Tag: Crawley Town

The New Town Effect: Brutalism & Abrasive Personalities At Crawley And Stevenage

If the draw for the Fifth Round of this year’s FA Cup was notable for anything in particular, what really stood out was the presence of two clubs for whom an appearance at this stage of the competition would been inconceivable just a couple of decades ago. Last weekend, both Crawley Town and Stevenage chalked up notable wins in the Fourth Round of the competition – both by a single goal, with Crawley’s coming at Hull City and Stevenage’s against Notts County – and the reward for each is a home match against Premier League in the next round, in the form of Stoke City and Tottenham Hotspur respectively. Both are clubs that have only recently been promoted into the Football League and both are sides that had something of an adventure in last year’s competition, with Stevenage beating Newcastle United and Crawley almost holding Manchester United to a draw at Old Trafford. Yet both sides remain treated with ambivalence by the supporters of other clubs. Crawley’s FA Cup run last year was treated with a collective shrug of the shoulders from the supporters of other smaller clubs, while Stevenage also remain the recipients of ambivalence in some quarters. There are solid and prosaic reasons as to why this be. The continuing presence of Steve Evans at Crawley Town is a convincing reason as to why the Sussex club has not touched...

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Evans & Crawley Town: Very Little Season Of Goodwill

Seldom has there been a less savoury title for a specific football match than The Split Testicle Match, but this is the name that has been given to the Boxing Day League Two match between Crawley Town and Gillingham, in which the visiting side’s Chris Whelpdale suffered an injury, of which only the most cursory of descriptions may have sent many males wincing and clutching their groins. Even this most unfortunate of injuries, however, seems likely to be overshadowed by a story concerning the events of the match and, most specifically, the managers of the two sides, Gillingham’s Andy Hessenthaler and the Crawley Town manager – and an old bête noire of this site – Steve Evans. This bad-tempered match saw Gillingham surprise the League Two leaders with a win by two goals to one, and Crawley’s disappointment was compounded by the first half dismissal of Claude Davis. In spite of this, they took the lead before half-time before two goals in three minutes at the start of the second half from Jo Kuffour sent all three points back to Kent. Three supporters – two from Gillingham and one from Crawley – were also ejected from the ground, but the bad temper, which was exacerbated by Crawley turning the floodlights off while the visiting side were still completing their post-match warm-down, spilled over after the match with a row between the...

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Bruce Winfield

The death of Bruce Winfield on Monday at the age of sixty-one marks the end of a short spell as the co-owner of Crawley Town, but supporters of the club are paying lavish tribute to a man that reinvented the club in the last months of his life. After several years of seemingly perpetual financial crisis, Winfield’s revolution began at the start of July. Since then, few of the club’s supporters could have even dreamed of the way that this season would pan out. The first non-league club to reach the Fifth Round of the FA Cup since 1994 and all but promoted into the Football League, this has been a dream season for Crawley Town. There has, at times, been criticism of the way that the club has gone about things since its new-found largesse has arrived, but it is worth remembering that none of this criticism could be levelled at Winfield himself. He was a supporter of the club for half a century, the club’s old Town Mead ground as well as their new Broadfield Stadium, and his interpretation of how he and his wife could best help his club was to clear its debts and bring in investment that was the envy of most lower division Football League clubs and almost all non-league clubs. Their success this season on its own has on its own underwritten...

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Match Of The Week: Manchester United 1-0 Crawley Town

Perhaps we should spare a thought for the ordinary supporters of Crawley Town. The thousand or so die-hards that have been going to Broadfield Stadium for a few years have had a tough time of it over the last few seasons and they may well believe that they, if no-one else, have earned their day in the spotlight. It’s also worth pointing out that support for the odious Steve Evans isn’t anything like as unanimously popular as one would expect, considering that this season is by a long way the most successful in the history of their club. Similarly, the players, whilst clearly too good for the level at which they play their trade, are paid to do a job and do it. Whatever may or may not happen at some indeterminate point in the future of Crawley Town Football Club is not their fault. With a draw against Manchester United in the Fifth Round of the FA Cup, most of the concerns over how the club was funding its extravagance have evaporated, as well. The line “it’ll all end in tears” has been said a lot about Crawley over the last few weeks and months, but this FA Cup run will have earned them well over £1m. The costs of the spending spree have more than been met. That isn’t to say that there aren’t still serious questions...

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FA Cup Match Of The Week: Torquay United 0-1 Crawley Town

When a non-league club gets as far as the Fourth Round of the FA Cup, the goodwill shown by supporters of other clubs often transcends league and occasionally even local rivalries. Not so this year. Crawley Town have an excellent chance of making the Fifth Round of the competition, but there is at best a feeling of ambivalence surrounding this FA Cup run. This, after all, is the club that spent more money on players during last summer than the whole of the division above it and is managed by a man that many feel should have been banned from the game for life. As ever, there has been talk of giant-killing throughout the week but, in the case of this match, it doesn’t feel as if an away win would be much of a surprise. Torquay United fell out of the Football League in 2007 and spent a couple of years there themselves before managing to scramble their way back two seasons ago via the play-offs. They’re halfway down the League Two table at the time of writing, meaning that there are only a dozen or so league places between the two teams. There will be no “shock” result at Plainmoor this afternoon. Not that this is the narrative that Crawley want – they had the “Living The Dream” posters out this week, to which the natural reaction...

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