Crawley Town F.C meeting the opposition.
Tranmere’s FA Cup journey begins this Weekend as they face Crawley Town in the first round away from home. The two sides are both struggling for form, Town failing to win their last four league games whereas Rovers have struggled to get a point from their last two.
Ahead of the Cup encounter, I spoke to Crawley fan Stephen Dimmock who gave his thoughts on the way the hosts have started their league season amongst the many more subjects that we touched on.
How long have you been a Crawley Town supporter and when did you first come across the club?
I went to my first Crawley game back in 2007 and have been a fan since, although I got a lot more into the club around 2017 as my dad and I started to make more of an effort to go, even though I was at uni at the time. Nowadays though I worry about my obsession for the team, as I’ve got a season ticket and also have started going to other club events which have been very nice.
What are your best and worst experiences of the FA Cup throughout your time supporting them?
I’d personally say the best experience for me in the FA Cup was the Leeds United win last season, as despite not being able to attend for obvious reasons, it was just such a great moment and was exactly the kind of thing I needed considering how bad things were with Covid at the time. Also, seeing Nick Tsaroulla score such a great goal was fantastic to see considering what he had been through and how hard he’s worked to get back into professional football. Luckily we’ve both become good mates recently, although I do tease him a bit for his music choices that he revealed in an interview the other week!
Random fact about the club/the area?
Legendary alternative/gothic rock band The Cure were formed in Crawley as most of the members, including Robert Smith, grew up in the area. However, Bob Geldof’s ‘The Boomtown Rats’ are sponsoring the team for this weekend, as their recording studio is nearby!
Saturday is the start of Crawley and Tranmere FA Cup journeys in 2021/22, with League Two clubs joining the competition in the first round. How highly do you value the Cup and what it can bring to clubs in the lower leagues?
For me, the FA Cup is my favourite cup competition in the world because of its history, how important it is to English culture and the way in which it can make dreams come true for footballers up and down the country. For example, imagine what Marine’s players would have felt about getting the chance to play against a Spurs team containing Gareth Bale, Lucas Moura, Dele Alli and managed by Jose Mourinho back in January! As for Crawley it could well be the thing that could salvage our season and I’d personally love to be able to get to the third round and play a Premier League club again just so that the fans can back the lads in person. We’ve got to win two matches for that to potentially happen though of course!
Who do you believe has the individual ability to win the game on the Weekend, thinking about the key players for either side?
I’d say we have a few players that can definitely do something special, for example Kwesi Appiah is on a really good goalscoring run currently and Nick Tsaroulla is capable of coming up with a great goal when we need it (such as vs Carlisle back in September). The main issue I’ve been having is that I really don’t think we have any kind of system in which we can get the best out of our players and some of the substitutions have just been utterly bizarre and lack common sense (such as bringing on a centre back when losing 2-1 or waiting until the 85th minute before bringing any strikers on, as well as taking off our most threatening player regularly). I do worry as well that our forwards might not be able to handle players like Peter Clarke at the back too, although I wouldn’t be surprised if both teams make changes for this game.
Finishing our conversation off. Your score prediction?
I reckon it will be a boring 1-1 to be honest, with Crawley being woefully out of form and Tranmere struggling to score goals. If we lose this though I really think we need to change the manager as soon as possible, as I can’t trust John Yems to turn the form around. He always blames everyone other than himself for mistakes and losses, plus I don’t really know what the tactics even are most of the time and think there are much better managers available that would get more out of this squad!
Crawley Town manager John Yems is losing the confidence of some supporters following a poor run of league form.