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5 October 2019

Reds fell to a disappointing 3-1 defeat to new League 2 leaders Forest Green at the New Lawn.

The hosts led through captain Joseph Mills whose first had his penalty was saved by Glenn Morris before the home captain reacted quickly and tapped home as the ball bounced back out to him.

The hosts further extended their lead with two goals in three minutes after the break as poor defending saw goals from Arron Collins and then a second penalty for Mills.

Crawley pulled one back on the hour mark through Mason Bloomfield but it was not enough to salvage anything from the game.

The hosts were forced into an early defensive change though when Matt Mills was replaced by Farrend Rawson after 10 minutes.

After 20 minutes of uninspiring football from both sides, Matt Stevens held up the ball for Mills to race through on goal, splitting the defence before tumbling under Morris's challenge which resulted in a penalty.

Morris who saved well, diving to his right and blocking the effort but an alert Mills was there first to nod home.

It was a half of very few chances in truth, as the Reds failed to find any rhythm or fluency.

It only took the hosts five minutes after the break to extend their lead. After a spell of Crawley possession, Rovers broke when Carl Winchester intercepted Morris’s clearance in the centre circle. The hosts switched the play out to Collins who drilled a right-foot shot past Morris from the left-hand side of the box.

Panutche Camara then clumsily pushed Ebou Adams in the box, conceding the second penalty of the game. Mills made no mistake and with less an hour played it was 3-0.

Tarryn Allarakhia came on for Camara and Reds pulled one back in the 61st minute when Reece Grego Cox’s low cross from the right picked out Bloomfield, who took a touch before firing home for his first Crawley goal.

Ashley Nathaniel-George came off the bench and nearly made an immediate impression with a shot into the side netting before Gyliano van Velzen replaced Bloomfield. And the Dutchman nearly scored with a volley from David Sesay’s cross which the home keeper tipped over.

But Forest Green held on comfortably enough to a deserved victory that leaves Reds without a win in four in the League, 13th in the table and in need of a lift at home to Colchester next Saturday.

Crawley: Morris; Doherty, Tunnicliffe, Dallison, Sesay; Bulman (Nathaniel-George), Ferguson, Camara (Allarakhia); Lubala, Grego-Cox, Bloomfield (Van Velzen). Unused subs: Luyambula, Young, Galach, Sendles-White.

Attendance: 2106 (136 Crawley)

Picture: Panutche Camara tries his luck with a header in the first half

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