The Reds earned a point on the road this afternoon in Scunthorpe in a goalless draw. We travelled to North Lincolnshire after a 2-0 defeat in Carlisle but saw out a much-improved performance
The host’s created the first chance of the game as Joe McNerney was adjudged to have fouled Abo Eisa on the left-wing. The resulting set-piece was floated into the box, with Glenn Morris punching away at the first attempt.
Jordan Maguire-Drew and James Tilley both returned to the squad in advanced wing positions and it was Tilley that created Crawley’s first chance of the game. The winger burst away from Teddy Howe on the left flank before crossing into the box, Mark Howard claimed well in the Scunthorpe goal.
Crawley were starting to pose a threat on the left-wing as Maguire-Drew headed just over inside the opening ten minutes. Tilley and Nicholas Tsaroulla linked up well inside the box, as Tsaroulla was able to float a ball towards Maguire-Drew at the far post, Jordan’s header failed to find the target.
Maguire-Drew went close again after a Reds corner was only half-cleared by the hosts. The ball was swept up by George Francomb, who sent it straight back into the penalty area, McNerney headed across goal as Maguire-Drew volleyed over.
The Reds again came close to taking the lead, this time courtesy of Tom Nichols. Howard looked to come out and claim a routine cross from Powell but fumbled his attempt. Nichols was alert to hook over Howard only to have his attempt cleared on the line by Emmanuel Onariase.
Scunthorpe then created a chance of their own which required a brilliant block by Jack Powell. The Reds only half-cleared a corner as the ball fell to Ryan Loft on the edge of the area, the striker hit a first-time volley which crashed off the head of Powell and away to safety. Miraculous that Powell walked away unharmed.
Crawley created a very early chance in the second half as Jack Powell did brilliantly to turn his man. Maguire-Drew nodded down towards Powell, who used his body well to shift away from his marker before cutting back to Josh Wright on the edge of the box. Wright’s shot was blocked well by a Scunthorpe defender.
The Reds continued to look bright in search of the opening goal, Tsaroulla continued to look incredibly dangerous from left-back and twice won a free-kick in a very dangerous position. Both deliveries were poor and as a result, they were easily dealt with by the Scunthorpe defence.
Crawley were really starting to dominate the game but were still unable to find the target. Jack Powell again turned his man before firing a mean cross-cum-shot into the box, as Howard was forced to parry away.
The best chance of all then followed, but somehow the Reds failed to score. Tsaroulla linked up with Tilley and Wright which allowed Wright space to shoot, Wright miscued his shot which resulted in the ball falling to Tilley, James also failed to make a strong connection as the ball fell into the grateful arms of Howard.
Crawley will feel unlucky to not come away with three points as Scunthorpe held on thanks to a last-ditch save by Howard after Matthews curled towards the far post. The Reds are back in action on Easter Monday as they take on Oldham Athletic at The People’s Pension Stadium.
Reds XI: Morris; Tsaroulla, Craig, McNerney, Francomb; Wright, Powell, Hessenthaler; Maguire-Drew (Matthews 65’), Tilley, Nichols.