DAY OF HELL FOR SHAMED RED DEVILS
JOHN GREGORY was left red-faced with anger after Crawley’s humiliating home defeat to Rochdale – a result the former Aston Villa boss described as the worst in his tenure.
Dale were only a goal up at half-time through Matthew Done, but a second-half double from Peter Vincenti and a Calvin Andrew goal condemned Crawley to their fourth league defeat on the bounce.
With the home support making their feelings known to Gregory, the Crawley manager pulled no punches.
“The fans were singing that they were embarrassed, “he said. “I am more embarrassed than they are. I can only apologise for that performance and it was down to me.
“During the game it was hard to recognise too many of my boys. We can’t afford to have results like that.
“It’ll be a long week now. It’s by far the worst performance we’ve had since I’ve been here.
“Overall it was a very poor performance. I don’t think I’ve ever been involved in a game where I’ve lost at home by that score.
“Rochdale have only lost twice this season and this was a game we shouldn’t have feared.
“A couple of our senior boys really should have done better. I’ll take this one on the chin, pick everyone up and get them ready for next week.
“It’s a very difficult league and every game in it is tough. There’s no easy opposition and it’s a very physical league.
“There are no positives from that game. They had five opportunities at our goal and four of them went in.
“I wish we had the same kind of ratio at the other end.”
Rochdale had an early penalty shout as Done went down in the box, but referee Graham Scott waved away their appeals.
Soon after, Done put Dale in front with a terrific effort. The forward cut in from the righthand side and hammered his shot past Brian Jensen into the top left corner.
Crawley nearly responded as Matt Harrold’s header was tipped brilliantly tipped over by Conrad Logan.
Crawley had a penalty shout of their own just after the half-hour mark as Izale McLeod took a tumble in the box, but the referee again dismissed the claim.
In the 54th minute, the visitors doubled their lead. Done turned provider this time as he crossed to Vincenti for his second league goal of the season.
Just over ten minutes later Vincenti scored again with a glancing header following another good ball from in-form Done.
Substitute Andrew made it a terrible afternoon for Crawley as he nodded in Rochdale’s fourth with little under 15 minutes left.
Having gained promotion to League One, Keith Hill feels his Rochdale side have settled into the third tier nicely.
“At the minute, everything seems rosy in the Rochdale garden,” said Hill.
“We’ve won at Crawley, we won during the week, we won at Crewe twice and drew at Bristol City, so we’re making progress this season and that’s the aim isn’t it?
“We’re making big strides with a number of players and I think there are more goals from more areas of the pitch.
“It’s been a difficult start to the season and Crawley is a good place to come and play.
“It looked comfortable on paper but it was far from comfort- able, like every game. This league is obviously a step up.
“The minute you make a mistake you will be punished. I can honestly say we’ve been in every game we’ve played.
“There’s been times where we’ve played similarly to this game and we haven’t won, so it is difficult but I’m absolutely delighted with the win.”
BLUE PETER: Peter Vincenti (left) scores the third goal for Rochdale Inset: Calvin Andrew (centre, in blue) scores the fourth goal for Rochdale