New boss Gaby Cioffi led an energetic Crawley side to a well-deserved 2-0 win over Morecambe in his first game as boss at the Broadfield Stadium today.
Cioffi kept the same team that he saw at league leaders Lincoln last Saturday where the Reds claimed a dramatic 1-0 victory.
Man of the Match Ashley Nathaniel-George opened the scoring in the second-half, curling home after a terrific surging run. Crawley’s lead was quickly doubled as Panutche Camara smartly rounded Barry Roche to bury into an empty net.
Morecambe came into the Broadfield clash with no points from their last four matches, with their last victory coming at home in August with a 1-0 home win over Northampton Town.
Within the opening moments some tricky link-up play between Nathaniel-George and Camara lead to an early Crawley corner. The ball was played cleverly to Filipe Morais on the edge of the area but the chance came to nothing. On 20 minutes Ollie Palmer held the ball up brilliantly heading down towards Nathaniel-George on the edge of the area who pulled over two defenders, creating space for Dannie Bulman’s curling shot which floated just inches past the post.
It was a defensively solid opening 45 minutes with multiple brave headers and strong interceptions won by a newly formed centre-half partnership of Mark Connolly, who was certainly in the wars in the first-half, and new man Bondz N’Gala, who has become a fans’ favourite .
In a bright opening to the second-half, Crawley’s attacking spark Nathaniel-George powered forward from the halfway line. Deciding to ignore his wide options, he took on Morecambe’s centre-halves before curling the ball home from the edge of the area to give Crawley a deserved lead.
One minute later the energetic Camara latched onto a loose ball before skilfully drifting round Barry Roche and guiding the ball into an empty net to give Crawley a 2-0 lead. On the hour mark it was Camara who glided forward picking out his striking partner Palmer whos angled shot was well saved by Roche.
It was the Reds who held all attacking momentum in the second-half with regular link ups between Palmer, Nathaniel-George and substitute Dominic Poleon exciting the Crawley faithful behind the Morecambe goal.
New boss Cioffi’s defensive experience from his playing days in Italy had definitely rubbed off on his new Crawley back-line with the Reds claiming their second clean sheet in as many games.
Crawley will next face Forest Green Rovers away on Saturday 22 September at The New Lawn.
Crawley Town XI: Morris; Young, N’Gala, Connolly, Maguire; Francomb (Poleon 62’), Bulman (Payne 76’), Morais, Nathaniel-George (Doherty 84’); Camara, Palmer.
Attendance: 1895 (86 away)