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A well worked Crawley goal finished by George Francomb ensured the Reds returned to Sussex with three points.

2 January 2021

Club News


A well worked Crawley goal finished by George Francomb ensured the Reds returned to Sussex with three points.

2 January 2021

A goal from the skipper George Francomb was enough for Crawley as they held on in the dying stages to claim all three points.

Bolton looked to cause the Reds problems from the outset as they carved out a chance just minutes into the game. The ball broke kindly for Eoin Doyle on the edge of the box as the Bolton Talisman blasted over the bar.

Ashley Nadesan returned to the starting lineup as the striker won a freekick in a dangerous position for the Reds in the third minute. Sam Matthews stood over the ball in the same position as he did against Barrow and Leyton Orient, but his delivery was cleared at the near post on this occasion.

Jake Hessenthaler looked to create a chance for Crawley as he linked up well with Tom Nichols but on the slippery surface, the ball was just to heavy for the midfielder as he was forced wide. Archie Davies and Ashley Nadesan then both had shots from the edge of the area, both shots going wide respectively.

Tom Dallison was forced to block excellently as the ball was cut back to Lloyd Isgrove on the edge of the Crawley area, Isgrove’s shot looked on target but Dallison was on hand to clear the danger, a very open game for both sides in the opening ten minutes.

Ashley Nadesan was then slotted through by Sam Matthews and under the heavy pressure Ricardo Santos could only fire straight at Matt Gilks, Santos flirting with the line with his pressure as referee Samuel Barrot was happy with the challenge.

The Reds really starting to pile on the pressure as the skipper George Francomb struck the post. Good play from Nichols again on the edge of the area as he poked Francomb in, George took it past Gilks which forced him very wide. Francomb’s eventual effort looked more like an attempted cutback but struck the outside of the post and landed safely at the hands of a grateful Gilks.

A very clever set-piece routine from a Reds corner almost resulted in the opening goal. After the original corner was cleared Francomb was able to pick the ball up on the edge of the box and feed in Nichols, the striker’s clever touch set up Nadesan for a cutback, the ball ran all the way through to the back post as Jack Powell struck the ball with real menace. Somehow Gilks was able to cover the ground and scramble across his goalline to save.

The host’s looked to respond instantly as Isgrove forced a very clever save from Morris, Isgrove had space inside the box and where he looked likely to cross, he instead fired the ball towards the near post, Morris tipping away.

Nadesan causing real issues for the Bolton defence, again winning a free kick in a dangerous position wide to the left of the goal. The free-kick was cleared from danger. Sam Matthews then cut in on his right foot, but his shot was well blocked by the Bolton defence. 

The host’s created the first chance of the second half and if it was not for the courageous block by Archie Davies the Reds may have been behind. Doyle found himself with the ball at his feet on the edge of the Crawley area, the striker volleyed powerfully towards goal as Davies flew in to block. Brilliant defending from the young full-back.

Davies then took to the attack weaving past several Bolton players before reaching the edge of the box and firing at goal, his shot was blocked and Matthews follow up was collected with relative ease by Gilks. Powell then volleyed wide after a Matthews corner was cleared.

The Reds were putting some real pressure on the host’s as Matthews' lofted ball found Nadesan but on his left foot, he could only scoop over. Crawley’s dominating pressure was rewarded just after the hour mark following a brilliant Crawley move. Nadesan whipped the ball into Nichols with pace, Nichols composed, set the ball gently into the path of Francomb who took a touch and slotted past Gilks. A fantastic move from the Reds.

Bolton responded instantly and forced another smart save from Morris, Doyle’s shot from range blasted Jordan Tunnicliffe in the stomach leaving the defender on the floor. Sarcevic followed up with a volley which the Cat palmed away. Morris was then forced into two more smart saves in similar positions to keep the Reds ahead, Bolton piling on the pressure.

The host’s really began to pile the pressure on the Reds as a ball was sent into the far post, Doyle rose highest and nodded onto the crossbar, Morris may have got a touch on its way. Morris then made an outrageous save to keep the Reds ahead, Nathan Delfounso had the ball squared to him 5 yards from goal, with the net open Delfouneso struck at goal, somehow Morris scrambled across and threw his body at the ball, great goalkeeping again by Morris.

Outrageous defending from Crawley, block after block, save after save, somehow the Reds kept Bolton at bay. Dallison and Tunnicliffe especially putting their bodies on the line, throwing themselves at shots left, right and centre.

Bolton were reduced to ten men as Reiss Greenidge clattered Tom Nichols from behind, having already been on a yellow the centre back was dismissed leaving the Reds with just minutes to play.

Crawley held on to claim a massive three points and move up to sixth in the table.

Reds XI: Morris; Davies, Tunnicliffe, Craig, Dallison; Powell, Hessenthaler, Francomb (Ashford 70’); Matthews (Bulman 70’), Nichols, Nadesan (Sesay 87’). 

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