Last Saturday the Crawley Town Supporters Alliance team travelled to AFC Wimbledon for the First Round of the IFA National Supporters Cup. Having beaten Cambridge United to get there, the side were confident that they could progress further in the competition. With a few important players missing from the squad, manager Joe Comper adapted to what he did have at his disposal and fielded an unorthodox 3-6-1 formation! JG take note!
The new formation clearly suited the side, as they took charge of proceedings from the off. After 15 minutes, they got reward for their efforts as Callum Vaughan Murray broke the deadlock. A Corner from Mitch Moylan made its way all the way across the 18 yard box where Callum calmly controlled the ball with his back to goal, and struck it on the turn into the bottom corner. The goal seemed to improve AFC Wimbledon and they began to press forward, but it was the CTSA that scored a second. A throw in deep into the AFC half meant that the Comper brothers made their way forward. Ashley flung the ball into the box where Joe met it with his head and glanced it into the far corner. At 2-0, Crawley expected an onslaught from their opposition, but it was them again that found the net, and again it was centre back Joe Comper who scored it. Another Mitch Moylan corner found Comper at the back post who, with the assistance of his hand, lashed the ball in from close range sending the teams into half time with the score line at 3-0. Comper, the Maradona of Crawley!
The second half got underway with a warning from the CTSA Manager that they were about to face an onslaught- everyone needed to stay calm. 5 minutes into the second half and Wimbledon were awarded a dubious penalty after a poorly timed tackle from Joe Comper. Krunaal Patel took his protest too far and was given his marching orders by the referee. Down to ten men, facing a penalty and with 40 minutes still to play, things were not looking good. They needed someone to step up and be counted and they found their man as Keeper Dan Palmer saved the penalty. Crawley held out until the final few minutes, with a string of fine saves from Man of the Match Palmer. Wimbledon did find the net, but it was too little too late as Crawley had done enough to progress to the second round, where they will face Liverpool based Runcorn on the 9th February.
There is no truth in the rumour that the Wimbledon fans all got up and left ten minutes before the end!
Final Score: AFC Wimbledon 1 CTSA FC 3
(Words and Pictures from Joe Comper, CTSA Community)