CRAWLEY TOWN v WOKING
12:00am, Mon 17th Sep 2007
Crawley Town v Woking
7.45pm on Tuesday 18 September 2007
The Cards travel to the Broadfield Stadium on Tuesday evening to take on Crawley Town. Former Kingfield-ites, Ashley Bayes and Steve Evans, are among the reception party. It?s a pretty easy journey to Crawley, especially if you go on the Supporters? Club coach (see details below), so why not make it a date?
The Cards will be boosted by their second win of the season on Saturday over Altrincham. It was a huge relief to get the three points ? which keep us well clear, in terms of points at least, of the relegation places. (Yes, I know the season?s only just begun, but once you start struggling at the bottom of the table, it?s very hard to escape.) Of the new signings, Kevin James in central midfield made the most impact and it would be surprising if he didn?t keep his place even if Matt Pattison, who was unwell on Saturday, and Bradley Quamina, still recovering from injury, are available for selection. Definitely missing will be Matt Gray, recovering from his groin operation, and Liam Marum. Marvin Morgan hobbled off at the end of Saturday?s game, so Cards fans will be waiting anxiously for news of his fitness.
It?s one of the mysteries of Conference football how Crawley Town have survived all their financial crises, fans? boycotts, points deductions, fines, transfer embargoes and so on in the last couple of seasons. And, as if to court controversy, they then gave the manager?s job to the disgraced former Boston manager, Steve Evans! On the pitch, though, the Red Devils still seem to be able to produce the goods, overcoming a ten point deduction last season to finish in a comfortable 18th place and, in spite of having only a handful of players signed on a few days before this season began, making a decent start to this campaign. They currently lie in 11th position, six places and three points ahead of the Cards. However, an appeal against a six point penalty deduction and a ?10,000 fine is outstanding.
Only seven of last season?s squad were signed up for this campaign, including former Card Steve Evans (aka ?Evo?), mostly on the bench this season, but after the transfer embargo was lifted the other Steve Evans (?the gaffer?) was able to add thirteen players he had lined up. The most important signing ? and how Stafford Rangers have missed him! ? was striker Guy Madjo. Others included another ex-Card keeper Ashley Bayes, released by Grays Athletic; striker Magno Vieira, who played for Carlisle in the Conference before joining Barnet; two full-backs from Rushden and Diamonds, James Krause and Glenn Wilson; Jamie Cook, formerly with Stevenage; French midfielder Thomas Pinault, from Brentford; Tyrone Thompson, from Halifax; Jon-Paul Pittman, formerly with Doncaster and Nottingham Forest; and Pierre Joseph-Dubois, originally with Reading. Another new signing, defender Bradley Thomas, hailing from Boston and Yeovil, was unfortunate enough to break his leg. In recent weeks defenders Ben Judge and David Woozley, part of a temporary management triumvirate last season, have both left.
SEASON SO FAR
Crawley?s season started off with a fine 2-1 home win over Stevenage Borough, with Guy Madjo marking his debut with both goals. Defeats followed against Exeter and Salisbury away, but two Magno Vieira goals gained all three points in a 2-1 home win over Northwich Victoria. The Red Devils then sprang a surprise with a 1-0 away win over Aldershot Town, with Jon-Paul Pittman scoring the winner before his dismissal. Two 1-1 draws followed, against Burton Albion at home and Rushden and Diamonds away, that man Madjo getting both goals. Next up was a 5-0 rout of Droylsden, with Madjo (penalty), Thompson, Stevens, Mills and Joseph-Dubois on target. Crawley were considerably aided, however, by two Bloods? dismissals in the first half! On Saturday Crawley took the lead, with a Guy Madjo, penalty at Cambridge United but eventually succumbed 2-1.
Our first league match against Crawley, at the Broadfield Stadium, in the 2004/05 season resulted in a 2-1 win for the Red Devils. Amos Foyewa equalised Allan Tait?s first-minute goal but the on-loan Joe Dolan headed home the winner six minutes from time. The return game is probably best remembered for the fact that Crawley manager Francis Vines was arrested after the game and taken to the police station! He was incensed by the fact that Crawley had had both Sacha Opinel and Sean Hankin sent off early in the second half. As if to rub salt into the wounds, the Cards were then awarded a somewhat dubious penalty, Ian Selley converting. Steve Evans then swept home a Chris Sharpling cross to make it 2-0. The following season, the two sides played out a 0-0 draw on Boxing Day and drew again, 2-2, in the return encounter. Justin Richards scored a superb goal to give us the lead but Daryl Clare?s penalty and then a header edged Crawley in front, only for a brilliant Ian Selley free-kick to even up the scores late on. Tom Hutchinson made his debut as a substitute in that game, coming on for the injured Stuart Nethercott. Last season Tom Hutchinson was sent off early on in the opening home game of the season for a professional foul, Ben Strevens slotting home the resulting penalty. Craig McAllister equalised just before half-time but David Woozley restored the Red Devils? lead and the game ended in a disappointing 2-1 defeat. A dour game in March at the Broadfield Stadium produced a 0-0 draw.
Crawley Town Football Club
West Sussex RH11 9RX
Tel: (01293) 410000
Fax: (01293) 410002
by coach ? why not take it easy and go on the Supporters? Club coach? It leaves Kingfield at 5pm and the cost is ?11 for members and ?15 for non-members. Ring the Club Shop (01483 772470) to book a place.
by car - from the M25 take the M23 southbound and exit at Junction 11. Follow the signs for Crawley town centre. At the bottom of the hill turn left at the roundabout and you will enter the football club's car park.
by train ? trains from Woking to Crawley mostly involve a change at Clapham Junction. The 18.27 from Clapham Junction gets into Crawley at 19.01. Earlier trains involve a further change at Gatwick Airport. To walk to the ground you need to turn left out of the station. After about 300 yards turn left onto the Brighton Road and cross the railway crossing. Continue along the road for approx 1000 yards and you will see the stadium on your right. Use the underpass to get to the Broadfield Stadium. Alternatively, take a taxi (about ?5) or take the Fastway No 10 bus service, which runs roughly every 10 minutes to the ground. Returning home the 22.14 from Crawley, with a change at Clapham Junction, should get you back to Woking at 23.41.
OTHER THINGS YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW
? admission prices ? terracing: ?12 for adults, ?8 concessions and ?3 for U16s; seating: ?15 for adults, ?10 concessions and ?5 for U16s
? pubs ? www.boroguide.co.uk recommends the Half Moon pub, just up the A2219 Brighton Road, half a mile from the ground. Also mentioned are the Jubilee Oak, about a mile from the ground and a third of a mile from Crawley Station, and the Railway, a Firkin pub near to Crawley Station
? colours ? the Cards will be in their away strip.
Come on, you Cards!