The Reds left Morecambe empty-handed on Tuesday evening. Ashley Nadesan cancelled out an early Cole Stockton opener, but a second-half brace from Carlos Mendes-Gomes ensured the Reds travelled back to Sussex empty-handed.
Nicholas Tsaroulla kept his place in the starting lineup after impressing against Exeter City on Saturday. The young full-back earned the Reds the first chance of the game as he won a free-kick inside Morecambe territory, Jack Powell’s delivery was cleared at the near post.
Morecambe came straight at Crawley and found themselves ahead in the fifth minute courtesy of Cole Stockton. Jordan Slew received the ball inside the box, the wide man took one touch before neatly backheeling into the path of Stockton, the striker stroking the ball past Morris into the far corner.
The Reds looked to mount an instant comeback as Tom Nichols forced a save from Mark Halstead. Defender Ryan Cooney was dispossessed by Nichols inside the Morecambe penalty area, Tom looked to sneak the ball past Halstead at the near post, forcing a smart save from the goalkeeper.
Crawley did find themselves level just minutes later as Ashley Nadesan tapped home into an empty net. George Francomb switched the play with a pinpoint pass towards Jordan Maguire-Drew, the winger was able to flick the ball over his marker and curl towards goal. Halstead made a decent save on the first attempt, unfortunately for him, the ball fell into the path of Nadesan who converted into the empty net.
After a Man of the Match performance on Saturday, Maguire-Drew impressed again from right-wing-back. This time holding onto the ball excellently, allowing time for Jake Hesketh to make a run at the far post, Hesketh just unable to make a connection with the ball following the delivery.
The Reds started brightly in the second half as Maguire-Drew continued the search for his first Crawley goal. Jordan was one-on-one with his defender as he drove a shot towards goal with his weaker right foot, Halstead saving comfortably down to his left.
Despite Crawley’s constant pressure, it was the host’s that scored the third goal. Stephen Hendrie drilled the ball towards the far post where Carlos Mendes-Gomes lied in wait, the striker was faced with the simple task of tapping into the open net to give his side the lead.
A flurry of Morecambe chances followed, Gomes and Stockton both striking the woodwork. Stockton enjoyed the better of the two chances after beating his man inside the box before he fired against the post.
Maguire-Drew continued to look sharp and almost got the Reds an equaliser in bizarre fashion. Jordan beat his man on the wing before chipping into the box, the cross skimming the crossbar.
After taking the lead, Morecambe looked the more threatening team as Mendes-Gomes all but wrapped up three points for the home side. The goal was made by Stockton as the striker worked his way through several Reds defenders before drilling towards goal, Morris made a smart stop down to his right, but there was nothing the Crawley goalkeeper could do as Mendes-Gomes smashed home the rebound.
This sealed the deal for Morecambe as they held on to claim all three points. The Reds travel to Tranmere Rovers on Saturday in a 15:00pm kick-off
Reds XI: Morris; Francomb, McNerney, Tunnicliffe; Tsaroulla (Wright 65’), Powell, Hessenthaler (Frost 77’), Hesketh (Tilley 65’), Maguire-Drew; Nichols, Nadesan.