Burn Hollywood FC Burn (Taken Down By Wrexham Town)

Kev Neylon
8 min readApr 9, 2024

Taking the lyrics of Leftfield and Lydon’s ‘Open Up’ in vain this time around (although it could have been Public Enemy featuring Ice Cube, with their last line from “Burn Hollywood Burn” being “Fuck Hollywood Man.”) And yes, I know, they aren’t called Wrexham Town.

Hot on the heels of the magnificent away win against Mansfield Town on Saturday, it is another away game. This time on a Tuesday night at Wrexham. Or Hollywood FC, or any one of a raft of not so polite nicknames for them, especially since the large influx of investment from North American screen stars.

It is the second consecutive game in which Crawley are the away side to the side who sit second in the league at the time we kick off. There are eight League Two games being played this evening, with all the sides above us in the league playing, and a big one between two of the chasing teams below us who are in form as well, so at least half an eye on the Doncaster Rovers vs Walsall game.

I haven’t been back to Crawley in between games either, having stayed on in Nottingham to see family after the Mansfield game. I might have been looking for signs of how tonight’s game would go, but I wasn’t expecting to literally see a Wrexham Signs sign above the chemist on the corner of the next street to where my brother lives in Nottingham. I’d happily take the first two digits in the number at the bottom of the sign for the result tonight.

We start the game in seventh, the final play-off place, three points ahead of the chasing pack and only two points behind the two sides directly above us in the table. There is everything to play for.

I missed the home game against Wrexham back in October due to a family gathering. The game finished with a 1–0 defeat for us, in our terrible October run of no wins, and lots of losses. This fixture was originally due to be played at the end of January, but it was postponed due to Wrexham still being in the FA Cup, and so it’s finally being played two and a half months later.

Having taken time to go between games I’m staying in Chester on the right side of the border and got the train down to Wrexham to have a look around the town, doing a bit of sightseeing before the game again as I’ve never been to Wrexham before, and it looked as if there were some interesting things to look at from the clips seen on Welcome to Wrexham. Although, when you put a mural of your star striker on the side of a pub, you should really have a good think about the name of the pub before you do so.

And yes, we saw Rob and Ryan. Cutouts in the window of Waterstones.

The attempts at rain had disappeared by the time we walked up to the stadium, and it was a lovely sunny evening, even if the wind is bitter.

I get a programme, had a good read, it is a good one, and shows again one of the things I miss most about games. We had a nosy in the club shop, which as at Peterborough shows just what can be done with club merchandise, and just how many missed opportunities there are for the club and income streams.

Crawley are playing in the pale green third shirt, with black shorts and socks. We have lots of early possession, albeit most of that being passed across from one side of the pitch to the other in our own half, but nothing positive created, until a ball is played through to Nick Tsaroulla in the box and his shot is easily saved.

There is plenty of early niggle between Will Wright and Paul Mullin. A late, late challenge on Kellen Gordon gets a warning, and a couple of minutes late a very heavy challenge on Klaidi Lolos escapes with a warning as well. It takes quarter of an hour before Wrexham get a shot away.

A couple of minutes after that we get our first corner of the match, and a second straight after. A Wrexham attack follows, and it looks as if a long shot is going harmlessly wide, but it holds up and one of their players sneaks around the back and heads it in and we are losing 1–0 out of nowhere.

At the other end we get an opportunity for a long throw, it looks as if Jay Williams is being held in the box and it’s headed out and there is a mix-up between Wright and Lawrence Maguire and Wrexham break, they play it down the right, a cross comes in and there is a simple tap in and just like that we are 2–0 down from being on top two minutes before.

We are plugging away though, and another Tsaroulla shot is easily saved by the keeper. Maguire gets a booking for dragging back Ollie Palmer, and to me it looked like he was the last man, so it might have been a bit of luck there wasn’t a red involved. Back at the other end Lolos has a shot which goes over, and then we have a decent break down the right and Ronan Darcy sees his cross blocked behind for a corner. From which we work a shot which goes wide.

All the good play from Crawley is coming down the right-hand side. It is being played quicker down there, and it isn’t stopping at the halfway line and coming back unlike play down the left, which is pedestrian at best.

There are two added minutes at the end of the half and in it Wrexham get a cross into the box and the resulting header beats the defence and Corey Addai, but it comes back off the post and is cleared, and the half time whistle goes with the score 0–2.

The half time music playlist is different. They were playing Gary Glitter, which isn’t a great look for any side, or is it anything to distract from the sheep?

We have some good early pressure in the second half but struggle to get the final ball right. Mullin comes in with another late tackle over on the far side, and there is still no booking for a Wrexham player. And the lino isn’t any better, he’s at least two yards behind play when a ball is played through and giving him the benefit of the doubt, from his angle the Wrexham player was onside, but was easily off if he’d been up with play, and Wrexham win a corner from the non-call.

We have a bit of sustained pressure, and Maguire has a shot from distance which their keeper just about manages to stop, and it goes for a corner. We are still struggling with that final ball. We get another corner, it’s tipped to the far side, and the cross back in is easily caught by the keeper.

Scott Lindsey has sent on all five subs before seventy minutes are up. Wrexham win another corner as a result of the lino not being up with play, this one even more blatantly offside than the previous one. It is cleared, but not far, and a shot comes in which Addai saves but it comes out and the rebound is picked up and slotted in and it’s 3–0.

Ade Adeyemo is doing some decent work down the right-hand side since coming on, we’ve created a couple of chances and win a corner, which bounces around in the box, but we just can’t get a shot away.

Harry Forster has the ball in the net from another attack, but the flag has already gone up for offside. The other lino seemingly able to keep up with play. We get a long throw, and it comes back to us, we play it back, only for me to have obviously jinxed Adeyemo with some praise earlier, as his under hit back pass leaves Addai with an impossible choice, either risk taking Mullin out and getting sent off, or retreat and try and stop the one on one. He goes for the latter but can’t and the shot goes in off the post and it’s now 4–0. We need to be more with it in the aftermath of attempted long throws.

We keep trying. Darcy has a shot on target, and another shot not long after, which is high, wide, and not so handsome. The board goes up to say there are five added minutes.

Adam Campbell gets a shot off and it is forced around the post for a corner. Which we score from. No fannying about it is crossed into the box and Lolos heads it in to make it 4–1. There are some muted chants and ‘5–4, we’re gonna win 5–4’.

And in the last minute of added time there is finally a booking for Wrexham as not even the ref can ignore the rugby tackle on Forster when he is through to the byline. The free kick is cleared for a corner, and as that is cleared the final whistle goes and the game is over with a 4–1 defeat.

The crowd is announced as 11,544 with an incredibly good for a Tuesday night away support of 316.

The result sees us stay in seventh place, still three points above the teams in eighth and ninth. Above us, Crewe won, but Barrow’s game was called off due to a waterlogged pitch.

Post game it was back to Chester on the train, and a boisterous carriage half full of Crawley fans who were then heading off into the Chester night to drown their sorrows.

It is time to head back to Crawley, ready for the double header of home games, with Colchester United visiting on Saturday, and the rearranged Barrow fixture next Tuesday.

Come on you reds.

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Kev Neylon

Writing fiction, travel, history, sport, & music blogs. Monthly e-zine with all kinds of writing at www.onetruekev.co.uk. All pictures used are my own.