Match Report

 

Tue 26 Mar 13

Reds kept their play-off challenge alive after Jamie Proctor celebrated his 21st birthday a day late with two great goals to sink Crewe.

The striker headed Crawley in front with 13 minutes to go before volleying a second moments later to seal our first Broadfield win since January 1 that lifted us into 12th place in League One.

Richie Barker had made two changes to the side which shared four goals with Walsall ten days ago as Mark Connolly returned to central defence while Dannie Bulman was back in midfield. Josh Simpson was on the bench after five weeks out with ankle trouble.

There was a flat atmosphere at the start but the home side soon started to stitch together some decent moves. Mat Sadler found himself in a good position in the box after four minutes but skied his shot while Crewe responded five minutes later through Ryan Colclough, whose snap-shot was held at the second attempt by Paul Jones.

Paul Hayes thought he had broken the deadlock after 16 minutes when his shot hit the underside of the bar and was cleared as Crewe appealed in vain for an offside flag. Five minutes later Reds threatened again when a corner fell to Joe Walsh but his close-range volley was cleared off the line by Harry Davis.

At times Crewe played some good stuff and the dangerous Ajay Leitch-Smith forced Paul Jones to make an excellent diving save after Chucks Aneke's flick had allowed him to ghost past Walsh.

But Steve Phillips in the Crewe goal remained busier, beating out a Proctor volley after he had latched onto a pass from Hayes before Billy Clarke's shot produced an excellent low save from Phillips after a flowing, passing move by Crawley.

Reds continued to probe in the second half and at times it was only heroic defending by the visitors and Phillips' safe handling which kept them at bay.

The keeper got down to keep out another Clarke drive then Sparrow saw his goalbound effort blocked by a defender.

Barker brought on Simpson with 20 minutes to go and the skipper seemed to galvanise the home side and the breakthrough finally came with 13 minutes to go.

Nicky Adams' cross from the left appeared to be swirling over the bar but Proctor attacked the ball at the far post and rose above his marker to head to score his first goal at the Broadfield.

The second wasn't long in coming. A minute later Simpson cleverly laid the ball back and without breaking his stride Proctor hit a great volley into the far corner.

Crewe mustered a response and Leitch-Smith was denied by some last-gasp defending but Crawley saw the game out and and a second clean sheet in successive home games.

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