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Mathew Sadler reflects on Crawley Town's Sky Bet League 1 promotion chances

19 March 2014

By Tony Leighton

One local journalist tagged it "the greatest result in Crawley Town's history" after a 2-1 win against top of the table Wolverhampton Wanderers boosted the Red Devils' outside chances of promotion from Sky Bet League 1.

The claim may be hyperbolic, given that the Sussex outfit is 118 years old and once held Manchester United to a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford, but if the hard-fought victory over one of The Football League's most historic club's proves the springboard to the Championship then many might agree.

It was certainly a deserved win. Goals from Billy Clarke and Matt Tubbs overturned James Henry's opener for Wolves to put Crawley 12 points below the Play-Off places but with three games in hand on sixth in the table Peterborough United.

For Wolves, it was a first defeat in 11 outings with the previous 10 matches containing nine successive wins and only two goals conceded. Therefore, it was certainly a massive win for 'little Crawley' in what is only their third season as a Football League club.

Experienced left-back Mathew Sadler, who is in his second campaign at Crawley, told "I don't know if it was the club's greatest result, because Crawley have a rich history in the FA Cup as well as winning a lot of promotions.

"Maybe it was the best league result, although it actually felt a bit like an FA Cup tie with the big crowd, a fantastic atmosphere and the tension all the way through the game after we'd got our second goal shortly before half-time.

"We pressed hard in the first half and deserved to be in front, but in the second half we had to grind it out. Against a team like Wolves, with so many top players and a budget to match, we showed just how far we could go this season."

Whether "how far we could go" could be as far as promotion to the Championship for what would be the first time in the club's history remains to be seen. And with just 13 games of the season remaining, it is a huge task.

Former Birmingham City, Watford and Walsall defender Sadler, the only ever-present outfielder in the Crawley line-up, said: "It is a big ask, but after a great display and a win like this one you look at the table and think, 'who knows?'

"Sometimes when you see that finishing line it gives everyone an extra step and so we'll keep going, keep ticking over and keep aiming to secure the wins that could get us to where we would love to be come the end of the season.

"Crawley is a small club but with big ambitions. The sky's the limit if we can go on producing results like this one and building the fan base from the group of passionate supporters we've already got. Good times are hopefully ahead."

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