Digging Into History

With various issues, holidays, family gatherings, postponements, COVID, etc. it has been over a month since I’ve managed to get to a Crawley game, and there has only been one game for me in the last two months and more. With no match reports to do I’ve been looking for something else to write about instead.

As most people will know, I haven’t been a lifelong Crawley Town fan. I started supporting them at the start of the 2021-22 season, going all in and getting a season ticket. As such I am a baby and only in my third season of support, having been a lifelong Spurs supporter finally calling it quits with them (and all Premier League / Champions League) with the European Super League debacle being the straw that broke the camel’s back.

I moved to Crawley in May 2006 due to my job moving. And if I am honest, I hadn’t heard of Crawley Town FC until I moved here. And even then, it was all vague, mainly bits and pieces seen from picking up local papers, and seemingly some kind of points deduction every season.

I wasn’t here when they were at Town Meadow, and I wasn’t even aware that had been anything but the leisure park. Plus, I wasn’t really here mentally when they were still in non-league, and even early league seasons. My teetotalism started within a few weeks of the start of the 2012-22 season.

But I’m interested in history. Of anything and everything. And since COVID first hit I’ve spent a lot of time delving into Crawley history.

And so, when there were a box load of old programmes up for grabs on the forum, I threw my hat into the ring to get them. And after the initial responder didn’t follow through on picking them up, I ended up getting my hands on them. There are a lot to work through and most of them are pre-Conference / National League, but the one that really caught my eye was this one.

There were two copies of this Devil’s Trust Launch programme. For a game of CTFC Legends vs Nomad Online being played at Oakwood FC on Sunday 15th October 2006. A couple of months into that first season I lived in Crawley. And something that at the time I would have been oblivious to. It would be highly likely I would only just be surfacing after a heavy night out at Brannigans or Bar Med, or possibly be in a pub awaiting a Premier League kick off.

Looking in the programme I saw that the initial meeting where the trust was set up was on the 9th of May, which was the day I signed my rental agreement to move into a flat in Crawley.

Reading through it I see a couple of names I recognise from the supporter’s side of the club nowadays (Steve Leake, Ian Mulcahy) who were involved in setting the trust up, but I don’t recognise most of them, but I’m sure longer-term fans would.

Three of the four full page adverts are for companies what I hadn’t heard of, but having a look online they are all still going, even if they are at different addresses now.

The one place I had heard of – The Rose And Crown – is no longer a pub, and one I never managed to get to whilst it was still open. A shame as the Ska evening would have been something right up my street. I didn’t know about the place until years later when it was already a cash and carry. Places outside of a quadrangle with Three Bridges station, The Ramada, Tushmore Roundabout, and the Taj Mahal as its corners, didn’t get a look in, that was the extent of the first three alcoholic years of my Crawley existence.

The Nomad Online concept interested me. Connecting old Sussex non-league players online to play in charity games. Almost as if it were a localised forerunner of the much talked about (last season) Sidemen piece.

Unfortunately, neither the Devil’s Trust (CTSA now?) nor Nomad Online survive today in the same form, and both of their websites are now repointed to domain name sale sites.

I did actually go to a Crawley Town game in that 2006-07 season, but had forgotten all about it. I moved to Crawley from Manchester when work changed. Others from my old office didn’t move, and one of my former colleagues in Manchester was a Southport season ticket holder, and he was down in Crawley for the game in the Conference. There were a lot of drinks before the game following on from a heavy Friday night out, and so I remember little from the game. The most vivid memory is of Howard slamming my fingers in the door of the car we’d got a lift to the Broadfield Stadium in. There were about thirty of us stood / wandering behind the goal in the away terrace, and there was no east marquee then. The game seemed to go very quickly, and I couldn’t remember the score.

So, I looked the game up as to when it was and what the score was. 20th of January 2007 and Crawley won 2-1. This got me searching through the box of programmes hoping that this game would be one of the programmes in the box I’d picked up. But 2006-07 was the season after the programmes ran to. I did get excited when I saw one for a Crawley against Southport game in 2006, but it was the season before I moved to Crawley.

Having found this one, it got me thinking about which other Crawley Town games I’d been to before becoming a fan. At the same time there was a thread on the forum about best / most memorable game people had been to. Most games mentioned were from the non-league days, and well before my time.

As it turns out I’d been to six other games at the Broadfield Stadium before becoming a season ticket holder for the 2021-22 season. The first two were pre-season friendlies in 2008 and 2009 against Tottenham XI’s when I was in the away terraces again. Both of those games ended up as easy wins for Crawley (6-1, and 4-1 respectively). Then there were three games where I got free tickets as a friend of the referee.

One of my colleagues on a project at work was a league referee, and usually did northern games, but when working in Crawley midweek he’d get local games to do, and I’d happily go and watch anything really, but he got three Crawley games, which were a 1-0 extra time win over Ipswich Town in whatever the League Cup was called in the 2014-15 season. A 2016 Easter Monday game loss against Exeter City, and a September 2016 Tuesday night draw against Colchester.

Finally, there was a random sunny April afternoon game against Notts County just before they were relegated. The game finished 1-1 and pretty much sealed their fate. It was also the first time I’d noticed the chanting, and most of the home crowd’s ire was directed at Robert Milsom, something which hasn’t mellowed now that he’s at Sutton.

That was more live games than I went to at Spurs over the same period. And I always enjoyed being at the Crawley games, so when I threw my toys out of the Tottenham pram, it didn’t take me long to decide to become a Crawley fan. It’s still enjoyable but being more committed to it my fingernails aren’t as keen on the shredding they get nowadays.

Come on you reds.

Not Mellow Yellows

Quite rightly, apologies to Donovan, who would be turning in his grave, if he were dead, as Sutton are anything but mellow.

It all kicked off, both figuratively and literally, the moment we left the country. Dom Telford went from being rumoured to be leaving to having signed for Barrow in about twenty seconds of Facebook scrolling. The final image of him is one of another terrible penalty attempt (though not as bad as his scooped effort against Tranmere last season). And two other players went out on loan.

We did sign Lawrence Maguire, Harry’s brother, whose wiki page had been put together by the work experience tea bag. It had Chesterfield (who we signed him from) as being League 1, and not National League, and that he had scored twenty-two own goals in seventy-six appearances, which would make Jonah sound like an able seaman.

