By Aidan Small
Despite the fact that League Two outfit Crawley Town left the Oval victorious on Tuesday night Langney Wanderers boss Andy Goodchild was delighted with what he saw from his side in the 3-1 defeat.
“I thought that in the second half, we were absolutely superb.” said Goodchild.
“It took us 10-15 minutes to get used to the pace of the game against a side like Crawley that move the ball with one touch football, but over the second half, I can’t fault my players with the fight and organisation that they showed. I thought that we were probably the better team in the second half and that’s not just because the score was 1-0.
“I thought that we had really adjusted to the pace of the game. Sadly though, the damage had already been done and it’s hard to come back from that.”
The Wanderer’s found themselves three goals down at half-time after the quality from League Two prevailed, but in the second half, Langney made their mark on the game with a coolly taken penalty by Nathan Crabb.
Crabb has now found the back of the net for Langney over five consecutive fixtures, leaving Goodchild unable to deny just how important Crabb is to the club.
“Nathan Crabb is vital to our side. If you look at Nathan Crabb and Paul Rogers they are two completely different types of players, but probably the two best forwards in the League; in my opinion, they are the best pairing in the League.”
“I know that Little Common have Wesley Tate and Lewis Hole, but I would have Crabb and Rogers. Paul has it all going on in his mind, whilst Nathan is just speedy and covers every blade of grass.”
This penalty wasn’t the end of Langney’s pressure either; after Crabb stormed in on the Crawley defence it appeared that he was fouled inside the box, but screams from the touchline were waved away by the referee.
When quizzed Goodchild certainly didn’t shy away, stating “I feel that referee has favoured them with his decisions tonight.
“I thought that it was a penalty, but In all honesty, I’m just happy to win the second half. I don’t want to be critical of the ref, but I I didn’t think that the first free-kick that resulted in a goal was a foul too. It was a brilliant free-kick but it shouldn’t have been given. It caught us out whilst we were still adjusting to the pace that they play football; we aren’t use to that pace at County League.”
Crawley Town boss Dermot Drummy however certainly didn’t mind the free-kick being awarded, as Conor Henderson stepped up to break the deadlock from 25 yards in just the eighth minute.
“Conor took his goals well and moved the ball superbly in the first half; he’s a really cultured player. In general I was very pleased with him tonight.” said Drummy.
The result see’s Crawley Town progress into the next round of the Sussex Senior Cup, but amidst the celebrations, Drummy still found the time to heap praise onto Langney’s performance.
“I thought that in the first half we moved the ball really well on a difficult pitch. We played some really good combination play to get into the lead, but then I thought credit to Langney in the second half because they kept their shape, played really well and put us under pressure to get their deserved goal. I thought that it was even-stevens over the second half, so credit to them.”