Crawley and Carlisle played out an entertaining but goalless draw in difficult conditions, playing through strong winds on a wet afternoon at The People’s Pension Stadium.
Nadesan hit the post very early on for Crawley, after pouncing on a defensive error from Aaron Hayden, Panutche Camara had a good effort tipped over by Adam Collin, and on the stroke of halftime Lewis Alessandra fired over a glorious opportunity for the Cumbrians.
Late on Carlisle were kept out brilliantly by Crawley, with Jon Mellish and Mike Jones having close-range efforts stopped on the line.
John Yems gave starts to Nathan Ferguson and Panutche Camara, as Ferguson returned from injury with a goal as a substitute against Crewe in midweek.
Crawley made a good start, as Reece Grego-Cox saw his powerful long-range effort parried by Adam Collin, with Ashley Nadesan’s offside follow-up creeping narrowly wide. Shortly after Nadesan beat Byron Webster to Aaron Hayden’s miscued clearance, before drilling a low effort off the near post.
Crawley came close when a free-kick was cleared out to Panutche Camara outside the box, who sent a powerful first-time half-volley back towards goal, which was tipped over by Collin.
Then Carlisle should have led late in the first half when Nathan Thomas did brilliantly to dart through a congested Crawley box, and his low effort was smartly tipped away by Glenn Morris, before Lewis Alessandra skied his rebound, with the goal gaping.
Crawley nearly made the perfect start to the second half when Nadesan was in on goal, but his shot was saved by Collin with Palmer waiting in the middle. Nadesan then found Grego-Cox with a well-weighted pass, but Collin was once again equal to his shot from a narrow angle.
Carlisle came so close to scoring again, when Thomas did brilliantly on the wing again, finding Jon Mellish, whose point blank effort was brilliantly stopped on the line, before Mike Jones’ follow up was also thwarted. Glenn Morris did well again to save a powerful effort from Thomas at a tight angle.
The Reds were close to scoring again when Nadesan forced the ball through to Palmer on the wing, who played in a low cross which Hayden nearly sent into his own net, but Collin made a great save again to claw it off the line, before it was eventually hooked clear by Carlisle.
Thomas produced another dangerous cut-back, but nobody in blue was attacking the back-post. And it was Thomas again who could have won it in stoppage time, as his effort deflected just outside the far post. Despite the chances both sides would have to settle for a draw in harsh conditions.
Crawley Town: Morris, Doherty, Grego-Cox, Palmer, Nadesan, Ferguson (Allarakhia 80), Francomb , Tunnicliffe, Sendles-White, Dacres-Cogley, Camara (Lubala 58)
Attendance: 2114(263 Carlisle)
Report by Coren Blackburn