The following day came a trip to Swindon Town, of whom we have a contingent of exes from. It didn’t go well. A second half capitulation saw a 6-0 defeat, a plummet down the league table, and a big negative to our goal difference.

Next up were Stockport County, one of the pre-season favourites for promotion, and there were six more goals scored in that one. At 2-0 down in the first half it looked like it was going to be another difficult day, but Crawley turned it around and were leading 3-2 only to concede an 89th minute equaliser. Which was a big disappointment, but a point away at Stockport before the game would have seen your hand snatched off.

Then it was into the EFL trophy, and a much-changed side to face League One Charlton Athletic’s much changed side, and the goal tally went up in this one. A seven-goal thriller which went back and forth but ended up with a 4-3 win for Crawley.

Back to the league, next up were Newport, who were going well in the league. A fifth minute opener for us had a tenth minute equaliser for them. But three second half goals saw a 4-1 win for Crawley, a climb back up into the top half of the table and leapfrogging Newport in the process, and some of that goal difference clawed back.

Another week flew by, and it was another home game, this time against Tranmere Rovers. Despite lots of possession, there were no shots until late in the first half and we were trailing 1-0 at half time. We got an equaliser only for a group of morons in the south terrace to throw smoke flares and loads of cans and bottles at the Tranmere keeper, the game wasn’t far off being abandoned, but there will be a fine incoming. Momentum was lost and Tranmere retook the lead a few minutes later, only for Crawley to equalise for a second time a couple of minutes after that, and then for Klaidi Lolos to get a 96th minute winner in another five-goal thriller.

An away game at Cleethorpes against Grimsby followed. And it was another five-goal thriller, with us going two down only to be level before half time and for it to be Danilo Orsi with the 96th minute winner to bump us up to fourth in the table and get our goal difference out of the negative.

And so, the last Saturday in September rolls around and it is a home game against Sutton United, who stopped their seven-game losing streak with a draw last weekend, and they sit bottom of the table after nine games. Since Sutton were promoted, we have played them four times and lost the lot. Here’s hoping we can break that sequence.

Speaking of sequences, since our last game before being out of the country for a month there have been 6, 6, 7, 5, 5, and 5 goals scored in our games. Let’s also hope that carries on, and in our favour.

The Thursday before the game saw an announcement that bag and person checks were being toughened up. No rucksacks and only bags up to A4 size and carrier bags allowed. I can understand why it is being done, but having the announcement on the website only is a disgrace. What’s the point of giving the club our e-mail addresses on the season ticket application if they don’t use them. Lots will have been caught out by it.

As it was, I was caught out by changes in the check policy, and it was a change that wasn’t included in the online statement (again poor communication). No canned soft drinks allowed in anymore, and PET bottles are only allowed in if you leave the lid behind. Which I misunderstood as not being able to bring the bottle in at all and was therefore attempting to chug my Pepsi before security intervened and said the bottle is fine as long as they have the lid.

We had a couple of extra people with us as Helen’s sister and brother-in-law are over from Australia and have come to the game.

Sutton were in all white, not their yellow kits (so no yellow to be mellow anyway), and the tossers enforced a change of end before kick-off.

Crawley were having some nice early pressure and it paid as after five minutes the ball was worked across the edge of the box and Adam Campbell sweeps it into the corner to make it 1-0. Which prompted at least one if not two red smoke flares from the fucking halfwits in the terrace.

Our good play continued pretty much until we lost ball one over the Eden Utilities Stand for a corner from a Sutton clearance. From then on, the rest of the half wasn’t great. A few minutes late a Sutton corner was headed goalwards and turned in by one of their players, who thankfully was in an offside position.

There was a big penalty shout a couple of minutes later, but that was mainly from the Sutton fans behind the goal. More Sutton pressure followed, and more corners, Crawley just couldn’t seem to get out of their own half. It was looking like giants against men when Liam Kelly, Campbell, and Nick Tsaroulla were close together and next to some of the Sutton HGH experiments. The ball was bundled into the net for a second time by Sutton from another corner. Only for us to be saved for the second time by the linesman raising their flag. There were no deep guttural shouts of ‘lino’ from three rows in front of us this game.

Only one minute was added at the end of the first half, and I was glad for the half time whistle and the release of the pressure, and we go into the break with a 1-0 lead.

The second half was barely underway when the Sutton keeper managed to injure themselves taking a kick and had to be substituted. And pretty much straight from the restart Crawley win a free kick on the left wing, the ball is flicked goalwards, and the Sutton keeper makes a good save, but it comes out to the right of the area and Ronan Darcy crosses it back in and Laurence Maguire slams it in to give us a 2-0 lead.

Sutton have a chance almost straight from their kick-off, but Corey Addai makes a good save. But on the whole Crawley are now on top. And twenty minutes into the second half, there is clever work down the right-hand side and Kelly plays a through ball to Darcy who crossed it, and Ay Ay Ay Ay Orsi was there to be scoring goals again and it is now 3-0.

And not long after Orsi was involved again, this time by hoofing ball number two out of the ground over the east marquee. By now Sutton had reverted to type and were spending more time kicking Crawley players than the ball, and after another attempted leg break led to a booking, Dion Conroy takes a free kick from just inside his own side of the centre circle. He’s spotted the Sutton keeper off his line and the shot just drops and skims the back of the crossbar and ripples the net. It looked suspiciously like it should have been a corner as well.

There is a flurry of subs as we take key players off with one eye on our Tuesday night game away to Doncaster. It doesn’t detract from our good play, if anything we seem to be playing better than at any point in the game, lots of passes, plenty of shots, and more corners. There is a breakaway after a rare excursion into our half by Sutton and Rafiq Khaleel lets fly with a shot that is tipped onto the post and away for a corner.

Unfortunately, Khaleel’s next attempt wasn’t quite as accurate as it flies over the KRL Logistics stand to lose ball three of the day.

The crowd is announced as being 3,559 with 456 away fans, the sponsor’s man of the match is announced as Liam Kelly just after he picked up a booking, and the officials put up seven minutes of added time.

It is probably the most comfortable seven minutes of added time I’ve experienced since becoming a season ticket holder, we didn’t look in danger of conceding possession let alone a goal, and the final whistle goes to signal a 3-0 victory.

A win that takes us up to the dizzy heights of second in the table, off the top by virtue of goal difference only.

