The Reds secured a brilliant three points against high-flying Exeter City this afternoon. The Grecians were reduced to ten men early in the second half as goals from Tom Nichols and Ashley Nadesan secured victory for John Yems’ side.
Crawley crafted the first chance of the game as Davide Rodari was just inches away from potentially securing his first Reds goal on his maiden start for the club. Jordan Maguire-Drew swept the ball downfield brilliantly into the path of Nadesan on the right-wing, Ashley fired the ball across the face of goal in the direction of Rodari, the ball just falling behind the striker.
Exeter then looked to hit the Reds on the counter as Jake Caprice broke away down the right flank, the right-back delivered low into the box towards Ben Seymour at the near post, Seymour’s effort crashed into the side netting.
Jordan Maguire-Drew went close for the Reds with an audacious attempt from the edge of the area. Tom Nichols split several defenders with a lovely pass into the path of Maguire-Drew, the wingers first touch took it over the head of Alex Hartridge, leaving Jordan time to volley first time towards goal.
Crawley also looked dangerous on the counter-attack as Nadesan went close following an Exeter corner. The ball was half-cleared by the Reds as Joe McNerney was able to clean up on the second attempt. McNerney’s clearance fell kindly to Nadesan who was in behind the Exeter defence, the striker shrugged off Jake Caprice before blasting over the bar.
The Reds continued to look dangerous as Rodari almost scored an incredible solo effort. The striker took a composed touch on the edge of the area before turning towards goal, the striker skilfully beat two Exeter defenders, Rodari’s final effort lacked power and was stopped with relative ease by Jokull Andresson.
The best chance of opening the scoring fell to Jack Powell in the early stages of the second half. Maguire-Drew delivered a peach of a ball into the Exeter penalty area, Powell had made a surging run into the box as he met the cross with his head, Andresson standing tall to make an important block.
Crawley then found themselves with a man advantage as Tom Parkes clattered into Nick Tsaroulla on the wing. Declan Bourne had no choice but to dismiss Parkes leaving Exeter with 10 men for the remaining 40 minutes.
Things went from bad to worse for Exeter as just minutes after the dismissal, Crawley were awarded a penalty. Tsaroulla chopped inside his man nicely just inside the box, the Exeter defender holding a firm grip on Tsaroulla, resulting in a penalty being awarded. Tom Nichols stepped up and calmly slotted the ball down the middle to put Crawley ahead.
Maguire-Drew was having an excellent game for the Reds and almost got what would have been a deserved goal in the 78th minute. The winger once again using his quick feet to beat men in the Exeter box before firing at goal, Andresson saving well down to his left.
Among those having a great game for the Reds was Tom Nichols, the striker providing the second goal for the Reds as Nadesan tapped in at the far post. Nichols did brilliantly to beat his man with skill, leaving him with acres of space to pick out Nadesan at the far post who could not miss. A beautifully worked Crawley goal.
The goal capped off a dominating Crawley performance as the Reds travel to Morecambe and Tranmere Rovers in the coming week.
REDS XI: Morris, Francomb (Davies 63’), McNerney, Tunnicliffe, Tsaroulla (Tilley 63’), Maguire-Drew (Sesay 87’), Powell, Hessenthaler, Nichols, Nadesan, Rodari (Hesketh 45’).