How Do You Like It? More, More, Morecambe

Kev Neylon
8 min readFeb 3, 2024

Some classic seventies disco to apologise for this time around in the shape of the Andrea True Connection.

Back to action after what seems like an eternity. Last time out was the away defeat to Peterborough United in the Bristol Street Motors Trophy eleven days ago. Our last game in the league was three weeks ago in the disappointing home loss to Salford City. In between our game away at AFC Wimbledon was postponed due to a frozen pitch, and the one away at Wrexham was postponed as they were getting thrashed in the FA Cup fourth round.

So, that should have given us plenty of time to get some work done in the transfer market. And so, we waited. We saw some loanees get recalled by their parent clubs, and we waited. And waited a little bit longer just for good measure. And then as if by magic, an hour before the transfer window closed there was some action.

First up was American attacking midfielder (subject to work permit) Jeremy Kelly who has been employed, if not necessarily playing a great deal, in the MLS for the last seven years. And what’s the first thing that pops into my head when I see his name? Game For A Laugh. I hadn’t ever thought of that TV show for nearly thirty years and then. Pow. Just like that it appears as my mess of a brain automatically mashes up presenter names to arrive at Jeremy Kelly. Then I remembered there were two hosts with the surname Kelly on the show, so it could well be much like our midfield will be soon.

Then, announced after the window closed, we have signed Mustapha Olagunju on loan from Huddersfield Town for the rest of the season. He is a central defender who has played even less than Jeremy Kelly and who had been on loan at Ebbsfleet United until this week. His name flagged idiot neurons in my brain as well. I must have a word with myself.

There was also an attempt for a third player, Donovan Wilson, a (some would say) much needed additional striker, to come in on loan from Grimsby Town, but that last minute deal fell through as Grimsby failed in their own last-minute bid to get a striker in from elsewhere themselves.

Anyway, today’s opponents are Morecambe, the only team we haven’t played in the league so far this season. The away game back in October was postponed due to their international call-ups and has only recently been rearranged to play on March the fifth. What would have been a weekend away visiting my mum in Morecambe and five-minute walk to the ground is now likely to be a game I won’t be at.

We go into the game having only dropped a place in the league to twelfth since we last played despite other teams playing one, two, or three times in between times. But we are now five points off the play-off places, albeit with a game in hand against all teams above us in the league apart from Wrexham. Morecambe are two points and three places behind us in the league in fifteenth.

The postponed AFC Wimbledon game was rearranged for the twentieth of February, and I’ve booked Helen and I onto the fan coach to the game, so I will get there, get a programme, and see myself in print.

As with a lot of home games, it was straight to the ground from writing group, to get there, pay for the coach, and get in nice and early through bag check, ticket scan, second ticket check, and past the newish steward who always wants to have a conversation with everyone, before getting to the usual spot in the east marquee.

As I was stood waiting for the turnstiles to open, I really noticed the smell of fresh, hot doughnuts. More than I had on previous occasions. Probably because they will now rank quite high on a list of foods which I shouldn’t be touching with a bargepole. Walking alongside the east marquee I can see there are only two people in the stand before me. Typically, they are in the two seats next to where I sit.

The team lineup shows rare starts for Harry Forster and Klaidi Lolos, and new signing Mustapha Olagunju is on the bench, and we have a proper keeper on the bench as well. Morecambe are in white shirts with black sleeves, black shorts, and white socks.

It takes a few minutes for the game to settle down, but then we work a chance from a free kick, but Harry Forster’s volley is wide. We have lots of possession but Morecambe pressing deep and quickly and break and force a good save from Corey Addai.

On seventeen minutes we win a ball back from a Morecambe throw, Klaidi Lolos chests it down and plays it across. Adam Campbell keeps it moving on to Forster who takes it into the area, and his shot goes into the bottom corner and it’s 1–0.

