Crawley claimed a fantastic three points on the road this afternoon, defeating Barrow AFC 1-0 at the Dunes Hotel Stadium. The returning James Tilley rounded off a brilliant week for himself with a delightful strike from inside the area to secure Crawley their first League win in four games.
The home side started brightly and had a big advantage in the first half as the North Sea winds were causing real issues to Crawley in the opening stages. Glenn Morris had to claw the ball out of his goal as a direct corner from the home side almost found the back of the net.
Jake Hessenthaler had a chance to give Crawley the lead just a few minutes later but saw his effort cleared off of the line. A Crawley corner fell short inside the Barrow penalty area and landed at the feet of the Crawley midfielder. Hessenthaler’s low driven effort was smashed clear from the goal-line.
The returning Ashley Nadesan was beginning to cause problems for the Barrow defence. The Crawley striker chased down a loose ball that was heading towards the Barrow goal and forced Matt Platt to skew an attempted clearance just over his own crossbar.
It was turning out to be a very uneventful first half, with both sides struggling to carve out clear cut chances in what were proving to be tricky conditions. In truth, Crawley would have been happy to enter half-time with the score at 0-0, knowing they have the wind in their favour for the second half.
Just as they did in the first half, Barrow started the brighter of the two sides and forced the first save of the game from Glenn Morris. Ozzy Zanzala set the ball to Patrick Brough inside the penalty area, which gave the full-back plenty of time for a shot, Morris was down quickly to smother the effort.
Crawley remained resilient, and with their first real chance of the game, took the lead through James Tilley. Kwesi Appiah stole the ball from a Barrow defender deep inside their own territory. This allowed Crawley’s top goalscorer to slide the ball through to Tilley, who calmly stroked the ball into the back of the net.
Crawley began to build on their momentum and were beginning to force mistakes from the Barrow players. Tilley almost doubled his tally and the Reds’ advantage as he too went close directly from a corner. A combination of Paul Farman and the woodwork denied Crawley a second goal.
The Reds were being made to work for their lead as Barrow really began to hound the visiting side’s goal. Both Tony Craig and Ludwig Franicillette were putting their bodies on the line to keep their side ahead.
Then came a real scare for Crawley, Grayson broke free at the near post from a corner, and with a fortunate deflection, found himself with just Morris to beat. The Crawley goalkeeper spread himself and made a crucial block to deny the hosts an equaliser.
Crawley were determined and held off Barrow to claim a fantastic three points on the road on the longest away day of the season. Crawley’s heroic 69 away supporters will be travelling back to Sussex with a big grin on their faces.
REDS XI: Morris, Francomb, Craig, Francillette, Davies, Tilley, Powell, Hessenthaler, Frost, Nadesan, Appiah