Pompey v Crawley: The Insider

Mitch Hancox, left, with Gwion Edwards. Picture: Jon Rigby
Mitch Hancox, left, with Gwion Edwards. Picture: Jon Rigby
Pompey celebrated Brett Pitman's opening goal against AFC Wimbledon earlier this season

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Pompey fans may recall the previous encounter with Crawley for all the wrong reasons.

However, that parking the bus showing has not been a regular performance from Mark Yates’ side.

Crawley that day knew they weren’t good enough to beat Paul Cook’s team so went for a goalless draw, even if it was at home.

Yet the following match they won 3-0 at Cambridge United, despite finishing the match with 10-men.

Overall the season has been better than last year and they should have enough to finish in mid-table.

They are one of those teams you can never really confidently predict their progress, they seem to pick up results when you least expect it.

Then they can go and lose and appear really average!

The campaign began with two wins and eight defeats in their opening 13 fixtures in all competitions – but they have picked up since then.

Yates’ side are presently 13th and perhaps if they could string some results together could reach the play-offs. However, it is a case of win one, lose one at present.

It is a limited squad with no real top players so to finish mid-table would mean they have done well. For that the manager definitely deserves credit.

It was a disaster under John Gregory and Dean Saunders last season and the year before was awful as well.

Things have been tough for Crawley since the investor pulled the plug on the money. He put in loads getting up from non-league and then League Two, but since then has put it up for sale.

So far this season there have been some good results and some bad results, while they cannot get anything away from home at present.

The last time they won on their travels was at Hartlepool in October, so it will be interesting to see how they get on at Fratton Park.

Unfortunately for Crawley they no longer have Rhys Murphy, whose loan spell from Oldham ended just before Christmas.

He scored nine goals in 16 matches – and then netted for Oldham on his comeback in their Boxing Day defeat to Doncaster.

Gwion Edwards is another who has done well this season, starting it with five goals in his opening eight matches from midfield and is a good player with pacey and a decent shot on him.

Mitch Hancox is a good performer, who puts in a great cross from left-back but is a bit naive defensively.

As for ex-Pompey player Sonny Bradley, he started the season okay, but has taken quite a lot of stick in the last month.