Grant goal earns Notts 1-0 win
- Second-half goal condemns Reds to defeat
- Man of the match Boldewijn with best chances for Crawley
- Reds drop down to 20th in League Two table
- 50th start for Morris; Sanoh makes first League appearance
Reds went down to a 1-0 defeat to second-placed Notts County at the Checkatrade Stadium on Saturday. In a game of precious few chances, Jorge Grant got the only goal on 55 minutes as Notts, who have only lost twice in 11 League meetings with Reds, continued their impressive run.
There were two changes from Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at Stevenage. Josh Payne made his first League start since the 1-0 defeat at Cheltenham and Mark Randall returned after missing Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at Stevenage. Jordan Roberts was fit and came on after 57 minutes while Moussa Sanoh made his first league appearance as a second-half substitute. Thomas Verheydt and Dennon Lewis missed out through injury and late on, when Reds went more direct and had to use Josh Yorwerth as a target man, Verheydt’s physical presence was missed.
Flexibility was the key. The back four is settled and Meite was the lone attacker but behind him support came from all over midfield. Enzio Boldewijn raided down the right, Josh Payne was largely employed in a screening role in from of the back four and produced some delightful passing for an hour while Randall, on the left, Jimmy Smith and Dannie Bulman did most of the legwork, shuttling back when County broke and forward when Reds attacked.
Frustration, frustration …
There was little between the sides. The visitors were well organised and solid but Glenn Morris had a quiet afternoon on what was his 50th start for the club. Then again so did his opposite number Adam Collin, who was seldom tested as most of Reds’ attacks seemed to founder on the edge of the 18-yard box.
The Bold facts
Man of the match Enzio Boldewijn was Crawley’s best hope of a breakthrough. He’d already seen one effort deflected for a corner when he beat his marker again in the 29th minute and cut inside onto his right foot before drilling a shot a couple of inches past the far post. He also picked out Jimmy Smith with a cross which the skipper headed wide. In the second half Notts often doubled up on him to try and negate the Dutchman’s pace. He found some precious space in injury time after being found by Smith but his cross fizzed over everyone and out of play – an incident which summed things up in the final third for Crawley.
When it’s going for you…
It’s an unwritten rule of football. Teams on good runs tend to get the rub of the green and that was demonstrated for the only goal. Jonathan Forte did well to turn Josh Yorwerth with the aid of a nice bounce and then side-step Josh Lelan but he was aiming for the far post when he shot from 15 yards on the left-hand angle. But Forte’s effort was so awry that it ended up turning into a virtual tap-in for Jorge Grant at the far post for his fifth of the season. Even then Glenn Morris nearly saved it.
Saturday’s attendance was 2352, the highest of the season at the Checkatrade Stadium. It included 100 schoolchildren from Southwater School, the first School of the Week, and over 60 young dancers from KC Dance.
Reds: Morris; Young, Lelan, Yorwerth, Evina; Payne (Roberts 57); Boldewijn. Smith, Bulman (Sanoh 66), Smith, Randall (Camara 75); Meite. Unused subs: Mersin, Doherty, Connolly, Tajbakhsh. Booked: Yorwerth.
Notts County: Collin, Tootle, Duffy, Allesandra (Hawkridge 85), Grant, Forte (Smith 90), Brisley (Hewitt 54), Yates, Jones, Milsom, Stead. Unused subs: Dickinson, Pindroch, Hunt, Walker. Booked: Forte
Referee: John Busby