TASTE OF THE TERRACE: Kewell loses fans' support with weak display against Carlisle

All the despondency that followed Tuesday evening's defeat by Newport County counted for nothing after Crawley slumped to yet another embarrassing home defeat at the hands of Carlisle United.

Crawley Town fan and columnist Geoff Thornton SUS-150216-151358002
Crawley Town fan and columnist Geoff Thornton SUS-150216-151358002

This was a spectacularly weak display against the poorest Cumbrians outfit ever to visit Broadfield.

Concerns are often expressed when it is thought a manager has lost the dressing room. Whatever the truth of the matter as the jungle telegraph responded to an alleged fracas at Stevenage, there is no doubt that Harry Kewell and Warren Feeney have lost the Reds’ supporters.

Either the team are not doing what they have been asked or they are being misguided by the coaches. Either way they would be a laughing stock if it wasn’t so sad. As the players are the same each time I fear it is the coaching that lacks direction.

Those same players are cause for concern, particularly the unchanging bench. A number of the squad appear to have been frozen out – Dean Cox, Kaby Djalo and Billy Clifford, none of whom would claim to be of great physical stature. The manager has already been accused of ignoring players he considers too small.

That wouldn’t account for the continued absence of Joe McNerney and Callum Hope’s headed goal (the third we have conceded in four days) showed Josh Lelan’s weakness in the air that negates Josh Yorwerth’s determination and Mark Connolly’s foolhardy bravery.

And it’s not just the management ignoring players. When Moussa Sanoh became HK’s third brave attacking substitution, his team-mates appeared unaware of his presence, allowing Carlisle the option of not marking him. It didn’t suggest the Reds felt as though they were all in it together.

It was suggested that the club recognise the need for a striker (and I’m not going to mention the names James Collins and Matt Harrold) but there is no money for the next transfer window. What was that about the honeymoon is over?

The zeal shown by substitute Ibrahim Meite prompted a frantic last ten minutes when Crawley finally woke up and suggested they might snatch an undeserved point.

All that was achieved was a red card count of three with a mass brawl in stoppage-time. Yorwerth’s dismissal for retaliation seemed harsh after Tom Parkes stamped on him.

The earlier booking of Jordan Roberts had been absolutely correct despite his perfectly-timed tackle. It was given for intent which was apparent to the spectators whilst he was still 20 yards away.

We all understood as Roberts had been fouled so many times without referee Kevin Johnson taking any action. Unsurprisingly as the game finished at a furious pace, the officials were totally unable to cope.

It grieves me to pen a column of unremitting gloom but this match had no redeeming features. We don’t need the manager’s efforts to put on a positive spin we need changes whilst the opportunity remains.