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Match Reports

Reds fall to narrow loss at Cheltenham Town

Mohamed Eisa's first half header condems Reds to 1-0 defeat at LCI Rail Stadium

12 August 2017

The Reds are still searching for their first league win of the new season as the side lost 1-0 away to Cheltenham Town on Saturday afternoon.

There were plenty of chances for both sides throughout, however Mohamed Eisa’s header eight minutes before the break gave the hosts their first win of the season.

Substitute Matt Harrold came closest for the Reds, volleying agonisingly wide from a Cedric Evina cross late in the second half.

The line-up was almost identical to the opening game against Port Vale, after Head Coach Harry Kewell made nine changes for Tuesday’s EFL Cup clash with Birmingham.

Josh Payne took Josh Yorwerth’s place in the starting eleven from last Saturday’s match.

The Reds began the game promisingly, putting some tidy moves together with Jordan Roberts heavily involved and Lewis Young getting some joy down the right flank.

The first notable chance fell to Thomas Verheydt four minutes in, who got on the end of a cross from Young, but the Dutchman’s header was gathered by Jon Flatt.

Just moments later, the Reds went even closer when Mark Randall danced through the home defence brilliantly, using Roberts as a dummy, before striking goalwards, but once again Flatt was on hand to save well.

Young was overlapping Boldewijn well throughout the first half, and had a chance of his own, twisting and turning in the box before forcing the keeper into another save.

Cheltenham were playing direct and began to grow into the game, however Crawley continued to look dangerous on the counter, as Roberts and Boldewijn both had opportunities.

However the hosts took the lead on 37 minutes, after the Reds had switched off from a throw in, and allowed Eisa to head home from Kyle Storer’s whipped cross.

Kewell’s men came out after the interval and probed for an equaliser, with the ball actually ending up in the Robins net after Verheydt bundled in Connolly’s header, but the Dutch forward fouled Flatt in the process.

Harrold was brought on with a third of the game left to play, replacing Payne and boosting the Reds’ attacking dynamic.

Fifteen minutes later the experienced frontman almost drew the visitors level, latching onto Evina’s cross six yards out after great build-up play by the recently introduced Panutche Camara, but Harrold’s volley fell just wide.

Moments prior to that Connolly again met a deep corner with his head, sending the ball towards to goal, but the Irishman’s looped effort bounced off the woodwork.

Crawley continued to rally late on and put Dennon Lewis on with five minutes left, but the home side attempted to break up the game and prevent the Reds from producing any real flowing attacks.

It was a match of fine margins and with little difference between the two sides, and had one or two chances been converted, the end result could’ve gone the other way 

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