DE­PLETED RED DEVILS DIG IN

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Ross Marti­novic

MATT Har­rold’s firsthalf strike was enough for Craw­ley Town to edge a dis­mal clash with Cam­bridge United and man­ager Mark Yates be­lieves it is no more than they de­served.

As the weather de­te­ri­o­rated dur­ing half-time, an al­ready un­mem­o­rable af­fair de­gen­er­ated with it as the two mid-ta­ble clubs barely con­jured up a chance be­tween them.

And Yates, whose team has now notched up seven wins in their last eight home fix­tures, was de­lighted with his play­ers’ ef­forts af­ter a test­ing build-up dur­ing the week.

“I thought we thor­oughly de­served it. That’s the proud­est I’ve ever been of the team,” he said.

“I had 11 out­field play­ers train­ing yes­ter­day and two keep­ers. I apol­o­gised to the boys for the num­bers we had and that we haven’t trained on grass be­cause our train­ing ground is flooded.

“It has been a sham­bles, but the play­ers haven’t moaned and they were mag­nif­i­cent.

“We were bet­ter than Cam­bridge at ev­ery­thing. We were bet­ter at de­fend­ing, we were bet­ter at pick­ing up se­cond balls and we were bet­ter at look­ing a goal threat.

“The play­ers have got to en­joy that. I’ve given them a cou­ple of days off be­cause we haven’t got any­where to train and we haven’t got enough num­bers. Hope­fully they’ll ap­pre­ci­ate that and come in next week to pre­pare prop­erly for Notts County.”

Prior to his win­ner, Har­rold spurned Craw­ley’s best open­ing as the ball got stuck un­der­neath his feet when clean through on goal, al­low­ing Dar­nell Fur­long time to deny him with a last-ditch tackle.

Shortly af­ter­wards, Rory Gaffney – just back from a fruit­ful loan spell with Bris­tol Rovers – wasted the vis­i­tors’ only sig­nif­i­cant op­por­tu­nity of the af­ter­noon when he sprung the off­side trap but failed to beat Dar­ryl Fla­ha­van.

And Har­rold swiftly made amends for his ear­lier profli­gacy when he poked home Lee Barnard’s cross-shot at full stretch to give the home side the lead at the in­ter­val.

With the rain lash­ing down, Cam­bridge’s se­cond half al­most got off to the per­fect start when Luke Berry’s 25-yard ef­fort crashed off the out­side of the post.

But that was as good as it got for the U’s as they failed to muster an­other chance of any sig­nif­i­cance, leav­ing man­ager Shaun Derry thor­oughly dis­sat­is­fied.

“I never felt at any point in the game did we play the con­di­tions,” he said.

“We didn’t play them well enough, we didn’t play them in­tel­li­gently enough. We never got play­ers around the ball to com­bat that se­cond ball and get on top.

“Fair credit to Mark and his team. They needed the win and wanted the win more than us. That’s a cause for con­cern for me be­cause prior to last week and prior to to­day, I felt we’ve re­ally com­peted all over the pitch and now I’m ask­ing ques­tions.

“I’m ex­pect­ing an­swers to be de­liv­ered in the per­for­mances, not just in voice.”

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