Match Preview – Crawley Town v Stevenage (22 Feb 2020): Devils' Advocate?

Any time we leave the country, Boro’ normally start turning on the form. But not this time, apparently. In fact, we ended up with more of the same; losing all three games we were AWOL for. What was a two-horse battle against the drop between us and Morecambe has slowing turned into a one-horse romp. Seven straight defeats has left us eight points adrift – that’s our worst run of form in our history. And with goals still so painfully hard to come by, our chances of ending this dismal slump are pretty weak.

Oh, and now we’re onto yet another gaffer after Graham Westley couldn’t stop the rot.

So, it’s going to be quite the party with the Skittles and Smarties when a new dawn rises for us this weekend. Right?


Crawley Town v Stevenage: The Preview…

Crawley Town – who are they?

It’s not that long ago we last took on the Red Devils. In some ways, a lot has changed since then; us being on our third different boss being quite a big thing there. In others, however, not much looks unfamiliar. We’re still at the foot of League Two and not scoring, while our hosts are still in the lower reaches of mid-table. With this encounter, the West Sussex side will be hoping to take their win count over us into double figures. We, meanwhile, have no great milestones to reach – but, sure, we just want to win a game of football.

Our Record vs Crawley Town: P 28 — W 14 — D 5 — L 9 — F 39 — A 30 — Pts 44
Last time out: Stevenage 0-0 Crawley Town, 07 December 2019

How has Crawley Town’s recent form been?

The Red Devils have been doing alright in recent weeks, all told. Since our goalless draw at the Lamex back at the start of December, Crawley Town have played 14 times and lost just three of ’em. That said, they’ve only won four times in that period too. And this should tell you they love a draw. Apart from Macclesfield Town, no-one has ended 90 minutes on level terms more. Weirdly, they’ve only drawn one more match than us too. Well, “weirdly” only goes up to a point. Obviously, they haven’t lost more than half their fixtures to boot.

But, if you start to compare home and away form, our task this time out becomes a bit little tougher. It’s hard enough as it is. On home form alone, Crawley would be 10th in the table; unbeaten at the Broadfield since 23 November when Exeter City came out on top by one goal there. Four wins and three draws later, the Red Devils have dug in on home territory; earning nearly three-quarters of their points so far this term indoors. Mind you, they’ve so far failed to beat any of the teams currently in the bottom four. They can keep that one up…

Tell us something we don’t know about Crawley Town

We all know the Red Devils play at the Broadfield Stadium, even if we don’t always know what corporate name it goes by (it’s the People’s Pension Stadium at the moment). But it remains a relatively new venue in the grand scheme of things; opened in 1997 to replace the club’s former home at Town Mead. They’d spent nearly half a century in their previous ground and it seems almost a shame that milestone wasn’t reached. But that’s not for you or us to worry about. We’ve only ever known the Broadfield and it’s been good to us before.

Which Crawley Town player should we watch out for?

Ollie Palmer is the stand-out name to watch for. He’s comfortably top of the scoring pops at Crawley; 13 goals (or 14 if you believe the Beeb) and three assists to his name. He’s hit a lean stretch in the last couple of weeks, however. After a dizzy run of five goals in three matches, it’s now zero in three. But don’t bet against Bez Lubala picking up the slack. He’s also without a goal in a while, but he’s still into double figures for the season with 11 to his name.

Who is our ref for this match?

Paul Marsden. It’s only the second time we’ve had this ref and, if our first experience is ‘owt to go by, we’d be happy if it was our last. Our rubbish 1-0 defeat indoors last term against Cambridge is all we have to show from our time together. But, as with everything so far this season, it gives us something to improve on. Mr Marsden has taken charge of 25 matches already, dishing out 84 yellows and just one red. While he’s yet to go a single game without reaching for his cards, he’s not exactly trigger-happy with ’em.

Our Record: P 1 — W 0 — D 0 — L 1 — F 0 — A 1
Last time out: Stevenage 0-1 Cambridge United, 01 September 2018

And, finally, what do you reckon?

Crawley Town v Stevenage scorecast: 1-2