With City recording an all too rare TV victory with a professional display in seeing off Didcot Town, Paul Tisdale’s side turns its attention back to the league on Saturday with a first Football League encounter against old Conference foes in Crawley Town.
The City treatment room continues to be rather full, although Tisdale will have been heartened by Jamaica having not selected Joel Grant for their World Cup qualifiers meaning he will be available for selection. Manny Oyeleke made a return after injury at Didcot and will hope to keep his place, while Christian Ribeiro will be hoping to return.
Having enjoyed a meteoric rise up to League One aided by substantial investment in their squad, the money appeared to run out and the Sussex side found themselves back in League Two this season after relegation. Mark Yates, previously of Kidderminster and Cheltenham, has been brought in to try to keep the Red Devils from sliding back into non-league, and after a slow start things appear to be heading in the right direction with four wins from their last five in the league including victories over Leyton Orient and Luton, although they lost to the latter last week in the FA Cup. Yates has a smallish squad, bolstered by loanees, at his disposal albeit one with bags of experience with the likes of Simon Walton, Matt Harrold, ex-City loanee Lee Barnard and Gavin Tomlin at his disposal. Top scorer, however, is Gwion Edwards with five, while Roarie Deacon with four goals has caught the eye.
City have yet to taste defeat to Crawley in eight league meetings, winning six and drawing two. The sides last met in City’s 07/08 promotion season, City won the home fixture 2-0 thanks to goals from Adam Stansfield and a Bradley Thomas Own Goal, while the return finished 2-2, City took the lead through a Rob Edwards free kick only for Crawley to go ahead with a brace from Oliver Allen (one penalty) before Dean Moxey rescued a point.