'I'm gutted for them' - Crawley Town boss Darren Byfield proud of his side after 2-2 draw with Newport County

Crawley Town interim manager Darren Byfield was left ‘proud’ but ‘gutted’ after a 2-2 draw with Newport County just five days after a sudden manager departure.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Crawley played their second game following the shock departure of Matthew Etherington as manager last week. Despite leading the game until the 92nd minute, a last gasp equaliser from Newport’s Offrande Zanzala levelled the final score.

“You know what, I’m so proud of the boys,” said Byfield, the Reds’ coach who took charge of the side with just a day’s notice before their last game. “I’m gutted for them… 2-0 up with some dodgy decisions from the referee.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“But they had one tactical training session with us yesterday for 40 minutes, and I thought they did unbelievably well.”

Darren ByfieldDarren Byfield
Darren Byfield

Crawley earned their first point in the league since December 3 when Etherington managed and won his debut game. 34 days later, and the former Spurs man decided to leave the club, following two losses and his number 9 being sold to relegation rivals Gillingham.

The Reds are now without a permanent manager for the second time this season and the third time since WAGMI United completed their takeover of the club in April 2022.

Dom Telford’s two goals for Crawley were undone in the last ten minutes when Newport scored two headers through Matthew Dolan and substitute Zanzala.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Both Byfield and Newport manager Graham Coughlan were sent off in the final minutes of Monday’s clash, whilst both teams were desperate to cling on to as many points as possible.

Read More
What is happening at Crawley Town? Reds draw 2-2 at Newport as Byfield is sent o...

“I am a nice guy,” said Byfield in response to his dismissal in the final moments. “When it comes to football, I am also passionate. They had just booked our physio; their team had done the same. I just asked the fourth official how does that work? It is what it is. There’re no hard feelings. It’s a passionate game.”

Nick Tsaroulla was brought down in Newport’s penalty area to allow Telford to double the lead from the spot in the 67th minute. During a difficult season for the club, Tsaroulla has shone as a from left-back as a terrific attacking outlet.

“He’s been great,” said Byfield, on Tsaroulla. “He’s a top guy and you can see why he’s a fan favourite.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"He gives everything when he players, he’s great in and out of possession as well, leads the boys, covers his centre-back, joins in with his wingers and has got a few penalties so I think he’s Dom’s best friend at the minute.”

Crawley now have almost two weeks to choose their next permanent head coach before facing Doncaster on January 14. After 24 games this season, they’ve only won five under four different personal in charge.