The Reds came up short against a strong Cheltenham side at the Jonny-Rocks stadium
It was the hosts that started the brighter of the two sides, Matty Blair and Liam Sercombe linking up well in the opening five with cross-field switches. Sercombe had the first real chance of the game when Blair played a delightful long ball over, which he controlled well as he proceeded to knock it past Nadesan before firing at goal but his shot sailed past the post.
George Lloyd went close minutes later, his shot sent Glenn Morris scrambling down to his left but Lloyd’s effort failed to find the target. The hosts continued to pile on the pressure and almost found themselves ahead just before the 20 minute mark. Blair found himself through on goal to the right hand side, he fired a shot across the face of goal which Glenn Morris did brilliantly to get down to, the ball fell kindly for Andy Williams and if it wasn’t for the courageous tackle of Jake Hessenthaler the Reds would have been one down.
The Reds then began to work the ball better and soon found themselves with a great chance to take the lead. Tarryn Allarakhia used his body well to deceive a Cheltenham midfielder, leaving him with plenty of space to pick out Josh Doherty on the left wing. Doherty took one touch before whipping a ball to the back post where an unmarked Tom Nichols acrobatically headed at goal but could not find the target.
The Reds then began to settle down and move the ball around but just as they started to take a grip on the game the hosts took the lead. A long throw in was launched into the box by Ben Tozer and it was Will Boyle that leaped the highest and flicked over a helpless Morris after taking a nick off of Tony Craig to give the hosts the lead.
The host should have had a two goal cushion moments before the break, Williams floated a lovely ball into the box where Lloyd was poised for a header six yards from goal and completely unmarked but he was wasteful and sent his effort over the bar. Morris was then forced into another excellent save this time blocking Sercombe’s effort.
The Reds had the last chance of the half when Tyler Frost used his skill to twist and turn in the Robin’s box, sending defenders flying but his eventual shot was straight at Josh Griffiths.
The hosts continued with their first half pressure and found themselves two goals to the good just three minutes into the second half. Conor Thomas played a ball into the feet of Williams who was being marked tightly by Tunnicliffe but an unfortunate slip from the Reds defender meant Williams was one-on-one with Morris and he wasted no time curling his effort into the top corner.
The game then became scrappy in parts with neither side forcing any real chances for the next 20 minutes as the rain began to lash down at the Jonny-Rocks stadium. The hosts enjoyed the majority of possession but still failed to carve out any clear cut chances. Doherty struck just wide for the Reds with minutes left in the half, with very little in terms of opportunities for either side.
The Reds return to action on Tuesday 13th October as we face Arsenal U21 at The People’s Pension Stadium in the EFL Trophy.
The attendance at today’s fixture was 0 with 0 travelling Reds fans. #LetFansIn
Crawley: Glenn Morris, Josh Doherty, Tony Craig, Jordan Tunnicliffe, George Francomb (Archie Davies 81’), Tarryn Allarakhia (Sam Matthews 54’), Dannie Bulman, Jake Hessenthaler, Ashley Nadesan, Tyler Frost (Nathan Ferguson 80’), Tom Nichols.