RICHIE LAUDS HIS ENTERTAINERS
RICHIE Barker expects plenty more fireworks from his Crawley team this term after they shared the spoils at Tranmere following a six-goal thriller.
A Joe Thompson double had the hosts 2-1 up at half-time, following Joe Walsh’s opener for Crawley, but a goal from Billy Clarke and another from Walsh put the Red Devils ahead before Ryan Lowe’s last-gasp equaliser salvaged Rovers a point.
In three games this season Crawley have now scored nine and conceded nine and while Barker know he is in a results business he insists he won’t stop sending his players out to take the game to their opponents.
“It was an attacking line-up away from home, but my view is that if we score more goals than them we’ll win the game,” he said.
“It was a fantastic advert for League One and extremely entertaining, but it doesn’t do my health any good and I’m sure it doesn’t do the fans’ any good either.
“My blood pressure throughout the last week has been through the roof and I just said to the players, ‘if we continue like this it’s going to be the longest season in history’.
“I pick the team that is going to win the game but I very rarely pick a team that is going to win 1-0.
“Yes, it’s a results orientated business, but part of it is that we want people to enjoy coming and watching us play.”
The opening goal came when Andy Drury’s free-kick was met by Walsh, the Welsh defender steering his header into the far corner.
Tranmere equalised when a long ball towards Lowe fell for Thompson, who worked space on his left to slot home from ten yards.
Thompson’s second came when Crawley keeper Paul Jones mishit a clearance straight to him. The wing-man kept his cool to slot past the onrushing keeper.
Crawley hit back with Clarke finishing from close-range from James Hurst’s cut back.
Walsh put Crawley ahead as Tranmere once again failed to deal with a set-piece and he finished through a crowd of bodies.
But Lowe was on hand to equalise at the death, finishing deftly at the back post from Robinson’s corner.
Tranmere chief Ronnie Moore was angry at the lack of fight shown by his players.
“I think we’ve thrown points away there,” said Moore, whose side lost 3-1 at Walsall on the opening day of the season.
“The players have to grow up, they have to be men and take criticism from each other, not just from me.
“I’ve never seen a scuffle since I’ve been here. We used to have fights all the time, because you want to win.
“I’m not saying go in and butt or kick somebody, but if someone has a pop at you, take it on the chin.
“And that’s what they’ve got to do in there, they’ve got to grow up, man up and show spirit and desire to win football matches.
“At this moment we have better players than last year, but we haven’t got a better team, not until we show the right spirit.”
ALL SMILES: Ryan Lowe celebrates his late leveller. Inset: Lowe scores for Tranmere