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Reds collect a well earned point at the Peninsula Stadium

24 October 2020

The rain lashed down at the Peninsula Stadium making the opening exchanges very difficult for both sides as they attempted to find their feet on the slippery surface.

The Reds in black started very brightly as they looked to capitalise on Max Watters electric pace. Twice the ball was lofted downfield towards Watters who was quicker than both the Ammies centre back’s as the ball skipped off of the surface. On both occasions the ball just evaded the striker and skipped through to Vaclav Hladky in the Salford net. 

The host began to work their way into the fixture making several chances but Glenn Morris remained relatively untroubled in the opening stages. Brandon Thomas-Asante showed great skill to make space for himself on the edge of the Reds penalty area but he failed to connect with his effort properly and the ball trickled past the Reds post.

The Reds continued to apply pressure on the hosts as Jack Powell almost put the Reds ahead just after the 20 minute mark. A quick counter attack from the Reds allowed Nichols and Hesketh to link up inside the Salford penalty area, Nichols fed Jack Powell on the edge of the box but Powell’s curling effort lacked power and was easily dealt with.

The host’s had a brilliant chance to take the lead as they earned themselves a freekick on the edge of the Reds penalty area after Hesketh brought down Asante. The Ammies attempted a clever dummy from the freekick which was clearly practiced on the training ground, the effort however, did not go to plan as Henderson’s shot blasted into the Reds wall. 

The Reds then had a brilliant chance to take the lead themselves through Jordan Tunnicliffe. A freekick was launched into the Salford box just inside the hosts half and it was Tunnicliffe that rose highest and did brilliantly to direct his header goalwards but Hladky was well placed to smother the effort to ensure the sides remained even going into the break.

The Reds started the second half with very high intensity as Tom Nichols came within inches of giving the Reds the lead. Matthews played a neat ball to slide in Francomb on the right his cross was carefully pulled back to Tom Nichols who settled himself before firing at goal and if it wasn’t for a courageous block the Reds would have been one to the good. 

Despite the Reds early pressure it was the hosts that took the lead with their first attack of the half. Former Manchester United man James Wilson curling in a delightful effort from the edge of the box leaving Morris no chance to give the hosts the lead against the run of play.

The hosts almost doubled their lead minutes later. Wilson was in plenty of space down the left flank as he picked out Asante at the back post who had peeled away from the Reds defense and should the ball have had a little less power Asante would have almost definitely put the hosts 2-0 up but instead Asante missed the ball by a matter of inches. 

The Reds continued to put pressure on the hosts and in the 72nd minute got a deserved equaliser through skipper Geroge Francomb. Sam Matthews was again involved in the thick of the action as he had the ball glued to his feet inside the Salford penalty area, eventually shifting inside and firing at goal. Hladky did well to reach Matthews' effort but parried the ball straight into the path of Francomb who tucked it home at the far post. 

The Reds then had an excellent chance to the lead substitute Sam Ashford was scythed down on the edge of the Salford box to win a freekick in very dangerous territory. Hladky had to react brilliantly as Powell’s driven effort took a nick off the Salford wall as the Czech keeper stuck out a strong hand. Hessenthaler then went close with a wonderful effort on the half volley but his effort flashed just wide.

The Reds continued to press the hosts in search of a deserved winner but Salford remained strong and kept the Reds at bay to hold on to a point. 

Crawley: Morris, Doherty (Davies 68’), Craig, Tunnicliffe, Francomb, Matthews, Powell, Hessenthaler, Hesketh (Ashford 63’), Nichols, Watters

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