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Reds pick up another point against play off chasing Rovers after Lubala goal cancelled out.

4 January 2020

John Yems remains unbeaten at home as Crawley claim a valuable point against promotion contenders Forest Green Rovers.

Town top scorer Bez Lubala gave Crawley the lead after both Adam Smith and Liam Kitching were beaten to the ball, allowing Lubala to score his 11th league goal of the season.

In the second half an unfortunate own goal from Jordan Tunnicliffe cancelled out the opener as his attempted headed clearance ended up in the back of his own net, but it was another point for the Reds with some chances to make it three.

John Yems made one change from Crawley’s draw at Colchester, with Panutche Camara coming in for Joe McNerney, while Mark Cooper handed a full debut to new loanee Jevani Brown, while Aaron Collins and Jack Aitchison made returns for Forest Green.

It was an open beginning to the match, with only a few half-chances being created. Ollie Palmer headed a Josh Dacres-Cogley cross onto Ashley Nadesan who fired wide at the near post, before Bez Lubala’s first time shot was held by Adam Smith at the bottom corner.

Crawley were having the better chances, as Panutche Camara had a shot saved by Smith from the edge of the box, with Smith also saving Nadesan’s offside follow up.

But Crawley did eventually take the lead on 45 minutes after a pass was chased down by Ollie Palmer who beat Smith to the ball, and Bez Lubala was in the right place to beat Liam Kitching to the ball and tap into an empty net, giving the Reds the advantage going into half time.

Forest Green improved in the second half, with Jevani Brown forcing a good save from Glenn Morris, as Brown tried to bend one from the edge of the box.

Nadesan was presented with a great chance when being played through on goal, but his tame effort was down the throat of Smith. Moments after Forest Green pulled level, as Jordan Tunnicliffe headed a cross beyond Glenn Morris to level in the 63rd minute, to make it 1-1.

Allarakhia’s corner kick just evaded the head of an unmarked Dallison, as the Reds searched for a reply. And soon after Morris made another great save when substitute Matt Mills headed the ball towards the top corner.

Yet another save by Morris saw him push away Nathan McGinley’s deflected effort which was heading for the bottom corner.

Palmer had another great chance to win it as he carried the ball into the box but could only run it all the way into the hands of Smith, as Crawley claimed another valuable point against promotion hopefuls Forest Green.

Attendance: 2082 (188 Forest Green)

Crawley Town: Morris, Doherty, Dallison, Palmer, Nadesan (Bloomfield 81), Ferguson (Allarakhia 66), Tunnicliffe, Bulman, Dacres-Cogley, Camara, Lubala (Sendles-White 81).

Report by Coren Blackburn

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