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Match Reports

York v Crawley Town

25 March 2016

Match Reports

York v Crawley Town

25 March 2016

York v Crawley Town

Matt Harrold scored his ninth goal of the season and Liam McAlinden the first of his loan spell as Reds drew 2-2 in an enteraining encounter at Bootham Crescent.

The visitors twice led after Harrold (5 minutes) and McAlinden (48) struck but Crawley were pegged back by Luke Summerfield's penalty (29 minutes) and substitute Michael Coulson (69).

144 Reds fans made the trip as their side extended their unbeaten run to five games, their best sequence of the season.

Manager Mark Yates had to make two changes to the side that drew with Hartlepool last Saturday. Lanre Oyebanjo was denied a game against his former club because of a thigh injury and with goalkeeper Paul Jones back at Portsmouth following his loan spell Callum Preston returned in goall for the first time since the end of January. Lee Barnard (calf) and Roarie Deacon (groin) were both absent while Josh Yorwerth was on Wales under-21 duty.

New signing Jack Rose was on the bench and there was a welcome return to the squad for Joe McNerney, whose last appearance had been in October, after his recovery from knee surgery.

In Spring sunshine Reds made the perfect start, scoring in front of the travelling fans after five minutes. Walton's free kick from the right picked out Harrold on the corner of the six-yard box and as York keeper Scott Flinders hesitated the striker hooked the ball over him and inside the far post.

York looked like a relegation-haunted side in those early stages but Reds, after a bright first 20 minutes or so, found themselves pushed back.

Preston missed a free kick from Luke Hendrie in the 27th minute and the ball richoceted off Sonny Bradley for a corner. Preston made a good save from Dave Winfield's powerful header a minute later but when York did equalise in the 29th minute it was after an uncharacteristic mistake by the normally unflappable Ashton.

The defender tripped Lewis Alessandra in the box and referee Gibbs pointed to the spot. There were no complaints from Reds as Summerfield equalised by drilling his spot kick down the middle.

It was game on but Reds regrouped and nearly went back in front on 37 minutes. Walton's corner was met by Bradley whose header goalwards was flicked on by Harrold, only for Femi Ilesanmi to hook the ball off the line.

Reds had a narrow escape of their own in stoppage time. Alessandra broke into the box and teed up Vadaine Oliver, but the striker dragged his shot wide from 12 yards.

York had ended the first half on top but Reds were back in front three minutes after the break. Bond's long throw was flicked on by Sonny Bradley and McAlinden had time to turn and fire past Flinders from six yards.

Preston preserved the lead two minutes later when he kept out Summerfield's close-range volley with an acrobatic save. York won three successive corners, the second of which Harrold headed off the line.

York continued to look suspect at the back and after another scramble in their box both Harrold and Bradley saw efforts blocked before Edwards met Lyle Della-Verde's deep cross with a powerful header but it was never testing Flinders.

The hosts made a double change on the hour with Michael Coulson and Kenny McEvoy and the changes seemed to galvanise the home side. Preston made another instinctive save, this time with his legs, when Coulson deflected Alessandra's shot but the substitute made amends on 69 minutes with York's second equaliser.

Coulson was allowed to cut inside from the left and curl a right-foot shot into the top corner with Preston helpless.

Yates made his first change when Lewis Young came on for Della-Verde, who'd had a quiet afternoon, with 20 minutes to go but it was the home side who looked the likelier winners as the game entered its final quarter.

Reds held firm though and had strong claims for a penalty of their own turned down in the 81st minute when Young was sent tumbling as he tried to follow up after his initial shot had been blocked.

Shamir Fenelon and Gavin Tomlin came on in the closing stages as Reds comfortably saw the game out to pick up a fully deserved point.

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