Thursday, 16 September 2010



The relative minnows of Crawley Green done themselves and the Spartan South Midlands League proud putting in a great performance to run their more illustrious visitors very close to exiting from the world's greatest competition. This was arguably Crawley's biggest game of their relatively short history as a senior club and a win would of given them a home tie against Blue Sqaure South side Hampton and Richmond Borough.

The home side, currently in 11th position in Division One of the SSMFL, took the game to Boro who struggled to get a shot in on target in the first half an hour as Crawley threatened to wrap up the game with some good chances. Crawley were well up for the game and seemed to be first to the ball on all occasions in the opening period of the game. Green took the lead on 9 minutes when the impressive Jason Blackett broke the offside trap and slotted the ball under Romford keeper Adam Rafis. Rafis made at least two good saves after to keep his side in the game played in very blustery conditions (the wind favoured no side as it blew across field making it a very chilly evening) at Sharpenhoe Road. Gradually Romford worked their way into the game and had two good chances to make it level. A long range shot was comfortably tipped over the home bar by keeper Scott Bates who then made a tremendous save getting down low to a shot from the edge of the box.

Just before the break Crawley very unluckily hit the crossbar from close range after the ball bounced around in the area.


Romford took advantage of attacking down the slope in the second half and immediately put pressure on the home side looking for an equaliser but it was Crawley who should of made it 2-0 when Rafis's left hand post was hit from close range. Was the home side's luck not in??

All credit to Romford for sticking to the task and they found their equaliser on 75 minutes when a long throw was headed on with Paul Clayton on hand to make a great finish at the back post to the delight of the travelling Boro fans who had made the long midweek trip to Central Bedfordshire.

Romford made it 1-2 a short while later on 80 minutes when a cross from the right hand side was scrambled home by Adayomi Seymour inside the six yard box.

In classic cup tie tradition Boro held on to their lead towards the end of the game playing keep ball in Crawley's opposing corners.

FULL TIME - 1-2.
ATT - 127

Crawley Green can take an immense amount of pride and large amounts of credit from the game (and that of Saturday's 1-1 draw in the original game) as they closely matched Romford and belied their lower status in the football pyramid. But for a post, crossbar and a bit of luck they could of been facing Hampton and Richmond Borough in the 2nd Qualifying Round.

So the Spartan South Midland's League flag has been lowered in this season's FA Cup competition - who would of thought Division One Crawley Green would of been the last team left when they were drawn away against Royston Town (considered one of the favourites for the Premier Division) in the Preliminary Round on the 14th August?


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