I’m happy that the return to watching live action hasn’t stopped the winning streak, even if the goal count in the game was lower than when I was away. The next game is Tuesday night away against another of the division’s strugglers, Doncaster Rovers. I’m going to miss another home game next Saturday as there is a family get together and so we will miss the visit of Hollywood FC. Morecambe away might get postponed due to international call ups as their last game in an international break was. So, it’s likely my next game will be in three weeks’ time against Crewe.

Come on you reds.

Gilly Don’t Be A Hero

I don’t know whether to apologise to Paper Lace for mangling their song title, or to anyone I’ve given flashbacks to of that dreadful song.

Before I start on this game, an apology to our favourite steward Al, who we chatted to after the last game, but I forgot to mention.

So, after the great win on Tuesday night against top of the table MK Dons which saw us jump up to third in the league, we fast forward to today and our game against the latest top of the table team. Which this time is Gillingham. Yes, that Gillingham, the ones who for the first half of last season were the worst team in the division, even worse than we were.

Only for them to pick up; 1 – some of our players, 2 – a new American owner who seemed to know what they were doing, and 3 – a load of points which saw them move off the bottom of the table and drift up to a place of safety quite a few games before we became safe ourselves.

Our home game against them last season was originally due to be played in September but was postponed when the Queen popped her clogs. The rearranged game took place on a Tuesday night in November. That game finished 0-0, and if it wasn’t the single worst game of football I’ve ever watched, then it was certainly in the top two. The two teams that night could still have been playing today and they wouldn’t have scored.

The away game in February saw us lose 1-0, but it also saw us take a massive away support to Gillingham, a crowd I believe that was our biggest ever away support for a league game.

And Gillingham have been 1-0-win specialists of late. Their last four league games have all finished as 1-0 wins to them, and they are the only team with a 100% record in League Two, and the only team yet to concede a goal in the division. They did concede a goal in the Carabao Cup, but they did win that game against Championship side Southampton. There last two 1-0 victories have been clinched courtesy of Ashley Nadesan goals, assisted by Tom Nichols. Those two names seem vaguely familiar to me. Does anyone else recognise them?

It looks to be a nice sunny day out there as we head down to the ground, nice and early so I can get a programme. (No, sorry, I just can’t let this go yet.) Stopping to get decent soft drinks on the way as the club has now switched to the evil empire of Coke, they sell nothing that is drinkable. Take the usual pitch shot for this piece and settle down ready for the game and see which randoms we have sat next to us for this game.

The away end was packed by the early time I got there, and the Gillingham fans were making lots of noise, I could hear them from halfway down Wakehurst Drive when walking in. The Redz Bar and Fan Zone areas were packed. I had noticed the ice cream van previously, but not the fresh donuts van. Both were difficult to resist today, and I’m sure temptation will get the better of me before long. Spoke to Al on the way in this week as well as after the game. (There you go mate, two mentions.) there were a surprisingly large amount of people wandering around in Arsenal and Chelsea kits.

Speaking of kit, Gillingham where in white shirts, with black arms, and black vertical stripes that faded towards the bottom, black shorts, and black socks. Almost as if they had bought a job lot of Newcastle shirts that had started to fade in the wash.

Nice early shot from Danilo Orsi on target, and an early booking for a Gillingham defender a couple of minutes later for going through the back of Orsi. From the resulting free kick, we win a corner, and then another, before Orsi puts an effort wide at the far post.

Up the other end and ball one disappears out in the corner between the east marquee and the food stand from a Will Wright clearance.

We build up some good pressure down the left-hand side and there are a couple of shots that are blocked, and then a ball played through hits a Gillingham defender’s arm, and we get a penalty. Someone behind me shouts ‘don’t stutter step,’ but Don Telford does, and his tame effort is easily saved, as is Orsi’s follow up shot.

Straight after more decent work sees the ball back in the box and a shot is saved for another corner. Later on, a Wright cross is headed over for a corner, and it ends up over the KRL Logistics stand for ball two gone. And a minute later ball three disappears over the east marquee from a Gillingham hoofed clearance.

Five minutes before the end of the half and a long thrown from Gillingham is headed back out, but a couple of neat passes see the ball crossed in, and it hits Harry Ransom and trickles in to give Gillingham a 1-0 lead against the run of play.

This seems to rattle Crawley a bit and there are quite a few misplaced passes before the half time whistle, which comes after two minutes of added time, and the teams go in with the score as 0-1. It sounds like last season’s half time playlist is back, but it is saved by some Stone Roses before the teams come out for the second half.

It’s a slower start than in the first half, but the first chance is set up as Telford plays a ball through to Orsi whose shot is saved. Another chance a couple of minutes later is dragged just wide of the far post.

Further into the half and ball four goes over the Eden Utilities stand from a headed clearance and we get a corner from which Ransom’s header is cleared. At the other end, a Gillingham shot is saved by Corey Addai for a corner. From which there is all kinds of chaos, and poor defensive headers before a shot is tipped onto the bar by Addai before an offside flag goes up and relieves the pressure.

Back up the other end good play from Nick Tsaroulla sees the ball come out to Wright, but his shot is high, wide, and ugly and ball five disappears over the Eden Utilities stand. There looked a good shout for a possible penalty. free kick on the edge of the area as Tsaroulla is dragged down but the ref waves it away.

There is lots of good possession, with no real end product. A ball played through by Aaron Henry nearly wrong foots everyone but sneaks just past the post. Gillingham make a whole set of substitutions, including taking both former Crawley strikers off.

Tsaroulla is dragged down again, but further away from the box and the ref feels it is safe to give a free kick for this one. But it is wasted. The ball comes back in, and a Ransom shot deflects off a Gillingham defender and flies over the Eden Utilities stand for ball six of the day. Klaidi Lolos then has a shot from outside the area that is well saved for another corner, which is wasted again.

Four added minutes are indicated, and the crowd is announced as 4,310 with 1,356 away fans, and Ronan Darcy is given the sponsor’s man of the match. By now the quality has gone off a bit and it peters out to finish as a 0-1 loss, Gillingham stretch their 1-0 league win sequence to five games and stay top of the league, and we slip to our first defeat of the season, and down to eighth in the league. An own goal and a penalty miss decide what could easily have been a result the other way, especially looking at the match stats.

The last couple of minutes Darcy and the Gillingham number 17 were having a heated argument all over the pitch, and after the final whistle there was a bit of a melee in the middle of the pitch. Something obviously said something to Addai as he was steaming mad, and if his haymaker had connected there might have been a decapitated Gillingham player dead on the pitch. There were two bookings, but only to Crawley players (Darcy and Addai), and no punishment for any Gillingham players who were throwing punches of their own.

