It’s been just over two weeks since we last went to a game, the insipid (on pitch) away loss to Stevenage on the Friday before new year. And so this is our first game of 2023, and it will be our only January game as it will be nearly a month before we get to another game due to being in the States. We will miss two home games, Grimsby Town, a rearranged game that should have been last Saturday, but they were still in the FA Cup, and the one against Salford City. Out trip abroad also wipes out the chance to get to two easy to get to away games with Sutton United and Gillingham being either end of the trip. The fixture list has not been kind to us. We had booked the US trip before the fixtures came out and other games were moved.
Anyway, in the time since our last game, there was an away game where we threw away a 2-0 lead with less than ten minutes to go away against Newport County, and then ex Newport striker Dom Telford missed a late late added time chance to get himself a hat trick and us all three points. Plus out latest temporary manager Darren Byfield managed to get himself sent off. Preston Johnson was advised not to travel to this game and definitely not to go and sit in the dugout again after the reaction at Stevenage.
Off the pitch is still an omnishambles. Last Sunday’s Dilbert cartoon seemed very apt with our Crypto owners
And a comment calling our other co-chairman Eden Smith, Ebeneezer Goode prompted me to write a whole new lyric set to Ebeneezer Goode called Eben Eezer Dick.
It’s amazing what a bored mind can do when there’s no football to watch for a weekend.
Then in the last week the links to Scott Lindsey leaving Swindon Town to become out latest permanent (a very loose wording for us this season) manager, became reality and he was announced as such on Wednesday. Much to the delight of Swindon fans and on the whole to the horror of ours. He leaves Swindon after a poor run of results (including of all things a loss to us) saw them drop out of the playoff places.
OK, he has League 2 experience, something I was calling for in my last post, but he seems to want to play the same kind of football we started the season playing under Kevin Betsy, which as we saw, is neither use nor ornament to us.
It would seem that the co-chairmen are determined to shoot themselves in the feet. But, like much else they have tried this season, they were off target, and can still walk. (But definitely not run.)
Anyway, today’s opponents are Doncaster Rovers who sit tenth, eleven places and sixteen points above us. With us not playing last weekend, and others around us doing so we have dropped a place to twenty first, just two places and three points above the drop zone.
We need a win.
Not only is it Scott Lindsey’s first game as out manager, but Doncaster Rovers also arrive with a new manager. Almost as if managers were being snapped up in the January Sales.
And speaking of sales there have not been any incoming players. Glenn Morris did come back from his loan period, only to then be let go, and then sign for Gillingham on a permanent contract and link back up with Tom Nichols. And with Tony Craig, George Francombe, and Jake Hessenthaler not being included in the last couple of game day squads, I think some of the younger players need to watch out. If I were them I wouldn’t be announcing I’d found any grey hairs. Though if someone wants to photoshop any pictures of Jack Powell with a full head of grey hair……
I was going to be going straight to the ground from my writing group, and before I’d headed out this morning I’d checked about any postponement with the non-stop torrential rain for the last week, but there was nothing. I must have logged off seconds before the cancellation of the game was announced at 8:50. Fortunately another member of the writing group is also a Crawley fan and had been on the forums before arriving, so I found out before I made my way to the ground.
There is the whiff of whether the pitch has been left uncovered on purpose to take advantage of the weather to buy us some time, but the underpass to the ground is flooded as well, so it’s not just the pitch, as it would make it dangerous for fans trying to get to the ground.
In some ways it is annoying, as this was going to be the only game in January we could get to, but it does mean that the new manager gets some time to work with the players.
And so, I’m sat at home watching Soccer Saturday. Four of the teams around us in the relegation danger zone are playing each other. Gillingham are hosting Hartlepool, and Rochdale are playing Colchester. And I’m hoping that they all lose (or as that’s impossible, at least draw with each other). It is no surprise that Tom Nichols manages to score for Gillingham on his debut and they beat Hartlepool 2-0. FFS. Meanwhile, Swindon Town, who’d been on a bad run, suddenly put a 5-0 performance together now that Scott Lindsey has left and joined us. Colchester’s good run continued as they beat Rochdale. We stay twenty first despite not playing, and we now have games in hand on everyone apart from bottom of the table Gillingham, and Newport lost and Harrogate drew (can’t rely on Stevenage for anything) as well to keep us in touch with them.
No game for us until February then, and as it stands, no idea which random Tuesday night we’ll end up playing Doncaster now.
Come on you reds.