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Report: Crawley Town 1 Morecambe 1

Ahearne-Grant grabs stoppage-time levelled for Reds

10 March 2018

Karlan Ahearne-Grant’s stoppage-time equaliser kept Reds within five points of the League 2 play-offs after a dramatic finale at the Checkatrade Stadium.

The Charlton loanee produced a close-range finish from Dannie Bulman’s low cross in the third minute of injury time after Reds had gone behind moments earlier to a goal from Morecambe substitute Callum Lang.

The point was the least Reds deserved on an afternoon when they struggled to finish off some good approach work.

With Jordan Roberts and Thomas Verheydt both injured, Reds had no recognised striker in their starting XI. Panutche Camara came on in the second half for his first taste of League action in seven games and did well while Harry Kewell threw Joe McNerney up front for the last ten minutes in a bid to find the breakthrough.

But a combination of wasteful finishing and some decent Morecambe defending kept Reds at bay and as the game entered four minutes of stoppage time it looked certain to end goalless.

But then Crawley failed to clear with keeper Barry Roche’s long punt up field and Lang stole in, drawing Glenn Morris before lifting the ball coolly over the keeper to make it 1-0.

Reds, though, refused to be beaten. Bulman made a great run to the line on the right and his low hard cross found Ahearne-Grant at the far post who couldn’t miss from two yards. The hosts then had two late corners but had to settle for a point which extends their unbeaten home run to six games.

It was a frustrating afternoon in front of goal for the home side.

On another day skipper Jimmy Smith might have had a hat-trick. He squandered two good chances in the first half before lifting his shot over from 12 yards midway through the second half.

Ahearne-Grant was denied by a brilliant block from defender Sam Winnard and Roche’s handling was exemplary, notably when he saved from Ahearne-Grant in the second half after Enzio Boldewijn’s trickery had set up the chance.

Other opportunities came and went and while Morecambe had spells of decent possession they created little of note apart from Gregg Wylde’s early effort, which Morris turned round the post, until the 86th minute when Andrew Fleming’s strike from 20 yards came back off the underside of the bar.

It was a warning Reds failed to heed. Lang looked to have won it only for Ahearne-Grant to ensure justice was done during a frantic finale.

Pictured: Karlan Ahearne-Grant grabs Crawley's late leveller against Morecambe. Photo: James Boardman

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