There will be a bit of a gap until my next blog piece. We are away a lot over the next six weeks (I know, piss poor planning and all that), and so I’m going to miss four of our next five home games, only getting to the Sutton game, and missing the mickey mouse cup game against Charlton, and the league games against Newport, Tranmere, and Hollywood FC. So, see you in five weeks’ time.

Come on you reds.

Come From Milton Keynes

Wasn’t quite The Style Council song title, but, as it’s a home game, Milton Keynes must come to us instead.

It’s been nearly five years since the Milton Keynes Dons last played here, and that did not end well for us, with them running out 4-0 winners.

We go into game three of the season in sixth place, one of nine unbeaten teams in the division so far. The MK Dons are top after two games and one of three teams with 100% records.

Since our home game on the opening day of the season we have had two away games. The first was in the Carabao Cup against League One Exeter City. We took a first half lead with a much-changed side from our opening day win. But Exeter came back with two second half goals to knock us out 1-2. There will be no Carabao Cup run this season for us.

Then at the weekend we were away at Salford City, who had also won their first game of the season. Again, we took a first half lead, and an excellent first half saw us hit the woodwork four times, but we were unable to extend the lead as our play deserved. And two minutes after half time Salford equalised, and the game finished as a 1-1 draw.

It was a decent away point against one of last season’s play-off teams. In fact, four points from our first two games, both of them against last season’s play-off teams – and teams tipped to be there again this season – is a great start. It took us eight games to get four points last season.

In the last few days Joel Lynch has left the club by ‘mutual consent.’ (As someone who works in HR, this is a term used to cover a whole multitude of sins.) and he’s very nearly the last man out (only three left now) since WAGMI’s takeover. The last couple of months have reminded me of lyrics in New Model Army’s ‘Green And Grey’ – “And tomorrow brings another train, another young brave steals away.”

And speaking of WAGMI, all may not be well in the crypto clown’s world, several posts have been seen showing unrest against the very NFT buying crowd they were so proud of this time last year, with their communications with investors something akin to the communications they have had with the fans.

Tuesday nights are always a bit of a rush to get back from work, eat, and get back to the ground for the game. Especially as I like to be a bit early. Not to get a programme this season (yes, I might have lied about now mentioning it again last time out), but I am early so I can find Steve Leake and get a copy of his third book from him – ‘Tinpot And Proud.’

But I was too late to find him in Redz bar, but fortunately did see him as I walked past the end of the terrace and got my copy.

The MK Dons have a reasonable number of fans for a Tuesday night away game. The team are in all white kits, and after a bit of fannying around the ref blows for kick-off a couple of minutes late. The good thing about early season games is its still daylight at kick off, it doesn’t feel as overbearing.

The first ten minutes of the game are quite cagey, some decent possession play but not much cutting edge. But then the game springs to life, certainly from a Crawley perspective, Kellen Gordon breaks down the right into the box, and his cross is blocked, and Will Wright’s follow up shot blazes over the top of the KRL Logistics away terrace, and probably puts a dent in the away fans’ double decker coach.

And again, a couple of minutes later, another cross from Gordon comes to Liam Kelly on the edge of the box and his shot is just tipped over the bar for a corner. Which is cleared, but the ball is pumped into the box and there are half-hearted appeals for a penalty as a man goes down, but they are waved away.

A few minutes later and there is good play down the left wing, Danilo Orsi gets the ball and holds it up and passes to Kelly, who pings a ball into the box that Nick Tsaroulla gets on the end of. He takes his time and puts the ball in the top corner for 1-0.

Not long after we get another corner. It is certainly noticeable that the players aren’t scared to take a shot like they were last season. It is good to see, after screaming ourselves hoarse last season for the players to shoot. Five minutes later we nearly lose ball two over the west stand, but it hits the stanchion of the middle floodlight and bounces back on the pitch.

A poor pass out of defence is intercepted, and suddenly MK have a two on one, they fashion a shot which Corey Addai gets something on, but it trickles past him slowly and agonisingly into the back of the net and it is 1-1.

Crawley go straight up the other end and get a corner, there is a bit of a scramble in the box from it, and the ball is hacked clear off the line, only for it to be put back in and for MK to win it and break and get a corner of their own, followed by a shot on target.

The last five minutes of the half see two misfired shots over the Eden Utilities stand, and another out over the west stand, also from a MK boot. The multi-ball system implemented for this season is keeping the game flowing though compared to previous years where they would have to dig a ball out of a vault somewhere to get things started again. Someone is too efficient at chucking the balls back over the Eden Utilities stand and we end up with multi-ball on the pitch as well. We find out the blokes who sit behind us and slope off to the bar just before half time were responsible for chucking the second of them back over and onto the pitch.

There are only two minutes of added time at the end of the first half. And we think we are through on goal only for the ref to pull it back and penalise Dom Telford for a foul when he was the one thrown to the ground.

The half time whistle goes, and it is 1-1, and the club turn the sprinklers on at the exact moment the officials and the head steward are walking under their trajectory. That gets nearly as big a cheer as when the MK player just fell over his own feet with no one within ten yards of him. It’s good to see (well, hear) there is different music at half time again.

The second half is only two minutes old when Gordon picks up an injury and needs to be substituted. We are having a decent amount of good, patient possession. And one move ends with a Tsaroulla shot being tipped round the post for a corner. From the corner it is played out up the wing, but some neat play sees the ball played through to Orsi and he slots it into the corner to make it 2-1. I start my own chant.

Ay ay ay ay Orsi.

Ay ay ay ay Orsi.

Ay ay ay ay Orsi.

Scoring goals again.

No one else joins in.

Twenty minutes into the half and we get a free kick out on the right-hand side, the ball is whipped in by Wright and Orsi’s header hits the bar, and the follow up shot is blocked.

There is a bit of a lull, but we pick up again a few minutes later with a decent spell of pressure, corner, long throw into the box, another corner. MK then have a bit of pressure, but we break and have another good attack which ends with a shot from Adam Campbell which goes just wide.

I moaned about Bradford being desperate and bringing on a whole county against us as a sub in Derbyshire, but MK went one step further and brought on a whole country when they brought on their sub Holland (yes, I do know the correct name for the country in the Netherlands).

We have a breakaway and Klaidi Lolos looks to shoot but passes it across to Orsi whose shot takes a deflection and is saved.