Morecambe play a ball through, and their number 9 is in one on one with the keeper, but Addai saves well again. Up the other end a Forster shot is just wide. And then some decent work from Nick Tsaroulla sees him get a cross in and the header from Danilo Orsi is on target, but easily saved. Tsaroulla drifts across to the left, picks the ball up, dribbles past a couple of players into the box, but his shot is just wide.

And just like that it’s 1–1, a long cross goes all the way across the box and is played back in and their number 9 just flicks it past Addai and a defender for the equaliser.

Back on the attack and Orsi is nudged in the back and goes down in the box but as usual where Orsi is concerned, nothing is given. Two added minutes are shown and there are half chances at either end before the half time whistle goes.

It doesn’t take long for Morecambe to have the first chance of the second half, and it requires another good save from Addai. There is a little spat between Dion Conroy and their number 9, who gets nose to nose with Conroy and pushes him, both hands in the chest, but there is no card given.

We get a bit of pressure and Lolos gets contact on a ball, but it is blocked in the box and just won’t fall for a Crawley player. At the other end Morecambe get a free kick which is played into the area and back across like for their goal, and the ball is bundled in, but fortunately the flag goes up for offside and the scores stay level.

There is more great work from Lolos in the attacking third, and Morecambe are having a hell of a time trying to get the ball off him, and the resulting Campbell shot is blocked for a throw. The game is going back and forth now. Morecambe get a dubious free kick on the edge of the area and the shot goes over the bar. Campbell has another shot blocked for us. Morecambe get a corner and a shot goes wide, and then it’s back up the other end and another Campbell shot is saved and goes out for a corner, and another corner.

The game descended into a lot of stop and start, mainly because Crawley players were down on the ground. One was an obvious challenge straight through the back of Kellen Gordon, which may have won the ball but was a dangerous off the ground challenge with nothing given. Gordon again, then Will Wright and Tsaroulla were felled in off the ball challenges with nothing ‘seen’ or given. Liam Kelly is felled on our next attack on the edge of the Morecambe box, the ball had gone to Campbell who was pushed off it with nothing given. Morecambe break, there is a foul, the ref blows up and books the Crawley player. The shot that followed went over.

We are attacking more, but that final ball isn’t quite there, and it is frustrating. A long clearance from Morecambe is brought down by their number 9, who looks a few yards offside, and he controls, runs to the box, drifts through Conroy’s attempted challenge and curls it past Addai into the corner to make it 1–2.

Gordon is felled again on the right wing, but the free kick comes to nothing. We have the ball ready to attack again but the ref brings play to a halt. There is a red smoke flare on the pitch. For once though, it has been thrown on by the Morecambe fans. None of the stewards want anything to do with it and eventually Addai trots over, picks it up and throws it off the pitch.

There are five minutes added time announced as that is happening. And the Morecambe number 19 who came on just before the board went up seems to have come on with the sole purpose of running around and blatantly kicking as many Crawley players as possible. His fifth connection gets him a booking.

The final whistle goes, and it is a 1–2 loss. Very frustrating as we resorted to trying to walk the ball into the net, and we really get no protection from referees. As in so many games this season, the opposition have the game plan to kick and manhandle us at every opportunity, safe in the knowledge they are unlikely to get pulled up for it. Yet if we look funny at one of their players the yellows come out.

Leaving the ground was amusing. The away fans’ minibus was getting ready to go and was being escorted by a plethora of stewards. There were more stewards surrounding the minibus than there were people on it.

It is a loss which sees us slip two places to fourteenth in the league and puts a bit of a dampener on the post-match curry. We are away at high flying Crewe Alexandra next Saturday, a tricky one at best, but we need some away points to make up for our sudden poor home form.

Come on you reds.

For other Crawley Town articles check out the list below

CTFC Match Reports

47 stories

If you liked this post, follow me or get on my email list for future posts. Some may even be more enjoyable than this one.

You can find articles I have already published here.

And feel free to clap (any will do), or highlight (pick something at random), or comment (any old gobbledygook will do), or best yet all three.

--

--

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.