Earlier this evening the Reds lost out at Rodney Parade to Newport County in a game that John Yems’ side were reduced to ten-men in the second-half when Tom Nichols was shown red.
The home side started brightly and almost caught Crawley napping inside the first minute. After just 46 seconds, Padraig Amond was set through in behind the Reds defence with options in support, Lewis Collins was one of those as he sent Amond’s cutback just wide of the post.
Crawley began to settle into the game despite the host’s creating the second clear cut chance of the game. Josh Sheehan delivered into the box as Scot Bennett forced a routine save from Glenn Morris.
Just moments later Newport had the ball in the back of the net, but luckily for the Reds, the linesman had raised his flag. Joss Labadie unleashed a powerful shot from the edge of the box, which came crashing off of the post and fell straight to the feet of Amond, who smashed home, the linesman saving the day for Crawley.
Sheehan was involved again shortly after, this time forcing a smart stop from Glenn Morris. A short corner routine allowed Sheehan time to drive towards the goal. Archie Davies got a strong foot to the ball, which sent Morris scrambling as the Reds goalkeeper smartly tipped round the post.
Newport continued to put the Reds under pressure as they struck the woodwork for the second time in the first half. A corner was only half-cleared by Crawley as Amond scooped an effort towards goal, which came bouncing off of the crossbar as Joe McNerney cleared to safety. The Reds were grateful to hear the half-time whistle shortly after.
Newport continued to dominate the game and found themselves ahead less than 10 minutes into the second half. Liam Sheppard had the ball at his feet 25-yards from goal on the right of the Reds penalty area as the right-back hit a low effort towards goal, the ball took a slight deflection off of a Crawley defender and flew into the bottom corner.
Crawley looked to respond quickly as James Tilley forced a save from Tom King following a cross. Archie Davies and Jake Hessenthaler linked up well, allowing Davies to deliver to the far post where Tilley was poised as the winger rose above his man but failed to divert his header past King.
The home side began to close the game out in the final stages, and things only got worse for Crawley when Tom Nichols was shown a straight red card. Nichols leapt up for a header and was adjudged to have elbowed his marker and seeing red as a result.
Crawley were forced to throw all the bodies forward for the ten additional minutes and as a result, were caught short at the back allowing Newport to add a second. Aaron Lewis had all the time in the world to stroke past Morris and condemn the Reds to defeat at Rodney Parade.
Reds XI: Morris; Davies, McNerney, Tunnicliffe, Craig (Sesay 85’), Matthews (Rodari 56’), Hessenthaler, J.Wright, Tilley (Powell 75’), Nichols, Nadesan.