The crowd is announced as 3,282, with 505 away fans, which is only forty-nine less than at the first home game of the season, which seemed a lot more crowded than this game did. The sponsor’s man of the match was announced as Danili Orsi, which I can’t disagree with. It seems the sponsor’s might actually be watching the games this season. And there are seven minutes of second half added time.

It’s a bit nervy, but we don’t really look like conceding, but when one of the MK players goes down in the penalty area there is a sharp intake of breath, but the ref waves play on.

A long ball comes down with snow on it, but Campbell takes it down brilliantly on the edge of the MK area, and his shot just creeps wide.

The final whistle goes, and it is a 2-1 win. There is a little bit of handbags after the final whistle from one of the MK players, but it calms down soon enough. And there is something else playing apart from the Black Eyed Peas. Expanding horizons and all that.

We knew a win would leapfrog us over our opponents, but it has done more than that. We are up to third in the table, just behind Barrow on goals scored, and two points off the leaders Gillingham who picked up their third 1-0 win of the season, and the second on the trot with a Nadesan goal assisted by Nichols. And we play them at home this coming Saturday. I’m sure not many people would have had that down as a top of the table clash at this point in the season. Crawley are in the automatic promotion places. Who would have thought it.

Come on you reds.

Portslade Station Can Do One

Because I refuse to drive the hire car for both my own safety and blood pressure, and for the sake of all other road users out there, I got the train to work today (last Thursday now).

The train down isn’t too bad, change at Brighton, and with a reduced timetable due to strike action, there wasn’t the usual step foot off the train from Three Bridges to watch the one going through Portslade just pulling out from platform one. Though as usual the ticket wouldn’t work at one end, the Three Bridges end this time.

It let me out (this time) at Portslade station. I’m not a fan of Portslade station as a whole. It’s lay out is just fucked up. It would be great if there was a gate into work from the far end of the platform, but I know that one is a pipe dream. But they have barriers and a ticket office in the building you go through to the south bound platform. But there is no ticket machine in there.

To pick up pre-ordered tickets you have to find the ticket machine. It is outside, well away from the ticket office – which makes no sense to anyone – and is out in the elements, so you either get soaked, or you can’t see the screen as the sun is always on it. it’s a stupid layout.

But not as stupid as the platform on the other side is. On the south side you enter/exit through the building. On the north side you are drawn to the building, the path leads there, and there are steps up and a handrail, but it is only a bicycle store. If you get there and find that out you have missed the only entrance to the platform, a ramp up behind more bicycle stands. Once up the ramp, the barriers are in a position where if they were any further west, you would be on Boundary Road. And at a point where you are not in line with a train.

So, I wasted thirty seconds going to the wrong ‘entrance,’ and then the barriers forced me away from the train on the platform. I scuttle to the rear door and press the button, but the door doesn’t open, and I carry on scuttling to the next door, which doesn’t open either. I can see other doors further up the train that are still open, but they are too far for me to scuttle to to get on, and they close, and the train goes without me.

And then the next one isn’t for another forty minutes.


If you are going to have a cock eyed lay out of a station, put clearer signs up and don’t have the main path leading to a building if you can’t get through that building.


I Could Have Been The Bantamweight Champion Of The World

Apologies to Reverend And The Makers of course, and in reality, I could never have been a bantamweight, as the only time I was ever that weight I was far too young to be boxing professionally.

Here it is, the new season is here. It is the first time our first league game of the season has been at home for exactly six years since the 5th of August 2017. Since then, our first game has been away, at Cheltenham, Carlisle, Port Vale, Hartlepool, and Carlise again, and we lost all of those apart from the Cheltenham game.

We are playing Bradford City (hence the bantamweight reference). Our two games against Bradford last season were both draws. 1-1 away in October in the midst of a five-game unbeaten run, our equal longest run of such of the season. Then on Good Friday it was 0-0 at home, just after our other five game unbeaten streak, but sandwiched between 4-1 and 4-0 away whuppings at Mansfield and Barrow. Apart from scraping a draw against the promotion chasing Bradford team, the biggest surprise of the day was it took until the eighty-seventh minute for one of them to get sent off, as they’d been sent out with the instruction to kick anything that moved apart from the ball.

Going into the game we are a very healthy sixth in the table, on the same points as Bradford and only two places behind them. I for one would be happy to take the table at this point and move straight to the playoff games against Colchester. And always worth a screen shot of table with us so high up in it.

The new home kits went on sale at 10am this morning, and for the first 500 kits it came with the option of an arm badge of our new sleeve sponsors Brick Borrow. They are something to do with Lego, and not as I had assumed something related to the government’s house building policy.

The first question for me today was how early to get to the ground? I don’t have programmes to worry about now. As missing out on them at a few games last season due to last minute arrival meant I was usually at the ground before two and waiting for the turnstiles to open. So that early is only required if I’m going to do the new season, new shirt rush, and to have a wander around and see what changes have been made to the Fanzone and elsewhere. And check out the food and drink outlets. As long as they haven’t replaced Pepsi with the evil empire of Coke, I’ll be fine. (I’m not fine, they have done exactly that, so I need to remember to get drinks before getting to the ground from now on.)

As it was the weather making the decision, no one needs to be out extra early in that kind of torrential downpour.

My new season preview may only have been done two days ago, but we have two new signings since then. One on loan from Charlton, and a year contract for ‘an experienced’ striker, who appears to have had more clubs than Tiger Woods, and joins us from non-league. Good luck to both of them, although the small print of the striker signing said subject to EFL approval, which doesn’t sound good.

I need to get organised and print off and laminate a player to shirt number list so I’ve got some idea of who is who for the first dozen games or so, as I can’t just whip the programme out and check. (I will try to make that the last moan about no programme but can’t promise more won’t slip out.)

It did stop raining long enough to be able to walk into town and pick up When Saturday Comes (they were the same as Four Four Two and have us finishing rock bottom, only going down with Harrogate instead of Sutton), back to book a table at the Downsman for the traditional post-match curry, and to get new shirts for the new season, which had the Brick Borrows patches on them regardless. Only for the rain to start again in earnest when queuing to get through the turnstiles. At least the tickets and season tickets for the east marquee have on them for people to use turnstiles 7-12 and not just 11-12 this season.

Saw Al and said hello. Not sure which of the stands he was stewarding today, but we didn’t see him again all game or even leaving afterwards.

