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13 April 2019

A second-half goal from Filipe Morais proved decisive as Reds ground out a precious win at Huish Park.

The midfielder had been at fault last Saturday when his mistake led to Forest Green’s late winner in a 2-1 defeat.

But Morais made up for it when he got on the end of Ollie Palmer’s cross to score from close range in the 72nd minute.

It had been a scrappy affair up until then, but Reds had looked the side more likely to score.

Yeovil threw men forward in the closing stages and Glenn Morris made two terrific late saves to secure a win that lifts Reds nine points clear of the bottom two Yeovil and Notts County, who lost 3-0 at Crewe and seven above Macclesfield, beaten 2-0 at Forest Green. They are now 20th ahead of Friday’s trip to Exeter City.

With so much at stake it was no surprise that both sides struggled to impose themselves in the first half, although unchanged Reds had more possession and created a couple of decent chances.

The best of them came on 15 minutes when Reece Grego-Cox, who is still looking for his first goal for Crawley, stretched to meet Lewis Young’s cross but could only direct it into the side netting.

Both teams got plenty of men behind the ball at the first hint of danger and although Reds saw a lot of the ball the hosts defended solidly. On 27 minutes Morais picked out Palmer with a cross from the right but it lacked pace and the striker’s header bounced wide.

At the other end Morris was only seriously tested in the 27th minute when he got down well to save after the ball had dropped to Courtney Duffus in the six-yard box.

Ryan Seager tested the keeper on the stroke of half-time, shortly after Yeovil skipper Gary Warren was booked, but his effort was comfortable for Morris.

Even at half-time it looked as if the game would be settled by a single goal and it appeared as if Duffus had got it a minute into the second half when he rose to meet a right-wing corner and his header flashed across the face of goal and wide.

Reds had a great chance on 52 minutes. Tom Dallison’s pass found Young on the right and he picked out Palmer with a pass to the edge of the box, but the striker was frustratingly unable to keep his shot on target.

Two minutes later it was a double-barrelled change for Reds as Ashley Nathaniel-George replaced Grego-Cox, with Morais switching to the right flank. On 64 minutes Morais won a corner from which Francomb picked out Palmer whose header from distance dropped over the bar.

Matty Willock replaced Camara midway through the second half, at which stage a goal in a scrappy, stop-start contest looked no likelier.

But that all changed on 72 minutes. Nathaniel-George found Palmer down the left and his deep cross picked out the late run of Morais into the box, the midfielder controlling the ball first-time and cushioning it inside the far post with Nathan Baxter helpless. On the balance of play a deserved lead but in the closing stages Reds had to be alert at the back.

Morris made the first of two good late saves on 85 minutes. Alex Pattison’s cross picked out Seager but Morris, despite being on the floor, somehow pushed it out and grabbed the rebound.

Then in stoppage time it was substitute Sessi D’Almeida who thought he had rescued a point but his volley from close range was brilliantly parried by Morris.

Not a classic in West Somerset by any stretch of the imagination but 141 Reds fans were able to celebrate the best three points of the season.

Crawley Town: Morris, Francomb, McNerney, Dallison, Maguire, Young, Camara (Willock 68), Bulman, Morais (Gambin 87), Grego-Cox (Nathaniel-George 54), Palmer. Subs: Mersin, N’Gala, Sesay, Gambin, Nathaniel-George, Willock.

Attendance:3232 (141 away)


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