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Monday, 9 January 2012

Terrific Tubbs Leads The Way As Reds March On

It was FA Cup day again and this time we were taking on Championship side Bristol City.  I couldn’t believe that it was coming up a year since my favourite ever Reds’ moment; Sergio Torres winner against Derby!
Torr-ific!: Sergio's Goal Is Still My Favourite Ever Crawley Moment
Onto the game and City were at full strength.  Prior to the game there was discussion as to whether Nicky Maynard would play or not due to the hive of transfer activity surrounding the former Crewe Alexandra player.  The striker was in the starting line up… along with Martyn Woolford, Albert Adomah and a rare treat for us Crawley fans with former England goalkeeper David James in between the sticks.
Experienced 'keeper James started the game...
... As did the much coveted forward Nicky Maynard
The game begun and after an even first twenty minutes or so the first chance came.  However, Woolford’s ball into the box was somehow skewed wide from the highly-rated Maynard.
Crawley were beginning to look dangerous and Josh Simpson had an effort that cracked David James’ right hand post and trickled along the goal line before being hacked clear by Robins defender Louis Carey.
The Red Devils hit the same post once more.  This time, prolific marksman Matt Tubbs saw his shot cannon off the same post and drop to Tyrone Barnett who managed to slice his effort wide.
It was the second half where the home side really went for the jugular and began to lay siege on James’ goal.  Last year’s third round hero Torres had a shot deflected behind for a corner that the Argentine delivered onto Pablo Mills’ head; the Crawley captain seeing his effort gratefully end up in James’ gloves.
More chances were reigning down on City’s goal with the majority of the home support believing it was only a matter of time before their team found the net.  A high Dean Howell cross found the gangly Barnett who rose above Lewin Nyatanga only to see his looping headed effort fall onto the top of James’ goal which was living a charmed love.
With just sixteen minutes of normal time remaining, the exceptional Kyle McFadzean flicked the ball over the top of Bristol’s sleeping defence allowing Matt Tubbs to race through and slot past ex-Liverpool, Portsmouth and West Ham ‘keeper James to send the majority of the 3,779 crowd wild with many behind the goal (myself included) to find themselves further down the terrace than just minutes before!
Fans favourite Tubbs shoots past James...
... Before being mobbed my team mates Hunt (L) and Simpson (R)
Matt Finish: Tubbs Sends Reds Into The Fourth Round
Chants of “Que Sera Sera” and “Championship? Your Havin’ A Laugh!” were soon ringing around the bouncing Broadfield Stadium.
It soon got better for Crawley as visiting midfielder Stephen Pearson (Who funnily enough was in the Derby side that was beaten at the same venue at the same stage of the Cup last year) was given a second booking from Andy D’Urso for a cynical challenge on the outstanding Simpson.
City tried to snatch an equaliser that would culminate into a replay at Ashton Gate with Maynard seeing his goal-bound left footed volley from just outside the box magnificently blocked by Reds’ right back David Hunt.
Late, late into the game, a looping cross from substitute Yannick Bolasie was fumbled by Scott Shearer only for Maynard’s snatched half volley (slow motionly) creep past the post.
The home side held on for the three minutes of added time before adding another scalp to the ever-growing list of higher Football League clubs to their list and reach the fourth round of the competition for only the second time in their long history.
The magic of the cup eh?!
What can I say?  An almost faultless display from every single member of the Crawley team.  I’m not going to lie, I did fear the worst when I saw their team however we were brilliant from start to finish.  Man of the match could go to any of the team. Fantastic.
The draw will see us travel to Hull City and visit the spectacular KC Stadium – Not the dream draw but very much winnable!  We have shown we can beat Championship sides and the Tigers are hardly invincible at home.
HULL-O TIGERS!: The KC Stadium Awaits Evans' Men
I do love The FA Cup!

Photos courtesy of

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