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REPORT: CARLISLE UNITED 4 CRAWLEY TOWN 2

27 April 2019

Reds rallied after going 4-0 down in the first half against play-off chasing Carlisle at Brunton Park.

The contest was effectively over after 33 minutes when the home side led 4-0 thanks to two early goals by Nathan Thomas, Callum O’Hare and Hallam Hope.

Reds gave themselves something of a lifeline in the 44th minute when Ashley Nathaniel-George scored for the second successive game and they rallied brightly in the second half.

An own goal by Anthony Gerrard with 13 minutes to go made it 4-2 and Crawley had other chances as they dominated after the break but the damage has been done.

Gabriele Cioffi made one change to the team which drew 1-1 against Notts County on Easter Monday with Reece Grego-Cox replacing Luke Gambin.

Carlisle were at it from the first whistle and it was no surprise when they took a seventh-minute lead. Regan Slater’s pass found Thomas on the right-hand edge of the box and he darted into the box before firing into the top left-hand corner.

It was a superb finish but Thomas’s second two minutes later was even better. Three defenders couldn’t stop his slaloming run on the right of the box and powerful low finish past Morris.

The hosts were rampant, and it was no surprise when they scored again in the 21st minute. Morris parried Slater’s effort from distance but into the path of Callum O’Hare who made no mistake.

And it got worse for Crawley after 33 minutes. Slater won the ball again and slipped a pass to Hallam Hope whose low shot skidded inside the left-hand post to make it 4-0.

It was now a matter of restoring pride and damage limitation for Crawley, who responded with a goal on 44 minutes. Ollie Palmer exchanged passes with Nathaniel-George who hooked the ball beyond Adam Collin from close range.

Reds began the second half brightly and Collin had to save Joe McNerney’s header from a corner before Gambin came on for Palmer after 58 minutes. Five minutes later Nathaniel-George was put in but the angle was tight and his shot blocked for a corner which Carlisle cleared.

The visitors certainly improved markedly after the break and should have got a second goal on 68 minutes. Gambin made room down the right and Collin could only push his cross out to Filipe Morais, but he blazed over from six yards.

They did pull a second back on 76 minutes. Lewis Young made a great break down right and Carlisle skipper Anthony Gerrard, who was facing his own goal, could only turn it past keeper Collin to make it 4-2.

Suddenly Reds sensed all was not lost. Morris pushed out a curling effort by Hope but that had been a rare Carlisle threat in the second half and with six minutes left Reece Grego-Cox, played in by Camara, found himself one-v-one with Collin, but the keeper produced a superb save.

The keeper then made a more routine save to deny Grego-Cox again after good work by Joe Maguire. The game was lost but Reds had shown plenty of spirit in the second half at least.

Reds: Morris 5; Young 5, McNerney 5, Dallison 5, Maguire 5; Nathaniel-George 6, Bulman 5, Morais 5 (Wiillock 70 5), Camara 5, Grego-Cox 5; Palmer 5 (Gambin 58 5). Subs: Mersin, Doherty, N’Gala, Sesay.

Referee: Scott Oldham 6

Attendance: 4514 (76 Crawley fans)

Picture: Ashley Nathaniel-George (hidden) gets Reds' first goal at Brunton Park


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