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Report: Crawley Town 1 Swindon Town 1

2 April 2018

Club News

Report: Crawley Town 1 Swindon Town 1

2 April 2018

Reds stopped the rot after three successive defeats but had to settle for a point from an entertaining tussle with play-off chasing Swindon Town.

The biggest crowd at the Checkatrade since May 2015 saw Jimmy Smith volley Crawley in front with his ninth goal of the season midway through the first half.

Mark Randall hit the post and Swindon keeper Stuart Moore made three excellent saves, the value of which became evident when substitute Marc Richards headed the leveller with seven minutes to go.

But it was an entertaining game for the 5008 crowd and Reds will feel, in terms of chances created, that they ought to have won.

Harry Kewell’s men have made a habit of starting slowly in recent weeks and they were nearly punished in the second minute when Matt Taylor’s angled effort, after Reds failed to clear Ollie Banks’ cross, was cleared off the line by Josh Yorwerth.

Swindon suffered a blow in the seventh minute when striker Luke Norris had to be stretchered off with a bad-looking shoulder injury.

The incident seemed to unsettle the visitors and Reds gradually began to get on top.

And they took the lead in the 25th minute with a superb goal by skipper Smith. He collected possession on the right just inside the box from Lewis Young's throw and struck a superb volley past the helpless Stuart Moore and inside the far post for his ninth goal of the season.

The goal settled Crawley down and they went close to extending their advantage before the break.

Moore made a smart low save to keep out Karlan Ahearne-Grant’s shot, after Mark Connolly had cushioned a header into his path and after curling a free kick wide Ahearne-Grant went close again three minutes before the break when he created space for a shot which was curling inside the far post before Moore pushed it wide at full stretch.

Swindon began the second half strongly too and Glenn Morris had to make his first two saves from Kaiyne Woolery’s shot and Taylor’s header but Reds nearly doubled their lead in the 51st minute.

Defender Rouin Menayese was dispossessed by Panutche Camara who found Randall and his side-footer from the edge of the box beat Moore but came back off the right-hand post.

Taylor rescued Swindon again in the 65th minute, this time after Ben Purkiss gave the ball away in the six-yard box to Ahearne-Grant whose low shot was somehow kept out by the goalkeeper’s outstretched foot.

Reds had a let-off themselves seven minutes later when Swindon broke from a Crawley corner. The ball dropped nicely in the box for Banks but his volley was superbly kept out by Morris.

It had turned into a terrific end-to-end encounter despite a sticky pitch with referee Whitestone officiating sensibly in the conditions to help the game flow.

And with five minutes to go the visitors levelled when Richards guided a delicate header from six yards past Morris after Reds had failed to clear a ball from Kyle Knoyle.

The hosts might have felt a little hard done by but there was always the chance that their failure to take those chances earlier in the second half might come back to haunt them.

Reds: Morris; Young, Connolly, Yorwerth, Tajbakhsh; Bulman (Payne 61); Smith, Randall; Boldewijn, Camara, Ahearne-Grant. Unused subs:

Attendance: 5008 (1377 Swindon)

Pictured: Jimmy Smith is mobbed after scoring his ninth goal of the season

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