At 7:50 pm last night things were looking pretty good for Town, 2-1 up at half-time thanks to goals from Anthony Grant and Tyler Smith, we were sitting 12th in League One, and 45 mins away from three wins in our last four league games.
Sadly, an hour later John Sheridan’s side were 4-2 down after letting in three goals in twelve minutes, bumped down to 18th in League One, and had now conceded 30 goals in 15 league games.
It was an evening full of mixed emotions as we had the excitement of partially reliving the amazing scenes on Saturday as a Tom Broadbent header again assisted a Town goal, and Diallang Jaiyesimi’s superb cross set up Tyler Smith to pick up his 7th goal of the season.
It was only downhill from this point as a rare Paul Caddis mistake let in Daniel Powell to get a goal back before the break, then the floodgates opened as Perry Ng levelled the contest, with Tom Lowery and Owen Dale adding the third and fourth goals respectively.
The simple nature of the home sides third and fourth goals brought into focus how Town are crying out for an experienced leader at the back, we thought this would’ve been Jonathan Grounds with his many years in the game, but it hasn’t turned out to be the case so far, hopefully, this role will be addressed in January. The result also revealed how burnt out a lot of Sheridan’s squad have become with a relentless schedule.
With Anthony Grant still carrying a slight knock and Matt Smith having played every game this season they both struggled to contain the home side, with Smith sadly enduring a poor night by his high standards, but as he’s been far and away our best player this season, I think we can allow him one poor performance.
But it wasn’t just these two players who have struggled with the number of games in recent weeks as when Crewe put away their fourth goal you never sensed any comeback, with only substitute Harry Parsons showing any attacking intent in the final 20 minutes.
It was interesting to see the manager try the Tom Broadbent experiment again after its success at the weekend. As mentioned previously, he set up Town’s first goal and did make a nuisance of himself but this shouldn’t be something we see week after week, that also applies to using 4-4-2 with this squad of players.
That traditional formation can still be used to great effect but only with the right personnel, and when Paul Jewell and Richie Wellens were purchasing players in the summer they were building for a completely different style and formation.
And that was on show last night as Crewe were able to waltz through the middle of the pitch with such ease, as Town were crying out for another man in the midfield. Hopefully, Jordan Lyden’s return isn’t too far away as he’s just the man Town are currently crying out for in that position.
But it isn’t just in midfield, as Town have injury problems all over the pitch apart from between the sticks, Trust STFC Social Media man Daniel Hunt showed on Twitter last night how there is now an entire outfield eleven who are injured, an extraordinary situation for the manager to face in his first few weeks in the job.
Hopefully, some of these players will be back for this weekend’s early kick-off (1 pm) game with 16th place Gillingham at the Priestfield Stadium.