Not since the 8th September had the Reds picked up a win away from home, but at last the times are changing as Filipe Morais’ goal sealed a 1-0 victory at Swindon Town this afternoon.
The Portuguese’s goal, coupled with a 90th minute penalty save from Glenn Morris, saw the Reds head back along the M4 with three points in hand.
Gabriele Cioffi made three changes to the side that lost at home to Port Vale last week, with Joe McNerney replacing Mark Connolly who was unavailable due to the birth of his child this morning, Luke Gambin came in for Dom Poleon, and David Sesay replaced Joe Maguire.
The game was played in wet and windy conditions at the County Ground and the Reds were under the cosh early on with Jak McCourt striking the outside of the post from the edge of the box with a powerful free kick. For all their possession, there was really little in the way of chances for the hosts and Cioffi’s side looked comfortable at the back and when they did have the ball.
The majority of balls into the box for the Reds came from Lewis Young and he almost caught goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux off guard when the wind took his ball just over the bar and onto the roof of the net.
Swindon had an effort just before the break when McCourt’s free kick was saved by Morris, but Luke Woolfenden couldn’t scoop the ball in and instead took it over the bar from less than six yards out, albeit on the tight angle.
Before referee Lee Swabey could blow for half time, the Reds found themselves ahead – and they deserved it too after a strong five minute period at the end of the first 45. Deep into stoppage time, a neat corner routine between George Francomb and Luke Gambin saw the Maltese international play a ball into the box, and after a bit of penalty area pinball, Morais stabbed home from a yard out.
The second half gave no surprises to the Reds, as the hosts threw the proverbial kitchen sink at Crawley. This did though reap rewards for the Reds, as Swindon’s keenness to get forward opened up spaces at the back and the odd loose pass fell in our favour. With the home crowd on their back and Cioffi’s men pressing with vigor, Morais was unlucky not to double the lead shortly after the break when his shot was deflected wide.
The home side’s best chance came through Kaiyne Woolery, who’s powerful drive took a knick off Joe McNerney and went wide of the post. The pressure was coming, but there were very few chances to show for it.
That was until the 90th minute, when all of the hard work done by the Reds was so almost undone. David Sesay brought down Candice Carroll and Keshi Anderson stepped up from the penalty spot.
Cue the heroics of Morris, affectionately dubbed the Cat, who guessed correctly to deny Anderson and seal the win for the Reds.
Attendance: 6026 (145 away)