We won't stand still - Barker

PA Sport
Richie Barker was pleased to start his tenure as Crawley boss with a win
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Richie Barker was pleased to start his tenure as Crawley boss with a win

Crawley boss Richie Barker stressed the importance for his npower League One newcomers to keep improving after they made a flying start to the season with a 3-0 home win over Scunthorpe.

Experienced striker Gary Alexander put Crawley on their way in their first-ever match in the third tier of English football with two goals, before substitute Jonathan Forte, on loan from Southampton, sealed a comfortable victory 10 minutes from time. Scunthorpe finished with 10 men after midfielder Mark Duffy was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Barker, who only took over the reins at the start of the month following the shock departure of Sean O'Driscoll to Nottingham Forest, was relieved to get his first league game as Crawley manager out of the way with a win.

He said: "Certainly, the performance was not perfect and we need to keep improving, but to get this game out of the way in such a fashion is very pleasing.

"The players looked nervous at times, but the performance was excellent in terms of chances created. In League One you won't dominate games all the way through and this was a match where it could have been 6-3.

"We need to keep improving and it will get better. There were a few nerves at times, but we went into the match unchanged and it was not easy for them playing in such searing heat.''

Scunthorpe boss Alan Knill was unhappy with the performance of referee Brendan Malone and felt that Crawley's second and third goals should not have stood.

Knill said: "It was never a 3-0 game. Crawley's second goal was never a penalty and everyone stopped in the build-up for the third when a blatant foul was made, but the referee didn't see it.

"The referee's performance was not too good at crucial moments and was a shocker. The second goal killed the game, but it was not a penalty. If you don't have the rub of the green it becomes difficult.

"At crucial times decisions went against us. We had created good chances, but you have to take them and our finishing let us down. It was disappointing that we had opportunities and, in that regard, the scoreline did not really reflect what happened in the game.''

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