Crawley lost out to local rivals AFC Wimbledon this afternoon as Kevin Betsy’s men had to battle for the majority of the second half with ten men. Nathan Young-Coombes put the visitors ahead before Ethan Chislett scored a glorious free-kick to double his side’s lead. Tony Craig was awarded a second yellow card in the 55th minute as the Reds had to battle right up to the final whistle to keep the scoreline down.
The Reds started the game well and created a fairly decent chance in the tenth minute. Mazeed Ogungbo created space on the left wing for a cross, which found Tom Nichols. The Crawley skipper took the ball down and broke away from his defender but could only find the side netting with his effort.
Only minutes later, the visitors took the lead. Wimbledon countered on some sloppy Crawley defending. A loose ball was intercepted, and after a neat combination on the edge of the box, Nathan Young-Coombes burst into the Crawley box and smashed the ball past Corey Addai to give the Wombles the lead.
The game was hotting up as Crawley went in search of an equaliser. A few strong challenges resulted in referee James Oldham brandishing cards for Tobi Omole and Josh Davison.
Crawley looked to see out the remainder of the half but conceded a second goal in the 45th minute. Tony Craig conceded a free-kick on the edge of the Crawley box, which Ethan Chislett beautifully curled into the top corner over the top of the Crawley wall.
Kevin Betsy responded by making a triple change at half-time. Jack Powell, Manny Adebowale and Teddy Jenks were replaced by James Tilley, David Bremang and Harry Ransom.
Things went from bad to worse for Crawley as Tony Craig was shown a second yellow card in the 55th minute. Young-Coombes rushed through towards goal and collided with Craig. The referee initially did not show any signs of giving a foul, but after a few seconds, brought play back and brandished a second yellow card.
In fairness to the ten men of Crawley, the players were battling as much as they could, but with the one-man deficit, it was proving hard to get any control of the ball.
Crawley saw out the remainder of the match as the score stayed at 0-2. Crawley return to action on Tuesday night as Premier League Fulham visit the Broadfield Stadium in the second round of the Carabao Cup.
REDS XI: Addai, Hessenthaler, Craig, Omole, Adebowale (Ransom 46’), Ogungbo, Jenks (46’), Powell (Bremang 46’), Balagizi, Nadesan (Telford 88’), Nichols