Proctor puts Crawley ahead but it finishes 1-1 against Bristol City
Reds finished the season with a 1-1 draw against Bristol City in the sunshine at the Checkatrade.com Stadium.
Jamie Proctor put Crawley into a deserved lead midway through the first half and Reds had plenty of chances to add to their advantage.
They were punished for their profligacy when Simon Gillett levelled on 62 minutes which meant Reds finished the League One campaign in 14th place with 57 points.
John Gregory made two changes to the side held by Carlisle on Tuesday. Josh Simpson and Mike Jones returned in place of the injured Joe Walsh and Sergio Torres. Mark Connolly moved to central defence with Simpson slotting in at right back. City included ex-Red Tyrone Barnett up front.
Although neither side had anything to play for there was no lack of urgency from Reds who deservedly led at the break after dominating the first half.
Kyle McFadzean and Gwion Edwards went close in the opening ten minutes before Paul Jones made a comfortable save from City’s top scorer Sam Baldock, who had got on the end of Greg Cunningham’s cross.
It was a rare threat by the visitors whose fans seemed more concerned about the plight of local rivals Bristol Rovers’ battle for survival in the Football League.
Simon Moore in the City goal saved well after an excellent run and shot by Mike Jones then Jamie Proctor and Matt Tubbs linked up well with Tubbs’ shot deflected for a corner. When City failed to clear it Reds took a 25th minute lead.
Edwards lifted the ball back into the danger area and Andy Drury’s low drive was turned past Moore by PROCTOR for his seventh goal of the season.
Simpson’s dangerous low cross was cut by a defender with Tubbs poised for tap in then Moore held a low drive from Tubbs which was heading for the bottom corner.
Edwards and Tubbs also tested Moore before the break as Reds ended the half on top.
Moore continued to be the busier keeper after the break. Jones and Proctor linked-up well and Moore saved Proctor’s shot before Tubbs capitalised on a mistake in the 57th minute but his effort was inches wide of the far post.
Edwards saw an effort turned round the post and from the corner Kyle McFadzean headed over and the catalogue of missed chances were to prove costly as City equalised against the run of play in the 62nd minute.
Midfielder GILLETT let fly from 30 yards and his shot took a bounce in front of Jones before nestling in the bottom left-hand corner.
It was harsh on Reds and City enjoyed a brief spell of supremacy with Barnett clipping an effort just over after Gillett set him up.
But substitute Jeffrey Monakana sparked Reds into life in the closing stages and Dannie Bulman saw his effort blocked after good work by the wide man.
It finished all square and both sets of fans celebrated at the end with bedlam in the away end when Bristol Rovers’ demotion was confirmed.