‘TERRIBLE’ PILGRIMS STUN REDS
DESPITE netting an injury-time winner to reinforce Plymouth’s promotion push, striker Ryan Taylor was not impressed with his side’s showing at Crawley.
The Pilgrims set a new club record of 13 away wins in a season with the triumph, but ‘terrible’, ‘sloppy’, and ‘poor’ were just three of the words Taylor used to describe how they had been totally dominated for the first hour.
Dean Fox’s first goal for Crawley since his signing from Leyton Orient during the transfer window had given Crawley the lead in the 29th minute.
And with their wide men Enzio Boldewijn and Billy Clifford creating many openings, the Sussex side often looked in total control.
But with the help of referee Ben Turner and a Crawley defensive error, Plymouth took the spoils and opened up a 12point gap over Luton who are top of the division’s play-off candidates list.
And while their 1,540 travelling fans – who made up nearly 50 per cent of the total crowd – left the ground in noisy ecstasy, Taylor was totally honest about his team’s performance.
“It was absolutely not a pretty game, but we got the three points we came here for,” he said. “It was a sloppy game from start to finish, but to get promotion you have to grind out games like that.
“I will be honest it was a terrible game, but our fans were unbelievable. They kept cheering us throughout even though we had a poor game.”
Plymouth’s defence was certainly torn apart by the move that set up Crawley’s goal. A clever pass from Boldewijn freed Lewis Young to race to the byline and his low cross was turned home by Fox.
The visitors had not had a single attempt on goal in the first 18 minutes of the second half when they were handed a questionable penalty by Turner, as Antoni Sarcevic fell to the ground in a 50-50 tackle with Mark Connolly.
Graham Carey hammered home the spot kick, and Plymouth’s task of seeking a winner was made easier in the 79th minute by referee Turner when he sent off Crawley’s James Collins for appearing to elbow Yann Songo’o.
“That was a harsh decision,” said Crawley’s coach Dermott Drummy. “It was not violent conduct; it was not an aggressive act because he raised his elbow to protect himself.”
Drummy will wait to see Turner’s report before appealing any Collins ban because he accepted he had been shown a first yellow card for another challenge minutes earlier. Reduced to ten men, Crawley spent most of the remainder of the match in their own half and looked safe for a point until injury-time when defender Young miscued an attempted clearance and Taylor netted the winner. And Drummy suggested Plymouth had been handed their three points on a platter.
He said: “We gave it to them by not eliminating errors.
“We should have cleared our lines, but instead played the ball back into our own area and we paid the price.”
ICE COOL: Graham Carey’s penalty