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League One

Drama testing Barker's health

11 August 2013

Crawley boss Richie Barker insists he will need to go to the doctors sooner rather than later after his blood pressure was forced sky high by a six-goal thriller with Tranmere.

Ryan Lowe's last-gasp equaliser gave Rovers a share of the spoils after a brace from Joe Walsh and one for Billy Clarke had given Crawley the advantage

Joe Thompson's double for the hosts had given them a half-time lead but Lowe popped up in injury time to ensure Rovers gained a deserved point in the 3-3 draw.

"My blood pressure throughout the last week has been through the roof and I just said to the players 'if we continue like this it's going to be the longest season in history'," said Barker.

"I pick the team that is going to win the game but I very rarely pick a team that is going to win a game 1-0.

"We want to try and sign technically gifted players who are going to make the game entertaining. Yes, it's a results orientated business, but part of it is that we want people to enjoy coming and watching us play.

"It was an attacking line-up away from home, but my view of it is that if we score more goals than them we'll win the game.

"It was a fantastic advert for League One and extremely entertaining I'm sure, but it doesn't do my health any good and I'm pretty sure it doesn't do the fans' any good either."

The opener came when Andy Drury's free-kick found Walsh unmarked in the 10th minute before Tranmere equalised six minutes later after Crawley failed to clear a long ball and Thompson levelled.

Thompson's second came just before the break when Crawley keeper Paul Jones mishit a clearance straight to him but Crawley equalised again when full-back James Hurst beat his man at the by-line and crossed low for Clarke to finish.

Walsh got his second nine minutes from time when Tranmere once again failed to deal with a set piece and he managed to finish through a crowd of bodies.

But Lowe was on hand to equalise with his second goal of the season, finishing with a deft touch at the back post when Robinson's corner was flicked on to him.

Tranmere manager Ronnie Moore said: "At this moment I think we have better players than we had last year, but we haven't got a better team.

"We played well first half, but second half the tempo wasn't there and our back four was too deep. We've shown a bit of guts to come back and grind out a result but I think we've thrown points away there.

"The players have to grow up, they have to be men and take criticism from each other, not just from me. I've never seen a scuffle or anything since I've been here. We used to have fights all the time, because you want to win.

"I'm not saying go in and butt or kick somebody, but if someone has a pop at you take it on the chin. And that's what they've got to do in there, they've got to grow up, man up and show spirit and desire."

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