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REPORT: REDS BATTLE BACK TO DRAW 2-2 AT SCUNTHORPE UNITED

17 August 2019

Bez Lubala and Nathan Ferguson continued their scoring form as Crawley picked up a useful point at the Sands Venue Stadium.

Both were on target in an entertaining 2-2 draw and it could have been an even better day for Lubala, who had a second-half penalty brilliantly saved by Rory Watson.

Watson made some crucial saves late on, denying Lubala and Grego-Cox as Reds looked for a late winner.

There were two changes from the side that defeated Salford City a week ago with Josh Dacres-Cogley making his debut at left-back and Ashley Nadesan coming in for the injured Mason Bloomfield up front after his goal in the midweek cup win over Walsall.

Reds’ attacking statistics made for good reading ahead of kick off with the most shots (50) and corners taken (21) after two games and they were soon on the front foot.

It took Crawley ten minutes to find some rhythm as Nadesan and Reece Grego-Cox combined well with a give and go before Ferguson neatly slipped in Lubala who shot over.

Five minutes later Dannie Bulman hit a clever long ball over the top to Nadesan who controlled comfortably before gliding past Butler, who was booked for his challenge.

A minute later Lubala put Reds in front with a goal made in Birmingham. Dacres-Cogley teed him up at a free kick of the edge of the box which Lubala drilled low and hard past Watson for his third goal of the season.

The hosts came close to an equaliser ten minutes later when Adam Hammill delivered a dangerous, whipped left-wing cross which met the head of Kyle Wootton whose effort bounced over from close range.

But after a short spell of Scunthorpe pressure the home side who found an equaliser on 32 minutes. Defender Rory McArdle headed home from a corner-kick leaping high to meet the cross of Hammill and guiding his effort into the top corner.

Gabriele Cioffi made two substitutions as Panutche Camara and David Sesay made way for Ollie Palmer and Josh Doherty at the break.

Reds threatened again on 50 minutes. Ferguson and Lubala combined out wide and Doherty’s whipped cross was met by Nadesan, whose header was parried by Watson.

But two minutes later the hosts led through a spectacular half-volley from the edge of the box by Matthew Lund.

It was a little harsh on Reds given the balance of play but they came back strongly in the closing third of the game. On 70 minutes Ferguson was brought down and Filipe Morais’ free kick flew inches wide of the target.

But moments later it was 2-2 and another assist for Dacres-Cogley whose second attempt at a cross was met at the near post by Ferguson, who got in front of his marker to make it 2-2 with a firm header at the near post.

Reds now looked the likely winners and when Lubala was brought down in the area a penalty was awarded by referee Chris Pollard. Lubala fired low and hard towards the left corner but his effort was superbly kept out at full stretch by Watson.

The Iron keeper then made two superb saves to keep Reds at bay, keeping out efforts from Reece Grego-Cox and Lubala, whose shot was tipped onto the post.

Reds continued to push but had to settle for a point. Next up it’s Crewe at The People’s Pension Stadium on Tuesday night.

Reds: Morris; Sesay (Doherty 45’), Dallison, Tunnicliffe, Dacres-Cogley; Bulman, Camara (Palmer 45’), Ferguson; Lubala, Grego-Cox, Nadesan (Morais 60’).

Attendance: 3186

Main picture: Bez Lubala is congratulated after scoring his third goal of the season. Photo by James Boardman


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