Bradford were in all white kits and appear to have been on HGH in the off season, they all looked effing massive. It only took thirty seconds for the first injury treatment of the season as there is a clash of heads between Kellen Gordon and one of the Bradford players. Gordon is bleeding and off for longer, but somehow the ref gives it as a free kick to Bradford, and not a drop ball.

Ten minutes in and there have been signs of life. There have been two bookings already, and the second gives us a free kick in a decent position. Time to see who’s taking over the dead ball duties. Recent signing Will Wright steps up and bang. It’s in. From a direct free kick, the get hell in there. 1-0. He seems to have the (w)right stuff.

The free kick is the only decision to have been given to us. Bradford have had a couple of chances, and we had a couple of breakaways, but with no end product.

Bradford, despite being built like brick shithouses are falling over in even the slightest breeze. There have been three blatant dives to try and win penalties. I’m assuming the muscle mass must affect people’s balance.

We go on a breakaway and the ball comes across to Gordon, who cuts inside, only for his shot to be blocked for a corner. It’s well worked, and it comes out for Liam Kelly to have a shot that is well saved, but it was called back for an offside. Even the Bradford bench are getting in on the yellow card action in the first half booking spree that is going on, with two of their number getting them.

Will Wright also appears to be a long throw specialist, and we win a corner from one of them. It is cleared, but played back in and the shot is just wide. The ref bottles a blatant yellow card for a Bradford defender for dragging down Ronan Darcy on the halfway line. Bradford get the ball back quickly and attack and get a corner and Corey Addai is forced into a couple of decent saves.

The reprieve for the Bradford defender didn’t last long, he hauls Danilo Orsi down near the edge of the area and picks up the second yellow he should have had five minutes earlier. The resulting free kick’s chance is headed over.

Gordon is playing more as an old school inside right and has another couple of shots that end up going wide. As expected under the new directive there is a lot of added time with eight minutes shown for the first half. And Bradford, despite being down to ten men have ramped up their kick the shit out of Crawley players. And just before the half time whistle a Darcy shot hits the crossbar and the follow up shot is saved, and with that the half time whistle is blown and we lead 1-0.

Is that a different song being played? I think it is, even if it is sampling the hook from Bittersweet Symphony. In fact, it appears to be a whole new half time play list, let’s just hope its not repeated at every game.

There are two half time subs made, and it is sensible as we replace two of the players who picked up bookings in the first half, don’t want to risk giving that man advantage away. We get an early free kick on the left-hand side of the box, but it is easily cleared.

We have a lot of slow build possession, as you might expect with a man advantage against a team of thugs, but occasionally we do speed it up and play a ball through, but the shot in the end is invariably wide.

Substitute, Klaidi Lolos looks to be willing to shoot from anywhere, something we were sorely missing last season. And the other sub, the last minute loanee from Charlton, Aaron Henry has a pop as well, and quickly follows it up with another from play after a free kick.

It is a bit nervier than it should be with a man advantage and the play is a bit back and forth. Bradford make a flurry of subs, and one of whom is Derbyshire. Which seems a bit desperate to have to be bringing on a whole county to try and get a result.

There are muted penalty appeals as Orsi goes down in the area after claiming he had his heels clipped. Not long after the first and only ball to disappear out of the ground happens as a Dom Telford shot flies out over the Eden Utilities south terrace after a period of decent play that had forced a rare save from the Bradford keeper. We are having more counter attacks, and the ball is played through to Orsi, but his early shot only hits the side netting.

The crowd is announced as 3,883, with 1,037 away fans, not bad, but the ground does look and feel like it had more in it than that. And before the added time of six minutes goes up, the sponsor’s man of the match is announced as Will Wright.

In added time there is another blatant full-length dive from a Bradford player trying to win a penalty, but their pressure continues until Addai saves and collects from an attempted acrobatic shot on target.

We keep having breakaways where its two on two, or two on one, or three on two, and every time we stuff it up with a poor final ball through. If we can get that right, then then this would not have been so tense towards the end and there would have been a decent goal tally. But as it is the game finishes, and we win 1-0.

The post-match music hasn’t changed though, Black Eyed Peas followed by The Cure. It was a satisfactory performance all round, lots better than much of what we saw last season. Let’s hope we can keep this level of performance up, as it looks promising for us if we can.

The post-match curry was good as well, but ordering it was painful, and we wonder if the Downsman has been taken over by some group of crypto clowns as well.

I don’t understand the league table though. We have the same points, goal difference, and goals scored as Gillingham and Harrogate, but for some reason the alphabetical order has been thrown out of the window and we are showing as down in ninth. The anti-Crawley agenda by the media has started.

Come on you reds.

Let’s Go Round Again

Not as sung by the Average White Band, but a pre-emptor to an Average Football Team.

Another season is almost upon us, and it will be our third season as season ticket holders. Although when I wrote most of this piece on Wednesday night, I hadn’t picked up my season ticket as it was last minute dot com again for having them ready to pick up. They only became available less than a week before the first home game of the season. I did see this week on my timehop that I picked last season’s season ticket up at this time as well, after the first game of the season, but that was away at Carlisle, so it was in time for the first home game. They weren’t ready until the last week in July and I was on holiday.

It really doesn’t seem like nearly three months since the last game of last season, the smoke flare filled away trip to Swindon.

That trip showed up some of the differences in the running of clubs, between well run, organised ones, and the omnishambles we have running ours. They were already selling their season tickets for this season; their prices were in place and sales were open. It would still be another month before our new season prices were set (the same as last season, so surely a decision that could have been made earlier), and another week before they went on sale to existing season ticket holders. Then another two weeks before general sale, all of which compresses the time to produce and have them ready. It would be nice if they were ready sometime before the week of the first game, and ideally before the school holidays start and there is the mad rush away for two weeks.

I saw this in Swindon’s programme. It was four quid, so a pound more than ours, but miles better in content and production. I did moan quite a bit about the quality of the content of the programme last season, but at least we had one last season. One of the summer announcements from the club was they have scrapped the programme. Not moved it to a digital one as some other clubs have, but got rid of it completely. I’m not happy about it in the slightest, and did a long post on the forum and Facebook page about how it was wrong. The reasons were it’s too expensive to produce (raise the price then), and sales had dropped off (which I saw evidence to the contrary of during the season).

We survived being relegated last season by the skin on the skin of our teeth, and since then the revolving doors of players leaving and then joining the club has picked up pace. In fact, it has gone around quick enough that the club could have stored enough power from the dynamo to generate electricity to see us through to Christmas.

