Tomorrow John Yems’ Crawley Town will return home to The People’s Pension Stadium to take on Forest Green Rovers at 3pm in an exciting Sky Bet League Two fixture, as the Reds were 1-2 winners last time the sides met earlier this season.
Last Friday we hosted league leaders Cheltenham Town, in a game that Crawley had built some momentum heading into after defeating Bradford City. The first-half was tightly contested as Cheltenham aimed to test the Reds with their Ben Tozer long throw-ins but the likes of Joe McNerney and Jordan Tunnicliffe towered above all to head away and clear danger on many occasions.
Crawley looked sharper in the second-half and played some slick football going forward, as Tom Nichols impressed again and earned himself a spot in the Sky Bet League Two Team of the Week. Jordan Maguire-Drew came on to replace James Tilley in the second-half, and after a brilliant low strike across goal rolled into the back of the net, Jordan scored his first goal for the club since joining on loan from Leyton Orient in January, giving us a huge three points.
Next we travelled across the border to South Wales where we would face Newport County, a side within the play-off spots who were desperate to win. In the first half, Liam Shephard struck past Morris from the edge of the area to give the Exiles a lead which was doubled by Aaron Lewis in injury time with almost the final touch of the ball.
Since the departure of Ex-Manager Mark Cooper, Forest Green have achieved 4 points from a possible 6. The Greens were 3-2 victors over Scunthorpe United last Saturday, after trailing 1-2 just after the half-time break. Jordan Moore-Taylor’s early strike was diminished by strikes from Abo Eisa and Harrison McGahey which gave the Iron a temporary lead.
FGR fought hard to earn an equaliser through midfielder Ebou Adams before a goal from Chris Stokes earnt the Gloucestershire side all three points.
They then hosted Exeter City, who are fierce play-off rivals in the final run-in. The game ended goalless as Exeter controlled possession but Forest Green registered two more shots on target, making their possession of the ball count for more in terms of chances.
Jimmy Ball has enjoyed life as interim manager so far, as Forest Green now sit in 6th place, with a four-point advantage on Exeter who are a spot outside of the play-off positions.
Crawley have always had a poor record against tomorrow’s opposition in League Two ever since Rovers were promoted from the National League in 2017.. Before our impressive win earlier this season, each of our previous three visits to The New Lawn Stadium in League Two had ended in defeat. At home in League Two, we have registered two 1-1 draws against Rovers as well as a 1-2 defeat in 2019 when a Dannie Bulman wonder-strike was cancelled out by a Christian Doidge brace.
Earlier this season, Tom Nichols starred in a fantastic away victory at The New Lawn after the Reds had failed to defeat the Gloucestershire side in six previous attempts. Nichols scored 15 minutes into the first half after receiving a pass from Jake Hessenthaler before finishing neatly. 18-year-old Jake Young equalised with a tidy free-kick just minutes after the half-time restart but later in the half an inch-perfect long pass from Jack Powell picked out Tom Nichols who brought the ball down delightfully before again finishing with such precision and confidence.
Crawley ended surprise winners and later that week went on to travel to Bolton Wanderers, picking up another impressive win.
Ebou Adams is a stand-out player within the squad, playing in midfield. The 24-year-old is agile and physical in the middle of the park, with the ability to run from box-to-box and create opportunities for the likes of Aaron Collins up top.
Nicky Cadden could cause a threat from wide areas. The Ex-Ayr and Morton player is known for his crossing and passing from the flanks, but will have less of a target to aim for tomorrow due to the injury of bagsman Jamille Matt.
Reece Grego-Cox and Tom Dallison remain unavailable. Nick Tsaroulla is a doubt. Mark Wright, Tyler Frost and George Francomb are all back training with the group.
HOW THEY BET*
Crawley Town 19/10
Forest Green Rovers 16/11
*Odds correct with EFL partners Sky Bet at the time of writing. Please gamble responsibly.
You can watch the match live on iFollow from 2:55 with commentary from Gary Smith and Tony Vessey.
You can purchase a match pass for £10 by clicking here.