League Two Lowdown: Crawley Town
Feature by Jim Bonner
Updated Sunday, 26th July 2015
A closer look at the Red Devils and Broadfield Stadium.
Chairman: Dave Pottinger
Last Season: League One - 22nd (Relegated)
Nickname: The Red Devils
Portsmouth vs Crawley: Saturday, January 2nd (3pm)
Crawley vs Portsmouth: Tuesday, August 18th (7:45pm)
Crawley Town: A brief history
Formed in 1896, Crawley didn't turn semi-professional until 1962 having spent all their years playing in local leagues before becoming mainstays of the Southern Premier League in 1984.
Twenty years later they were promoted to the Conference and became a fully professional club in 2005. However, the club faced financial difficulties, winding-up orders from HMRC and administration but managed to survive in the division until the club was taken over by Prospect Estate Holdings and Crawley began to spend big to achieve promotion to the Football League in 2011.
The investment paid off as Crawley earned another straight promotion to League One and stayed there for three seasons as the investment dried up and the club was relegated back to League Two under Dean Saunders last season.
The Manager: Mark Yates
The 45-year-old began his playing career at Birmingham but is most recognised for his spells as a player and manager for both Kidderminster Harriers and Cheltenham Town.
He began his managerial career as an assistant to Steve Cotterill at Burnley but returned to Kidderminster as a first-team manager to steer them away from relegation in the Conference and improve their standing.
That record saw him return to another former club; Cheltenham, where he guided them to two League Two play-off campaigns which were lost to Crewe and Northampton. A bad start to last season saw Yates sacked by the Robins and he was appointed as the new Crawley manager in May following Dean Saunders' departure to Chesterfield.
The Ground: Broadfield Stadium (Capacity: 6,000 - Away: 1,600)
Crawley were a non-league team for many years and Broadfield Stadium highlights that as it wouldn't look out of place in the Conference.
The main stand is the only one that is modern and looks out-of-place with the rest of the ground.
Pompey fans are situated in the KR-L Away Terrace which reminded me a lot of the terraces at Westleigh Park. The Bruce Winfield Stand opposite is virtually the same but the Redz Bar behind it welcomes away fans and isn't a bad place to drink.
To the left of the away terrace is the covered and all-seated East Stand where a number of away fans can be placed if they don't wish to stand up and are happy to pay an extra £4 for the privilege.
Overall, there's nothing ba to say about the Broadfield Stadium as long as you arrive knowing that you're in for essentially a non-league experience. Crawley fans are a decent and welcoming bunch, too.