Crawley Town played out a 0-0 draw at home to Northampton Town on Saturday afternoon in an evenly matched game at The People’s Pension Stadium.
The Reds’ best chance of the match came from Sam Ashford who latched onto a defence-splitting pass just before the half-hour mark and forced a smart save from Cobblers’ goalkeeper Liam Roberts.
Similarly, Northampton could do no better with their best chances but force saves; Kion Etete had the visitor’s most dangerous chances in the 5th and 54th minutes of the match but he couldn’t beat Glenn Morris.
Crawley Town manager John Yems made two changes to the side that lost away at Forest Green Rovers last week, replacing George Francomb and Jack Payne with Archie Davies and Ashford respectively.
After three consecutive games where they had conceded early, Reds fans were greeted by an antonymic start as Crawley started brightest and almost took the lead in the second minute when Jake Hessenthaler sent Tyler Frost into space down the left side. After cutting in and twisting his marker inside out, Frost was unable to convert his effort which was aimed straight at Northampton ‘keeper, Roberts.
The visitors responded through Kion Etete but the youngster could do no better than Frost and blasted it straight at Glenn Morris just three minutes later.
Etete – back at The People’s Pension Stadium for the second time in a little over a month having featured for Tottenham Hotspur U23s – was the only visiting player causing Crawley trouble throughout the game, however he found himself all but pocketed by Ludwig Francillette who seemed to be enjoying himself.
Meanwhile, Ashford was making things difficult for the visitors at the other end of the pitch. After latching onto a defence-splitting pass, the forward found himself one-on-one but, under pressure from the recovering Northampton centre-backs, he couldn’t quite get the ball out of his feet. Despite this he forced a stellar save from Roberts who got down low to get a strong hand to the shot at close range.
This was the last dangerous chance of the half as the game petered out into a slow-paced collection of maybes and not quites that was best summed up by the referee’s decision to not add a single minute of time to the pre-allotted 45.
Thankfully, this didn’t immediately continue into the second period as both sides returned to the pitch and looked to attack each other. Hessenthaler was the first to take aim, picking up the ball from Will Ferry and blasting an audacious first time shot inches over the bar. Again, Etete was the man to take the shot for the visitors; he found himself facing Morris at a tight angle but, again, could do nothing better than blasting it straight at Crawley’s number one.
Crawley hit back five minutes later as Ashley Nadesan spread the ball out to Will Ferry who sent a curling effort towards goal, but it was claimed by Roberts.
It was after this that the game returned to its slow tempo and the next action was not for another 20 minutes and it proved the final chance of the game. Mitch Pinnock drilled the ball into the box and forced Morris into another smart save at his near post to conclude the match.
Attention now turns to Tuesday night’s EFL Trophy game away at Charlton Athletic.REDS XI: Morris, Davies, Craig, Dallison (Tsaroulla 88’), Powell, Nadesan, Frost (Payne 59’), Francillette, Ferry (Appiah 59’), Ashford, Hessenthaler
UNUSED SUBS: Noukeu, Gallacher, Tilley