A lot of the longer established players, and some of the fan favourites have left. All the loanees went back to their parent clubs, only to then get loaned out again somewhere else for this season. Jack Powell and James Tilley went within a couple of days of each other, but thankfully there has been plenty of time for Scott Lindsey to work on who will be the dead ball specialists this season. Unlike the game last season when they both got substituted within a couple of minutes of each other and when we got a free kick all the players on the pitch stood around looking at each other wondering who was going to take it.

A day before the season started last year a plausible starting line up may have been Glenn Morris, George Francomb, Ludwig Francillette, Tony Craig, Jake Hessenthaler, Atamide Oteh, James Tilley, Jack Powell, Ashley Nadesan, Tom Nichols, and Kwesi Appiah. And with a bench of Balcome, Nazeeb, Fellows, Balagizi, Mason, Jenks, and Marshall. None of them survive going into Saturday’s first game of this season. And that’s not including a whole raft (well more like a cross channel ferry) of fringe players to be out the door.

At first it seemed as if there were no replacements coming in. Incoming were thin on the ground. This has picked up over the last few weeks with a new name appearing every couple of days. It is going to be a vastly different team and squad to the one we were used to that sees the new season in. And although the club always announced the new signing as being ex-<insert league club’s name here>, invariably the club we picked them up from were non-league.

To be fair, after last season’s utter shit storm, having a vastly refreshed squad may not be the bad thing that many people have made it out to be.

And if I’m honest the person I feel sorriest for is whoever comes up with the player chants and songs. With only Tsaroulla left of the established songs (there was a fledgling Telford one starting), there is a whole new playlist needed. I can see potential for a couple of new songs, but they are most definitely showing up my age. As I would be disappointed if there isn’t a bit of Modern Romance action going with ‘Ay ay ay ay Orsi’, and I’m not sure whether it should be the Dave Clark Five’s “Glad All Over”, or Captain Sensible’s “Glad It’s All Over” that needs to be repackaged as ‘Gladwin’s All Over’. But I know it certainly wouldn’t do to be using the chorus of Jilted John’s “Jilted John” for Kellen Gordon as is, but there are so many other adjectives that might be more appropriate than moron for it.

I had high hopes going into last season, and I’m much more muted this season. Pre-season has been interesting. All our games against non-league opposition have finished with us winning 2–1. Our two games against higher level opposition including the four thirty-minute period one against Portsmouth, were heavy defeats. But there are signs of a plan and a playing style, which is more than Betsy ball brought us last year. I’m not going to say playoffs, but I think somewhere in mid table is achievable. And perhaps a few less manager changes in the season might help.

Four Four Two magazine has us to finish dead last, relegation favourites, and going down with Sutton. It’s so bad none of the other team’s contributors to the review section bothered to take pot shots at us like five of them did last season. Our own fan file contributor just said bottom half for us. Which I suppose is realistic.

When Saturday Comes left their pre-season issue until the last minute, it came out today, so I’ve not seen it yet, but as they had us to finish twentieth last season, I doubt they’ll have us any higher than that for this season.

I’m going to go for where Four Four Two had us finishing last season — fourteenth.

As for the cups? Well, I can’t see us doing as well in the Carabao cup as we did last season. Exeter away that early in the season isn’t deal, and I can see a first round exit.

For the FA cup, pretty much anything would be better than last year’s effort, especially with the Sideman ‘trial’ debacle overshadowing the build up to the game, and the non-performance in it. I’m going to go for the third round for us, as hopefully we’ll have a settled side by the time the first round comes around in November.

As for the EFL trophy, I know there is a lot of ‘who cares’, but we did well enough last season and were unlucky not to progress from the group stage. Let’s go a game further this season, eh?

There is always the cloud of the crypto clowns hanging over us. The new kit isn’t due until at least tomorrow, if it is in time then it will be the same as the first batch last season, sold out the back of a transit van. We don’t have a shirt sponsor for the season, it’s going to rotate between various half-hearted organisations through the season. We don’t even have a stadium sponsor again. But there was a big fanfare about County Mall sponsoring the “Goal and Replay”. Which means I’ll see about thirty five percent of that from my seat.

There will be protests, there will be flares (not sure whether the smoke ones, or the seventies fashion disaster are worse), there will be abuse of the lino, and there may even be two hundred fans at an away ground in the middle of winter waving one shoe at the pitch. It may be bad, it may be good, but it is unlikely to be boring.

Roll on Saturday, and for a change we have a home game instead of an away trip to the ends of the earth. Bradford City start us off, so plenty of opportunity to wind Mark Hughes up again, and for at least one set of fans to wish the crypto clowns had succeeded in buying Bradford.

Come on you reds.

Use Some C4 On It

It’s been a while since I wrote anything that wasn’t on our Leicester trip in June, and there’s still lots for me to write up on that, but it’s time for a little blast on random items.

The cat has developed a new habit at night. He waits until the bedroom light has gone out, gives it ten minutes and then screeches at ear splitting volume. I’m not sure where he’s hiding the megaphone he’s using but it needs finding and destroying. So, I haul myself out of bed and go down and open the back door. He’s sat on the chair and looks up all surprised as if to say, ‘why are you here and opening the door?’ he’ll come in, and then runs straight to the front door and miaows to be let out. Little furry bag of shite.

For some reason the radio in the kitchen was on Virgin radio. The announcement I heard when I walked into the kitchen was enough to make your blood run cold. “It’s the Chris Evans show…” NO, not that ginger cockwomble. “..hosted by Tom Allen…” jeez, if ever there was someone who didn’t have a voice for radio, especially at seven in the morning, it’s him. Night-time panel shows are fine, but not first thing in the morning. “…with Cinch.” No, no, no, no, and no again. Is there anyway those jokers haven’t got. It shows just how overpriced their cars must be if there are still solvent with the exorbitant amounts they spend on advertising and sponsorship.

At the end of June, someone drove into the side of the car at Pease Pottage roundabout when Helen was driving. Five weeks later the garage finally picked the car up to repair the damage to the driver’s side doors. And whilst it is being repaired, we have a courtesy car, which we picked up from Enterprise. It’s a Citroen C4. Which accurately describes what it needs putting under it and setting off.

