varied playlist which begs the question of what the hell happens at half time.

The sun is bright, and low, and I rang Helen to ask for sunglasses and a cap, as it would help being able to see what was going on. The Barrow supporters’ coach was here when I got here, and according to Al had arrived just before 1. They must have left Barrow when it was still dark, if not when it was the dark ages. It is a trek and a half down here for them.

As the teams come out, Barrow are in white shirts, black shorts, and white socks. Exactly as Accrington were last week, and I’m thinking I hope they don’t play like them. It is remembrance weekend and there are two minutes silence between two playings of the last post. The silence is immaculately observed, and as I look up for the start of the game, Barrow have changed shirts and are now wearing black shirts. Meanwhile the officials have come dressed like a pack of Stabilo Boss highlighters.

Both teams feel their way into the game, and just after five minutes in there is a great clearance from Ellery Balcombe, it is touched on down the wing by Nick Tsaroulla, Dom Telford takes it on and crosses it, and Ashley Nadesan slides in to tap the ball in to the net at the far post and we take an early 1-0 lead, with only eighty odd minutes to hold on to it.

Five minutes later ball one disappears over the east stand on a miscued clearance from Balcombe. Unlike last week, the opposition don’t score with the new ball straight from the restart. Always a bonus.

The first half sees a lot of back and forth without a great deal of chances for either side. Meanwhile it would appear that the highlighters must have been gotten at a bargain price from Poundland, as they are uselessly biased, and are working on the assumption that red = bad, and black = good.

There are two minutes of added time, which is just enough to see ball two spectacularly hoofed over the west stand, and the whistle goes for half time with us still leading 1-0. Read any previous match blog to see what happened at half time.

A quarter of an hour into the second half there are two penalty shouts for Barrow in the space of ten seconds, and neither are given in the first decisions to go Crawley’s way all game. They were hopeful shouts in the extreme, but you understand why Barrow would appeal. They had been given everything else up to that point. And to add insult to their feigned injuries, they pick up two bookings for arguing about the decisions. And the Barrow bench reacts by subbing both of them before they can argue their way to red card upgrades.

Two minutes late ball three disappears over the KRL Logistics away terrace from a wayward Barrow shot from about forty yards out.

The crowd is announced as being 2,588 with 150 away fans, and the sponsor’s man of the match is given to Joel Lynch.

Four minutes of added time are announced, halfway through which ball four goes out over the corner of the away end next to the west stand, and the Murray’s are off in force. This despite the fact that Crawley are defending so deep they are out in the car park. The Barrow keeper spends the last two minutes of advertised injury time, and the additional two minutes the ref pulled from out of his backside, in or around the Crawley penalty area. Thankfully all to no avail.

FFS that was a tense final few minutes, but the final whistle goes, and Crawley win 1-0. Another good result against the team in fourth place. The win, alongside other results in the division sees us jump up two places to eighteenth, and the result saw Barrow drop to fifth place.

There were muted chants of ‘can we play you every week’ during the second half. I’m not sure about that, but with recent results I’d be quite happy to play fourth place every week.

And that’s it for home games in November. The world cup will be in full swing before I’m back again.

Come on you reds.

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