The Reds will play their third consecutive home fixture in Sky Bet League Two against Walsall, who will travel down to West Sussex today following their home defeat to Barrow on Friday, in a game they lost 0-1.
On the back of a brilliant away win in Tranmere, we hosted Salford City in West Sussex last Tuesday night. Yems’ men again impressed in all positions and achieved another 1-0 victory, with Tom Nichols finding the winner once more after a nifty run in behind and a rebounded strike.
Joe McNerney and Jordan Tunnicliffe again were the pair of centre-halves that let nothing past them in the air, making many crucial headers and clearances. Archie Davies made his second consecutive start in the side at right-back and again looked sharp both in defence and driving forward, displaying his pace and crossing ability.
We then hosted Mansfield Town on Saturday afternoon, who came down following an impressive 3-1 victory over then league leaders, Cheltenham Town. The game was fairly level in the opening stages with few chances created from both sides, as we went into the break goalless.
Crawley then pushed on and increased the performance levels after the half-time break, as Tom Nichols went close on two occasions before James Tilley was there again in the final few minutes of the game to beat his marker for pace and strength before bringing the ball down and blasting into the net with power and precision.
In the reverse fixture this season, it was Ex-Red Mathew Sadler who scored the decisive goal in a 1-0 defeat. Crawley hit the woodwork through Tom Nichols and went close through Max Watters but couldn’t find the back of the net despite the chances created. Glenn Morris suffered an injury as Tom McGill replaced him shortly after the half-time break.
Reds also faced the Saddlers three times last season, twice in league competition and once in the first round of the Carabao Cup. The cup game ended in a 2-3 victory as Filipe Morais, Tom Dallison and Ashley Nadesan all scored on the road. Just over a year later, The Saddlers travelled to West Sussex and got revenge, winning by the same scoreline after being 1-3 up at half-time, with goals from James Clarke, Elijah Adebayo and Wes McDonald.
Crawley again lost out in January of 2020 despite going ahead through Panutche Camara, as late goals from Josh Gordon and Wes McDonald sent the reds home with no points to show for a solid away showing.
Since 2012, the Reds have played Walsall on ten occasions, losing four times but winning three. Both teams scored in six of these games..
After the sale of star striker Elijah Adebayo to Championship side Luton Town, Walsall have struggled for goals in recent months, going eight consecutive league games without scoring more than once. Wes McDonald remains a threat from wide positions as Reds fans may remember the goal he scored against us last season from outside the box.
However, Wes has only started once in their last five fixtures, with young Tyreik Wright and Emmanuel Osadebe taking the wide spots as of late. Wright is a 19-year-old midfielder on loan from nearby Aston Villa. Starting in Walsall’s last four games, Tyreik has made an impression with his pace and technical ability and will likely feature against the Reds tomorrow.
Josh Gordon has taken centre spot up top for Walsall recently, and has played in 23 of Walsall’s games so far this season, scoring four times. Gordon was also their top goalscorer last season with twelve in all competitions.
Ex-Red Mathew Sadler has been a key part of the Walsall defence, and was the scorer of the all-important goal in our reverse fixture earlier in the season which handed the midlands side the decisive three points.
Reece Grego-Cox remains unavailable. Tyler Frost and Sam Matthews are still out and working hard to return to action. Tony Craig is back available for selection and Tom Dallison has just undergone a successful surgery which will keep him out for the foreseeable future.
HOW THEY BET*
Crawley Town 6/5
*Odds correct with EFL partners Sky Bet at the time of writing. Please gamble responsibly.
You can watch the match live on iFollow from 6:50 with commentary from Gary Smith and Tony Vessey.
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