Match Report

 

Sun 18 Sep 16

Late goals in both halves from James Collins and Enzio Boldewijn were just what Crawley needed to record their first win in four league matches and push themselves up to 13thin League Two.


Visitors Luton came into the game in third position in the division, but the hosts produced an admirable and stirring performance to claim all three points.


Head Coach Dermot Drummy handed debuts to goalkeeper Glenn Morris and deadline day signing Kaby Djalo, both of whom put in impressive displays, whilst winger Jordan Roberts came back after injury to earn himself a place on the bench.


The first half was evenly contested with both sides having their fair share of chances, the first of which fell to Luton after Joe McNerney’s mis-hit clearance was latched onto by Isaac Vassell, however he blazed his shot over.


Four minutes later the home side could have taken the lead when a lively Billy Clifford slipped Collins through inside the box, but the striker’s poked effort was saved by Christian Walton.


Clifford was the Reds’ biggest threat and 20 minutes in he got his first sight of goal when he jinked past two defenders into some space but his shot was tame.


The away side then created a few opportunities to take the lead themselves, the best of which came following a smart move in which Josh McQuoid was picked out down the right hand side, He cut the ball back for Olly Lee whose shot ended up just wide of Morris’s right post.


Four minutes before half time it was Crawley who opened the scoring with a very well worked goal.


Danger-man Boldewijn was released into space on the right side and the Dutchman cut the ball back to a supporting Lewis Young, who produced a inviting cross that front-man Collins planted into the bottom left corner with a glancing header to send his side into the break with a one goal advantage.


Involved heavily in the first half, Boldewijn was straight back into the action after the interval, chasing down a loose ball and forcing Luton keeper Walton into an error and allowing Collins a chance a goal, but he stabbed his shot wide wide.


Despite looking dangerous when they went forward, Drummy’s men had to spend much of the second half protecting their narrow lead, as Luton pressed for an equaliser.


Luton manager Nathan Jones made offensive changes, introducing Danny Hylton and Jack Marriott and questions were asked of the Reds’ backline, but they held firm with Mark Connolly and Joe McNerney solid at the heart of defence.


As the game entered the final ten minutes Luton turned up the pressure, forcing another block from Connolly five minutes from time shortly before Morris made a save from a headed effort at his back post.


Moments later Morris was called back into action, making a fine save low to his left from a good strike by Hylton.


Just as five minutes of additional time was indicated by the fourth official, there were hearts in mouths among the home fans when the ball ended up in Crawley’s net, but they were followed by a collective sigh of relief as the referee flagged for handball.


Boldewjin had been a threat all afternoon and as Luton piled men forward, it was the attacking ace who put the game to bed.


Released by Collins on the right, Boldewjin drove into the penalty area before drawing out Walton and skilfully lifting the ball over the onrushing keeper to make it 2-0. He continued his run to join in the celebrations with the ecstatic home fans behind the goal as Reds returned to winning ways.

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