Surely Crawley?


By Pete H

Two goals AND a win on the road? It ain’t like us. But let’s hope we can bring it back indoors here. League Two has come a-calling for the first time in what seems like ages. And, yet, it’s only been a fortnight since our last outing. It’s been enough to open up the gap between us and those above us to five points, however. And a win at home here to Crawley is gonna be much-needed. Let’s get some momentum going before Christmas – and leave Morecambe having some bad thoughts about what 2020 has in store.

Well, that’s how we’d like it to go.


Stevenage v Crawley Town: The Preview…

Crawley Town – who are they?

Oh, us and the Red Devils – we go back a bit, don’t we? While our first meeting with the West Sussex side came as long ago as 1988, it was our time together in the Conference that got us knowing each other a bit better. And, for them, the rise into League football is the same as ours; two straight promotions taking them into League One, where we were reunited after a two-season break. Now we can’t shake ’em off.

Boro’ did the double over the Red Devils last season, which came after a 2017-8 League Two campaign in which we only took one point off them. The season before that, we did a double over them. And their first one back in League Two before that saw us pick up nothing. So, there’s a bit of a pattern here. And we can’t say that it looks all that good for our chances this season. We’re gonna have to stare down the law of sequences.

Our Record vs Crawley Town: P 27 — W 14 — D 4 — L 9 — F 39 — A 30 — Pts 43
Last time out: Stevenage 2-1 Crawley Town, 12 January 2019

How are Crawley Town doing so far this season?

After an OK start to the season, it’s all gone a bit south for Crawley Town during the past couple of months. Since the start of October, the stats show just one win to their name – the 2-1 home win over Colchester on 12 October. In all, it’s one win in 11 and that stretch of form is why they’re not all that far off being dragged down to our current level. With 21 points to their name, they have a seven-point gap on us and it’d be great to eat into that.

Over the last eight games, only Walsall have fared worse than Crawley. But it doesn’t say much for our point at the Banks’s Stadium two weeks ago. Anyway, not much can be done about that now. The Red Devils have taken seven points from nine on the road this season, with their defence comfortably one of the worst. And while they’ve let in one or more in every away game this season, they’ve also scored in every away game so far.

Tell us something we don’t know about Crawley Town

After forming in 1896, it took until 1962 for the Red Devils to turn semi-pro. Before this, a lot of their time was spent in local and county competitions. But 1963 saw them become a member of the Southern League and start out on the path on which you’ll find them today. Even though it’s been a bumpy ride from time to time…

Are we humans or are we dancers?

We’re a website. But you can be whatever you wanna be honey…

What are the bookies’ odds for this game?

It’s nice to see the bookies have some faith in us for a change, even if it’s not too clear cut. You’ll get something back if you lump on a home win, which is encouraging. And your best price there is 27/20 (Marathon). If the unthinkable clearly is thinkable enough to place a wedge on it, you can get 57/25 (Marathon) on the away win. Jason Cowley to bag first is 13/2 (Bet365), while Both Teams To Score (on Crawley’s form) must be worth 5/6 (vBet).

Which Crawley Town player should we watch out for?

Not sure we’d have marked him down for this feat when he was on the books with us 15 years ago, but Dannie Bulman is still going strong. With his 41st birthday on the horizon next month, the central midfielder will make his 19th appearance of the season here and won’t hesitate to get one up on us. After all, he’s done it before.

Who is our ref for this match?

Brett Huxtable. Not one of the League’s finest for this one, but ho hum? It’s more than a year since we last saw him now. But it turned out good (for us) on that day, so we’ll not be so quick to judge. Overall, the record could be better – especially when we’ve only scored six on his watch. That’s one fewer than Luton Town managed in our October 2017 mess alone.

For the man Huxtable so far this season, he’s overseen 16 matches and his card count is on 59 yellows. Just one red, however. Oddly enough, he took charge of Peterborough’s FA Cup win over Dover Athletic. Oh, to think it could’ve been us that day…

Our Record: P 7 — W 2 — D 2 — L 3 — F 6 — A 13
Last time out: Stevenage 3-2 MK Dons, 24 November 2018

And, finally, what do you reckon?

It’ll be a home win. It has to be a home win. These are the type of games we need to win if we’re going to pull clear of this pit of poo long before it gets to squeaky-bum time. Crawley are in the type of form we need ’em to be, which helps. But we surely just need to put in a repeat performance of the Colchester match and we’ll be alright. That’s the plan, at least…

Stevenage v Crawley Town scorecast: 2-1