The Reds put on a top display in Essex claiming a point against Colchester United this evening.
The scoring was opened by Callum Harriott who scored with an almighty curling effort which was unstoppable for Glenn Morris in between the sticks. Jordan Tunnicliffe equalised following a set-piece shortly after, which ended up being the game’s final goal despite a flurry of chances.
Crawley started brightly and recorded the first shot of the game inside the first two minutes. Tom Nichols played a one-two with David Sesay from a throw-in which allowed David to drive towards goal, Sesay managed to get a shot off but with his weaker left foot and as a result, the shot lacked power and dribbled through to Dean Gerken.
Nicholas Tsaroulla impressed during his first competitive start for the Reds against AFC Wimbledon in the FA Cup and was rewarded with a second consecutive start. He looked to immediately cause danger to the Colchester defence as he weaved towards goal, Tsaroulla found Nichols inside the box but his shot was blocked and eventually cleared to safety.
Tsaroulla was then called into defensive duties as Colchester launched a counter-attack with rapid pace. Courtney Senior broke away following a Reds corner as he breezed past the remaining Reds defenders. Tsaroulla came across to the right flank to intercept before Senior could set himself at goal.
Despite the Reds early dominance it was the host’s that took the lead, Callum Harriot found himself with the ball at his feet 30 yards from goal. Harriot set the ball on his left foot and curled an outrageous effort into the far corner leaving Glenn Morris with no chance, giving the host’s a perhaps undeserved lead.
Tsaroulla almost forced an equaliser shortly after, a neat one-two with Tom Nichols allowed the young left-back to fire at goal and force a fantastic save from Gerken as the goalkeeper tipped round the post. Gerken then made another ludicrous save, somehow reaching Nichols curling effort and tipping over the bar.
The Reds constant pressure paid off, a Crawley corner was only half-cleared and as Tom Dallison fired at goal, Jordan Tunnicliffe stuck out a leg and diverted the ball into the roof of the net to claim a deserved equaliser.
Tsaroulla was wreaking havoc with the Colchester right back, on this occasion beating his man and sliding in Nadesan who’s shot was goalbound had Tom Eastman not slid in at the last second to block.
Crawley continued to dominate the half but could not find a way to capitalise on their possession as the sides entered the break all square at 1-1.
The Reds once again came flying out of the blocks following the interval, Ashley Nadesan almost put the Reds ahead with a speculative overhead effort but his effort travelled just wide.
The host’s began to settle into the half as Senior continued to look sharp, the young winger found Jevani Brown on the edge of the Reds penalty area as Brown forced a fingertip save from Glenn Morris. Glenn was then forced to make an even better save, Brown again the provider. A blocked shot sat perfectly for Brown to strike on the half volley as Morris somehow scrambled to his right and stuck out a strong hand to stop a certain goal, excellent goalkeeping.
Crawley almost took with an outstanding effort from Ashley Nadesan. Ashley brought the ball down with great composure on the edge of the box and layed it off to Max Watters who skilfully back-heeled into the path of Nadesan who forced an excellent save from Gerken.
The game then began to settle with neither side creating a clear cut chance for a lengthy period, the host’s came closer to taking the lead as Luke Norris almost converted a cross but scooped his effort over the bar.
Sam Matthews almost won it at the death for the Reds following nice work from Tyler Frost. Frost did well to cut inside of his man and layup Matthews on the edge of the penalty area, Matthews clipped effort was just tipped over by Gerken.
Gerken then made his best save of the lot, Matthews squaring to Tyler Frost left the goalkeeper scrambling across his goal-line as he threw himself in front of Frost’s effort to stop a certain goal, Gerken saving the day for Colchester on several occasions.
Reds XI: Morris; Sesay, Tunnicliffe, Craig, Dallison, Tsaroulla (Frost 65’); Powell, Hessenthaler; Nichols (Matthews 65’), Nadesan, Watters (Ashford 87’).