Clarke on spot as Reds hold Swindon
Crawley and Swindon both scored penalties to share the spoils at the Broadfield stadium in front of the Sky cameras as Saturday's League One clash ended in a 1-1 draw.
Billy Clarke lashed the Reds ahead after Nicky Adams was chopped down on 24 minutes before Swindon substitute Adam Rooney equalised for the Robins from the spot after 59 minutes.
Crawley lined up against the third-placed visitors with three full debutants in the side. Matt Sparrow, Mustapha Dumbuya and Jamie Proctor all started for the Reds, whilst fellow new signings Connor Essam and Johnny Maddison were on the bench.
The visitors started the brighter of the two sides, James Collins turned in the box but his shot was straight at Paul Jones in the Crawley goal. His fellow strike partner Andy Williams also had a good chance from a header, however he could only direct it at Jones.
The Reds came back into the game and broke the deadlock midway through the first period. Nicky Adams advanced down the left into the box before being chopped down by Alan McCormack. stepped up and lashed the ball straight past Wes Foderingham to give the hosts a 1-0 lead with his 11th goal of the season.Clarke
The Reds were in the ascendancy at this stage and nearly added a second when new captain Josh Simpson cut in from the left hand side but Foderingham was there to deny him with his shot destined for the net.
With just a minute to go before half-time, Proctor was sent through one-on-one after a good ball from Sparrow but once again Foderingham was on hand to keep the score 1-0 going into the interval, plunging to his left to make a one-handed save.
The start of the second period saw an early chance for both sides. Simpson’s shot from 20 yards didn’t carry enough power and up the other end Jones denied Collins a deflected goal with a fine save.
Swindon introduced Adam Rooney into the fray and his impact was instant. Referee Andrew Madley awarded his second penalty of the game and 12th of the season after Joe Walsh had pushed Rooney over in the box. Rooney picked himself up and scored the spot-kick to level the scores in the 59th minute.
Buoyed by the equaliser, the visitors were denied the lead by a fantastic low save from Jones after Rooney had connected well with McCormack’s cross. Reds were pinned back into their own half for a spell but they defended doggedly to protect their point and man-of-the match Dumbuya nearly set up a last minute winner for Richie Barker’s side but his cross was headed behind by Aiden Flint as Lateef Elford-Alliyu waited to pounce.
Report by Ben Blackmore