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Reds beat league leaders Cheltenham Town 1-0 at The People's Pension Stadium.

16 April 2021

Crawley secured another fantastic victory this evening after a Jordan Maguire-Drew strike defeated league leaders Cheltenham Town. 

Cheltenham went close in the opening five minutes through Andy Williams. The striker attempted a speculative effort from 30-yards as the ball bounced just in front of the frontman. A deflection sent the effort just wide of the post as Morris was scrambling down to his left.

The Reds earned themselves a free-kick on the edge of the box, allowing Sam Matthews to deliver a trademark delivery towards the Cheltenham goalkeeper Josh Griffiths. Matthews delivery was a perfect one towards the back post, but no red shirt was on hand to meet it.

Glenn Morris was then forced into action after Alfie May connected with a long ball over the top of the Crawley defence. May took a brilliant touch to set him free past Archie Davies and Joe McNerney before stretching a leg out to divert an effort on target, Morris alert to deal with the effort.

Callum Wright then had a great chance to open the lead for the visitors. A brilliant first touch followed by a neat cut-back fooled Tsroualla, which gave Wright plenty of time to shoot, the wide-man curled his effort way off target.

Ashley Nadesan then created the best chance of the game so far, Ashley latched onto a long ball and neatly tapped past Griffiths in the Cheltenham net but failed to hit the target as his effort sailed over the bar.

Tom Nichols almost got his name on the scoresheet at the end of the first half but will be feeling rather happy he didn’t, as the striker struck the crossbar at the wrong end of the pitch. A low cross was delivered into the Crawley box where Nichols attempted to clear but instead diverted the ball onto his own crossbar, luckily, Joe McNerney was on hand to smash the ball to safety before a Cheltenham forward could capitalise.

Early in the second half, Nichols had a brilliant chance to put Crawley ahead after Sean Long failed to spot the striker as he attempted a pass to his keeper. Nichols latched on to the pass with acres of space ahead of him and had only Griffiths to beat, the goalkeeper came out quickly to make a brilliant point-blank save.

The Reds were really starting to put pressure on the visitors as Nadesan came close again after some neat footwork inside the box. Nichols found his strike partner, who skipped past his marker before squeezing a shot just wide under the challenge of Charlie Raglan.

The league leaders remained dangerous and looked to cause a real threat with the long through balls which on numerous occasions troubled the Crawley defence. Alfie May latched onto one and looked to be through on goal with an obvious pace advantage over McNerney. Joe defended brilliantly and put in a superb ball-winning challenge inside the penalty area.

Crawley continued to put pressure on the visitors and in the 78th minute, took a deserved lead courtesy of a wonder-strike from Jordan Maguire-Drew. The substitute had only been on the pitch for a couple of minutes before Crawley broke away on the counter-attack. Nichols picked out Maguire-Drew, who took one touch to set himself and fire a lethal shot on his weaker right foot which crashed into the back of the net.

Cheltenham were throwing everything at Crawley as four additional minutes were shown by the fourth official. There was nothing the league leaders could do as Crawley claimed another fantastic victory. 

Reds XI: Morris; Tsaroulla, McNerney, Tunnicliffe, Davies; Matthews (Craig 87’), Powell, Hessenthaler, Tilley (Maguire-Drew 68’), Nichols, Nadesan. 

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