Crawley Town come to Nailsworth sitting mid-table in League 2 with only 2 wins in their last 8 league outings. However, they have recent form – 6 matches unbeaten. They had a good home draw against Newport last time out and, before that, an away win at Leyton Orient with Max Watters scoring the winning goal. In 21-year old Watters, Crawley believe they have the league’s best striker who they value at £1m plus. Watters has been scoring at a goal a game since his arrival from Doncaster in October, including 13 in 14 league appearances. His first professional hat-trick came against Barrow at home on 12th December. He is League 2’s joint 2nd highest scorer (Paul Mullin of Cambridge Utd has a few more and Orient’s Danny Johnson matches Watters). Not many sides in League 2 can better Crawley’s goals scored this season (only Exeter and Oldham have netted more times) but their position in the table shows an occasionally leaky defence – Crawley concede almost as many as they score.
Crawley have won 7, lost 6 and drawn 6 so far this season. 5 of their wins have been at home – just the 2 away wins at Oldham and Orient.
A curious bit of Crawley news this month has been their signing of ex-TOWIE star Mark Wright. 33 year old Wright played 9 games for Crawley in the 2006/07 season and scored once but has always wanted to play for a club at EFL level, apparently. His brother Josh plays for Leyton Orient, who Crawley face in December.
Like FGR, Crawley are relative new-comers to the EFL. They achieved promotion to League 2 for the first time in 2011. They achieved promotion in their first season in League 2 and spent 3 seasons in League 1 before dropping back to League 2 in 2015.
Crawley have been ringing the managerial changes in recent years. Steve Evans (now the Gillingham manager) was in charge for 5 years until 2012. Since then, Crawley have had 10 managers in 8 years (including Dean Saunders and Harry Kewell, the latter now in charge at Oldham). Current boss, John Yems, has been their manager for a year.
Rovers’ record against Crawley in the last 3 years has been good – 4 wins and 2 draws in their six encounters. Crawley’s away record for the first 10 games of the season has been 2 wins, 4 draws, 4 losses. They are unbeaten in their last 6 matches which have included 2 home wins, 1 away win and 3 draws.