TONY McMahon was United’s hero with two goals in the win at Crawley.
Crawley Town, as Danny Wilson had warned yesterday, might not possess many household names but there are brimming with potential.
Crawley, now under the tutelage of Richie Barker, have enjoyed a remarkable rise up England’s footballing pyramid since turning professional in 1995.
After departing the Conference in 2011 and League Two in 2012, Wilson acknowledged they will “fancy their chances” of completing a hat-trick of promotions after the turn of the year.
Unfortunately, however, Crawley’s facilities off the pitch have not mirrored progress on it.
Despite the best efforts of groundstaff, it is impossible to describe the pitch as anything other than a horrendous mess.
Flynn did well but failed to find Miller with a low cross from six yards out.
Nevertheless, McMAHON handed United a deserved 30th minute lead with a sumptuous free-kick around the wall following Walsh’s foul on Miller.
Crawley improved as the interval approached but without ever testing Long.
United had defended with discipline and diligence for an hour, limiting the hosts to long distance shots.
Akpan tried his luck from range with a looping first time effort but Long gathered well. Miller was booked seconds later for a challenge on Bulman.
Crawley established a territorial advantage but were finding it almost impossible to plot a course through United’s rearguard.
McMAHON, though, capped a wonderful performance by claiming his second goal in the 70th minute to ensure United soared top of the table.
If the former Middlesbrough’s first free-kick was excellent, his second was simply superb.
Slap bang in the middle of the pitch and around 30 yards from goal, he found the top corner of Jones’ net after Walsh had committed another foul.
See The Star on Monday for full report and reaction.