Now, it’s well known that I hate driving, I’m shit at it, and it’s the most stressful thing I do. For the last seven years we’ve had a Kia Venga (on our second one), and I’ve got to the stage where I’m just about competent driving it and I don’t have cold sweats thinking about driving it.

From picking the car up, I drove to Asda, and then home, four miles maximum. Four miles of pure hell. I’m not adaptable when it comes to driving, it’s far too complicated to drive without having everything changed on you. And in the hire car everything terrifies me. Everything is too small. The wing mirrors aren’t much bigger than postage stamps. The rear-view mirror wouldn’t be that bad, but the view is out the ridiculously small rear window. Between the three of them, there is hardly any view behind you. Which makes the bloody thing impossible to park. No matter how I adjust the wing mirrors I can’t see what’s behind me, and in order to sit in the driver’s seat, the seat is so low to get my legs under the steering wheel that I can’t see the front of the car.

Then there are the pedals. The brake and the accelerator don’t move very far for full action, a couple of inches at most, whereas the clutch moves about a foot from top to bottom. You need two different length legs to be able to drive it. my right leg is at full stretch, and my leg knee is up around my ear somewhere. And there isn’t enough gap between pedals. I kept failing to deploy the clutch because my foot kept hitting the footrest next to it before it wasn’t fully down. And then when braking I’d step on my left foot trying to deploy the clutch at the same time. That’s when the very harsh brake isn’t flinging you through the miniscule front windscreen.

The gearstick is a lot higher up, and the action required to pull the sleeve up on it to engage reverse must have been devised by a sadist and can only be done successfully if you are a contortionist. Although you are taking your life in your hands reversing as due to the useless mirrors it is all guesswork as to what it behind you. And the display is off putting, it’s a flush, flat digital screen that is too big, they need to swap the sizes with that and the wing mirrors.

Helen drove to work this morning. Needless to say, she was fine and really liked it. Apparently, it is really comfortable. I’m assuming she must have been in a different car to the uncomfortable painful seats that I had when driving yesterday and being a passenger this morning. Everything aches after half an hour in it.

And then I get into work, and someone had used my desk. Which is fine if they leave it as they found it, it is a specific DSE set up. It has a hub that links screen, keyboard, and mouse so you just need to use the one USB port on your laptop to link it all up. But whichever moron was sat at my desk unplugged everything from the hub, I’m assuming to plug them in separately to their laptop. And I could do without having to reset everything on the chair as well.

I really am a grumpy old bastard.

More Mindless Mumblings

We went to the previously postponed ‘Tea And Tales at The Mill’ on Sunday. It had been part of March’s WORDfest, I’m not sure where the three intervening months disappeared to.

Now, I’m not sure what I was expecting, but being read original versions of Grimm’s fairy tales, and HG Wells in front of a rotating mill wheel probably wouldn’t have been the first thing to spring to mind. It also pointed out how we take Disney versions of fairy tales to be gospel. Pigeons instead of fairy godmothers, cutting off parts of feet, they didn’t appear on screen in Cinderella.

But it was good, and the location is an unusual one to do this sort of thing, perhaps somewhere to bear in mind for next year’s WORDfest for the writing group.

Afterwards it was across country to the Plough for food. Only for them to be fully booked. We went to sit on the bench opposite the pub to check out alternate locations for lunch, only for one of the blokes from the pub to come out and say they could squeeze us in in five minutes time. Nice. Glad we sat down to work out where to go instead of doing it on the move.

There were a couple of old dears having Sunday lunch in the corner of the pub. I heard one say to the other that she didn’t drink. I suppose it could have been non-alcoholic wine in the large glass she was guzzling from.

They were also talking about going to Ibiza. We were laughing at the images that was conjuring up. The ones of some poor lad waking up the morning after with someone’s granny lying next to him. For some reason Obie Trice’s “Got Some Teeth” springs to mind.

Elsewhere I could hear one of the blokes from the pub telling another table ‘you can have double cabbage next week.’ I’m going to assume they actually want double cabbage. As to me it sounds more like a threat or a punishment. I’m tempted to run screaming from the pub. “NO, please don’t make me have the double cabbage. I promise I’ll be good from now on.” Or it sounds like something the old dear might say to the young lad in Ibiza. “Thanks for last night sonny, you can have double cabbage later.”

Single cabbage was bad enough, at least I could get rid of the case with the syrup pudding, which came in enough cream to float a battleship. And it still wasn’t as large as Helen’s sticky toffee pudding. At least we’d got a few miles to wander home to walk some of it off.

Another Saturday Morning Musing

Another Saturday, another morning heading into town early before writing starts. I’m sat looking out of Maccy D’s window as I usually do, and what do I see? Nothing really, it looks strange out there. There isn’t a single market stall to be seen anywhere up and down the road. I know the forecast is for it to hit thirty degrees at some point today, but surely that shouldn’t have scared off all the market stall holders. They are usually up and running, or just setting up as I sit here gormlessly eating breakfast.

Perhaps they are feeling as sluggish as I am. It isn’t just the heat though, it’s the pollen. Early June is the worst time of the year for it for me. I’m on four antihistamines a day at the moment and they aren’t really touching the sides. I’m waking up wheezy as all the phlegm is settling overnight and it takes a few hours to clear it. Sometimes only just in time to go back to bed and let the next lot set in.

At the library I go to the toilet. Someone tries the door. Then they stand outside moaning how long they are waiting (thirty seconds after they tried the door). Then they ask a passing librarian if the door is locked and can it be undone. I recognise the voice as being someone from the writing group. I give the impatient bitch the filthiest look on the way out.

The session is being taken by a relatively new member, and it is a good session, but having part of it to be three minutes meditation to clear the mind before writing wasn’t the best idea with older males in the group. I fell asleep in the meditation period and when I flinched awake, I was in no fit state to write anything. At least I wasn’t the only one in the group to nod off.

I’m blaming the heat and the four a day (ended up being five a day on Saturday, which I’m sure anyone who knows me will attest to the fact it wasn’t going to be fruit and vegetables) anti hiss-at-mes.

At the end of the session one of the other newer members of the group properly freaked me out. They came over to me and told me that I was channelling the spirit of a dead Japanese author who wanted to use my voice. I didn’t take in who it was, as I was disconcerted by the message and the eyes of the partially sighted person telling me. Then it was hair cut time. As quick as the barber could dry my hair with the hair dryer, my head was making it wet again due to the heat. But I have much shorter hair now, and it is a lot cooler (not in the slightest bit hip though).