Gre­gory fails to find home com­forts

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By James Walker

CRAW­LEY man­ager John Gre­gory be­lieves his play­ers are afraid of play­ing at home after los­ing to fel­low strug­glers Port Vale.

Goals from Michael Brown and Louis Dodds en­sured Craw­ley would go a fifth straight game with­out a home win, de­spite be­ing awarded a sec­ond-half penalty and a late goal com­ing from sub­sti­tute Conor Hen­der­son.

It leaves them only two points clear of the rel­e­ga­tion zone and they now face away trips to strag­glers Ley­ton Ori­ent and Colch­ester United over the fes­tive pe­riod.

Gre­gory said: “The play­ers seem to have a pho­bia of play­ing here. Our last two away matches were both very good.

“I don’t un­der­stand why. Try play­ing at New­cas­tle in front of 52,000 peo­ple.

“There’s no great crowd pres­sure here, our fans have been very good to­wards the team. Even at half-time they were fully be­hind them.

“Hav­ing seen what I saw in the first half I would’ve ex­pected an im­prove­ment in the sec­ond half.

“There was an im­prove­ment; we had a penalty that wasn’t taken. That would’ve made a huge dif­fer­ence.”

Brown scored his fifth of the sea­son by plac­ing the ball into the top cor­ner from 16 yards.

The mid­fielder had Dany N’Gues­san to thank fol­low­ing a su­perb solo run which ended with the French­man cut­ting back for the 37-year-old.

And Dodds fired in his own re­bound from close range 12 min­utes later.

A one-two with Ben Wil­liamson teed up the 28-year-old at the edge of the area and he scored after Lewis Price par­ried his ini­tial ef­fort.

An 89th-minute halfvol­ley from sub­sti­tute Hen­der­son went into the bot­tom cor­ner for a late con­so­la­tion but Craw­ley failed to cre­ate another chance in five min­utes of in­jury time.

They had al­ready been de­nied a way back into the game by Chris Neal, who saved Gavin Tom­lin’s 62nd-minute penalty.

The shot­stop­per dived to his right to push the ball wide after Michael O’Con­nor brought down Marvin El­liott.

Yet Port Vale boss Rob Page has not ruled out bring­ing his team in on Christ­mas Day ahead of a tough Box­ing Day clash against Sh­effield United.

He said:“We’re go­ing to do what we think is best to give us the best chance of win­ning the game.

“Sh­effield United have proved against the big lads in the cup they’re ca­pa­ble of hold­ing their own so we know we’re in for a tough game.

“There’s some shock re­sults ev­ery week so let’s make it as un­com­fort­able for them as pos­si­ble, but this per­for­mance is up there with the best.”



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