Rooney sent off as Reds suffer against Stanley
Reds suffered their fourth successive defeat in Sky Bet League 2 after going down 3-0 at home to Accrington Stanley.
The game changed on 44 minutes when Luke Rooney was sent off for bringing down Josh Windass in the penalty area as the last defender. Windass scored from the penalty spot and Matty Crooks doubled Stanley's lead in first-half stoppage time.
Reds battled away in the second half to no avail and conceded again near the end when Billy Kee scored. They must now regroup ahead of Tuesday's trip to Newport County.
Mark Yates made three changes to the side that lost on Tuesday night. Matt Harrold returned from injury, with Simon Walton and Lewis Young also back in the side. Rhys Murphy made his home debut in a 3-5-2 formation.
The Reds had the first clear chance when Liam Donnelly lifted the ball into the box for Bradley, who nodded it down to Ashton who scuffed his volley and allowed Jason Mooney to collect easily.
Stanley had their first opportunity when Pietro Mingoia set Kee up in the box for a volley, but Freddie Woodman tipped it round the post.
The home side midway suffered another injury blow midway through the first-half when Kee’s late challenge brought Ashton down, and Lewis Young replaced him. Ashton’s ankle subsequently swelled up and he will have a scan on Sunday.
Crawley went down to ten men when Rooney brought Windass down from behind. Referee Davies awarded a penalty and Rooney was shown a straight red card. Windass powered the penalty into the bottom left corner and the Reds were left to play the remaining 50 minutes with ten men.
It was to get worse for the home side before the break, as Kee laid off the ball off to Matty Crooks 25 yards out and the midfielder side footed his strike past Woodman into the bottom left corner to double Stanley’s lead going into half-time.
The Reds looked to bounce back in the second-half and Simon Walton saw his half-volley fly inches wide of Mooney’s goal.
But Stanley nearly had a third in the second-half, when Windass had two chances to extend their lead, the first of which saw him run onto a through ball only for Woodman to deny him. His next saw him turn in the box and fire a weak effort straight at the goalkeeper.
John Coleman’s side got their third in the 88th minute when Sean McConville fed Kee in the box, the striker held the ball up turned and slotted it low into the goal through the legs of Sonny Bradley and Woodman.
Reds could have had a goal in the dying moments when Lee Barnard’s header from a corner was saved by Mooney and the ball fell to Donnelly, but the Northern Irishman saw his volley cleared off the line.