A look ahead to Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two trip to the Energy Check County Ground, as the Reds take on Swindon Town.
Gabriele Cioffi’s side know they must start picking up points on the road after a barren run of just one point from the last ten league away matches. Swindon Town have won two of their last five matches in the league, but haven’t won at home since December 8th. They sit 11th in the table, six points from the play-off spots, while the Reds are in 17th position – seven points worse off. Crawley are unbeaten on their last three trips to Swindon, winning two.
The Reds have lost their last three games in the league, but before that had picked up two consecutive home wins. Performances have improved on the road recently and they will be looking to build confidence from good showings at Stevenage and Mansfield. Swindon have been inconsistent of late, tending to be better on the road than on home turf. It was last year when they last won in Wiltshire – a 2-1 win over Newport County in December. They can be boosted by a thrilling win over promotion chasing Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park last week though.
Crawley and the Robins have played out some thrilling contests over the years, but none more so than the reverse fixture earlier this season. The clash in August saw Swindon take a 2-0 lead before having two men sent off in the second half. Ollie Palmer halved the deficit before Josh Payne saw red. The game was poised for an incredible finish as Palmer slotted home a penalty in the 100th minute of the game to seal a memorable draw.
Last season, the Reds won 3-0 at Swindon – their first points of the season – thanks to an Olly Lancashire own goal, a strike from Jimmy Smith, and Jordan Roberts’ finish.
Who can forget our FA Cup clash with the Robins in our memorable 2010/11 cup run? After a 1-1 draw in Crawley, the then non-league Reds went to League One Swindon and recorded a famous victory in extra time. Ben Smith was the Crawley hero, winning the match in the 118th minute – his second goal of the game in a 3-2 win.
Our record against Swindon stands at: Played 13, W3, D6, L4.
Josh Payne is serving the second match of his two game suspension, while Ricardo German is not fit enough to travel to Wiltshire. Long-term absentee Jimmy Smith is still unavailable. Otherwise, Gabriele Cioffi has no other selection issues for the game.
Swindon will be without midfielder Steven Alzate who is out due to a stress fracture. They will have new signing Taylor Curran available – one of six signings already in this window – after he joined from Southend United.
WHAT THEY SAY
Richie Wellens, Swindon Town manager: “They are where they are because they have deficiencies, but at the same time they’ve won games in this league so they have strengths. They’ve got Palmer up front who’s the big lad, Filipe Morais is a top player with a fantastic delivery. We don’t want to go too much into detail.
“They might read this so I’ll keep it at that…”
THE MATCH OFFICIALS
Devon official Lee Swabey will be the man in the middle for our trip to Swindon.
Mr Swabey will be in charge of a Reds fixture for the second time this season, having officiated our 2-1 defeat at Bristol Rovers in the Carabao Cup last August.
He has also been the whistler for five other Crawley fixtures in the past, four of which have been at The People's Pension Stadium.
Swabey has handed out 58 yellow cards and two reds so far this season.
Gregory Read and Gareth Viccars will be the assistant referees, with Rob Smith named as the fourth official.
HOW THEY BET
Swindon are favourites for this one, with Sky Bet pricing them at 6/5. Crawley are 16/5 with a draw at 12/5. You can see a full list of odds for this fixture here.
The game is available to listen to on iFollow Crawley for subscribers from 2.55pm, with live commentary from BBC Sussex and Surrey’s Gary Smith and summariser Ken Blackmore.
You must be a subscriber to listen (UK) to this service. You can subscribe here. Overseas users can of course watch the action live.
There will also be coverage across our social media channels throughout the afternoon. @crawleytown on Twitter, Crawley Town FC on Facebook and crawley_town_fc on Instagram.