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Reds fall to defeat away to Grimsby Town.

23 February 2021

Crawley left Blundell Park with no points this evening after a 2-1 loss at the hands of Grimsby, who scored twice with their only two shots on target. 

The Reds earned the first chance of the game inside the opening three minutes. Jack Powell linked up well with Jake Hessenthaler and Sam Matthews before lifting over the Grimsby defence towards Ashley Nadesan, Nadesan had to strike with his weaker left foot as Jake Eastwood collected down to his left.

Nadesan then had a brilliant chance to put Crawley ahead. The ball was lofted over the top of the Grimsby defence from inside the Reds half, Nadesan was one-on-one with Eastwood as he looked to loft it over the goalkeeper, the attempt, however, lacked power as Eastwood was able to claim.

Despite the Reds opening pressure, it was the host’s that took the lead. Former Crawley player Filipe Morais found himself with time and space on the right flank, the midfielder was able to drive it hard and low into the opposite corner to give Grimsby the lead.

Crawley remained spirited and looked to make an instant comeback, Tom Nichols used his tricky feet to beat several defenders in the box before delivering to the far post, the cross just avoiding the unmarked James Tilley.

The Reds continued to press and found a deserved equaliser on the 31st minute. Josh Wright did very well to win a free-kick on the edge of the box, Jack Powell stood over the set-piece and curled a delightful effort into the top corner for his first goal of the season.

Just moments later, Crawley almost found themselves ahead. George Francomb found Matthews with a superb switch of play, this allowed Matthews to drive towards goal before clipping the ball in the box towards Nadesan, the striker had Eastwood beaten but his cushioned effort rebounded off of the crossbar.

The Reds earned the first chance of the second half as Matthews went close, Nadesan set the ball back to the winger who drifted inside of his man before firing at goal, the shot lacked power as Eastwood saved comfortably.

Both sides were struggling to put any clear cut chances together in the second half, both sides turning to their benches for inspiration. The Reds made a double change as Jake Hesketh and Archie Davies replaced James Tilley and Sam Matthews.

Nadesan and Nichols both went close with just over 15 minutes remaining, Nadesan rounding two men before forcing a smart save from Eastwood. Nichols then went close from a near-post header, Eastwood again saving well.

Despite the Reds looking the team more likely to score, the host’s took the lead with a little over ten minutes to play. A long throw was launched into the Crawley penalty area as substitute James Hansen flicked it on to Joe Adams at the far post, Adams diverted the ball past Morris to give Grimsby the lead.

Crawley were then denied what looked to be a clear penalty as Jack Powell was thrown to the floor in the box. Referee Robert Madley insisted there was nothing wrong with the challenge.

Despite Grimsby left-back Joe Bunney being dismissed in the closing stages, Crawley failed to find an equaliser as Grimsby collected all three points on the night.

Reds XI: Morris; Francomb, McNerney, Tunnicliffe, Tilley (Davies 68’), J. Wright (Allarakhia 83’), Hessenthaler, Powell; Nichols, Nadesan (Rodari 86’)

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