Match Report

 

Fri 04 Mar 16

Matt Harrold scored his seventh goal of the season but Reds had to settle for a point against Morecambe in Saturday's Sky Bet League 2 encounter at the Checkatrade Stadium.


Harrold pounced to fire the home side in front in the 53rd minute and Crawley were good value for their lead after starting the second half on the front foot.


But the visitors threw on two forwards to try and rescue a point and they were rewarded in the 83rd minute when ex-Reds’ loanee Shaun Miller levelled.


The point made it four from two games for Reds, who move up to 16th place in the table as a result.


Boss Mark Yates named the same side that had beaten Newport on Tuesday with Simon Walton returning in place of Gavin Tomlin on the bench after serving his suspension.


The Shrimps included former Crawley loan striker Shaun Miller.


Reds began brightly and Matt Harrold forced an early save from Barry Roche with a diving header in the seventh minute from Lyle Della-Verde’s corner.


At the other end Jon Walton headed Alex Kenyon’s header, from Jamie Devitt’s corner, off the line but after a decent opening the first period became increasingly scrappy.


Morecambe played with three central defenders and flooded midfield, leaving Reds to try and create openings through Della-Verde and Gwion Edwards down the flanks.


And there were some moments of promise. Della-Verde brought a good save out of Roche in the 31st minute and then the Morecambe keeper got his body behind a 30-yarder, struck with decent power, by Lanre Oyebanjo.


But with free kicks and stoppages galore there was little flow to proceedings. No shortage of perspiration from both sides, but inspiration, particularly in the final third, was in short supply although 

Morecambe had a great chance in stoppage time when Miller was free to line up a shot from 20 yards which Jones kept out with a strong right hand.


But it was Crawley who broke the deadlock eight minutes into the second half. Andy Bond did well to win back possession on the right and find Della-Verde. He got into the box and although his left-foot shot was blocked it fell to Harrold, who drove a low shot past Roche into the bottom left-hand corner.


Reds now had the momentum and they began to mount some concerted pressure in search of a second goal.


There were half chances for Della-Verde and Edwards, who drew another decent save out of Roche while at the back Reds looked solid, with good protection being offered in front of the defence by Frankie Sutherland and Andy Bond, who were relishing the midfield scrap.


But with eight minutes to go the visitors unexpectedly drew level. Morecambe had won a series of corners and free kicks and when Chris Doyle won a header in the box from a corner on the right the ball fell for Miller to turn and fire past Paul Jones with his left foot from ten yards.


It was a body blow to Reds, who looked to be in control, and despite some late pressure Crawley were unable to find a second goal.

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