Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The missing paragraphs from Crawley Town's report of the game with Bradford City

The Bradford and Crawley captains at full-time yesterday

Yesterday evening, everyone's favourite footballing gentlefolk Crawley Town journeyed up to Bradford City for a league encounter at the Coral Windows Sta... oh, whatever, it's Valley Parade isn't it.

The game was a keenly contested affair to say the least, with seven players booked (six of them Crawley players). However, it was post-match that things got really lively, with a brawl breaking out on the pitch and several proper punches thrown, as opposed to the usual handbags and posturing.

And so it is with some degree of surprise that the match report on Crawley's official website gives no mention of the trouble at the game, choosing to go full-on propaganda and paint a picture of a game that passed without incident as Crawley bagged a well-earned away victory.

While it wouldn't be that surprising for a club as consistently lacking in class as Crawley Town to gloss over the brawl (and nobody's saying Bradford players weren't just as culpable, if not more so), for them to not even mention the post-match trouble in their report is bordering on farcical. Referee Ian Williamson had to send off five players (three Bradford, two Crawley) in the dressing rooms once calm had been restored. That's not just a talking point, that's the talking point. Even Crawley can't have deliberately intended such an oversight, can they? Surely not.

Well, can now exclusively reveal that the last few paragraphs were accidentally lopped off the bottom of the report by a cack-handed work experience kid called Wilf. Crawley club secretary Barry Stalin has just emailed us over the remaining portion of the text. It is posted verbatim below. Hope this clears things up.

"With victory in the bag, all that remained was for the victorious Crawley Town heroes to commiserate their gallant opponents with the customary ritual of strong handshakes, slaps on the back and shouts of 'jolly good show, old chaps!'
Regrettably, Crawley's Claude Davis fractionally mistimed his offer of a handshake to Bradford's Luke Oliver; this minor miscalculation causing him to accidentally brutally elbow him in the face.
As Davis sought to apologise to the unfortunate Oliver, his opponent slipped horribly on a discarded piece of orange peel, causing him to place himself violently in the direct vicinity of Davis's face. Oliver's lively body language was said to be caused by a chronic allergic reaction to traces of citric acid in the orange peel.
Teammates of both men rushed to the players' aid. Bradford goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin and Crawley's Pablo Mills both stooped in an attempt to remove the offending piece of peel, when unfortunately their heads abruptly collided, which to some onlookers may have appeared as if they had been involved in some form of mild disagreement. Crawley Town is happy to set the record straight on this matter.
The referee spoke to the players in the dressing rooms afterwards, when he conceded that the unsightly hubbub was all a big misunderstanding and suggested the teams head forthwith to a nearby public house for a pint of mild and a game of bar billiards.
Once the players had reconvened at the nearby Honest Politician pub, Bradford's Andrew Davies complimented Crawley manager Steve Evans on the sportsmanship and restraint he instills in his players. Evans, in return, commended Davies on his impeccable disciplinary record this season.
After further handshakes, photographs and exchanging of pennants, Crawley bid their Yorkshire counterparts a pleasant evening and set off home for picturesque West Sussex feeling justly proud of a job well done.
Thanks again to Crawley Town and Barry Stalin for sending this text through.