Crawley still searching for first home win
Reds are still looking for their first home win of the season after a disappointing setback against Yeovil.
Harry Cornick’s first-half thunderbolt settled the contest and Yeovil should have been even further in front at the break after squandering some good chances.
Reds rallied after the break and skipper Sonny Bradley headed against the crossbar in their best moment but despite plenty of possession in the second half they struggled to test Yeovil keeper Artur Krysiak too often. In fact, Reds had 13 shots but only Bradley's effort on target on an increasingly frustrated afternoon for the hosts.
Crawley suffered a blow before kick off when striker Rhys Murphy, who joined on loan from Oldham on Thursday, had to pull out with tonsillitis. It meant Reds could only name four subs while Yeovil, who had 11 players on their injured list, had five replacements.
There were two changes in the Crawley line-up. Conor Henderson made his first start since January 10 and there were recalls for Luke Rooney and Lee Barnard. As well as Murphy, Matt Harrold, Joe McNerney, Gavin Tomlin and Lanre Oyebanjo were all injured while Gwion Edwards started a three-match ban.
The visitors fielded 17-year-old Ollie Bassett in midfield and he became their youngest ever Football League player and although far from full strength Yeovil settled quickly.
They had two great opportunities in the space of four minutes, both caused by uncharacteristic mistakes by Jon Ashton. The defender failed to clear a routine ball forward and Ryan Bird nipped in but dragged his shot wide with only Woodman to beat from eight yards.
Woodman came to Reds’ rescue four minutes later. This time Ashton left his headed back to the keeper short and Cornick nipped in with time and space but drove his shot straight at the Reds’ keeper.
Crawley employed a diamond in midfield but struggled to offer any direct threat to the Yeovil goal and it was no surprise when the visitors took the lead on 27 minutes. CORNICK, 25 yards from goal on the left, wasn’t closed down and beat Woodman with a superbly struck right-foot shot into the top corner.
Reds’ best moment of the half came on 35 minutes. Rooney clipped a corner to the back post that Jon Ashton headed across goal and Barnard, under pressure from a defender, headed into the side netting.
A set piece looked to be Reds’ best route to a goal and Bradley was found unmarked by Rooney’s corner four minutes before the break. His header and follow-up shot were both blocked then Rooney volleyed over from the edge of the box.
Lewis Young replaced Henderson at the break to play on the right with Smith on the left and within two minutes of the re-start Reds were desperately close to equalising when Bradley ghosted in to meet Rooney’s free kick at the far post but could only find the side netting at full stretch.
There was more tempo to Reds’ play but Artur Krysiak wasn’t being tested enough and with 59 minutes played another change was made with Bobson Bawling coming on for Deacon.
Two minutes later Bradley was denied again, this time by the crossbar, when he met Rooney’s corner with a free header which thudded against the woodwork.
Jenkins came on to make his debut with 18 minutes to go, by which time Reds were doing all the pressing without extending Krysiak.
Rooney lifted as free kick just over the target from 20 yards with ten minutes to go before Cornick sprinted 50 yards in a rare Yeovil break but fired straight at Woodman then Jenkins rose to meet Bawling’s cross but glanced his header inches wide of the far post.
Reds pressed desperately for an equaliser and Bradley won another header in the box from a corner but Ashton could only hook his close-range shot over in a crowded six-yard box before Bradley produced a superb last-ditch tackle inside the six yard box to deny Cornick after Woodman had kept out his first shot.
It wasn't to be for Crawley, who must regroup again on Tuesday when they visit Notts County.