Crawley played out a goalless draw with Harrogate Town this afternoon in the sweltering Yorkshire sun. The Reds had the majority of the chances, but a combination of Pete Jameson and the woodwork kept the Reds at bay.
The Reds created the first chance of the match as Jack Powell fired a shot just over the Harroaget crossbar in the tenth minute. It was a decent move from the Reds as Powell and Ashley Nadesan linked up on the edge of the Harrogate box. The midfielder had space to shoot from 25-yards but fired narrowly over the bar.
Kwesi Appiah then had a good tussle with a Harrogate defender as the Crawley striker looked to be through on goal. In the end, the Harrogate man did just enough to thwart Appiah’s effort, which was saved comfortably by Pete Jameson.
The home side were getting better, and Crawley were forced into an early challenge as Ludwig Francillette was forced off with a knock. With no centre-back on the bench, Tilley was introduced at wing-back, and Johnson was moved to an unfamiliar centre-back role.
Corey Addai had made a couple of routine saves in the build-up to half-time, but the Crawley goalkeeper had remained relatively untroubled so far.
The home side looked to be taking a strong grip on the fixture, and the half-time whistle looked to come at the right time for Crawley. After another defensive injury, Betsy needed the time to issue new instructions for what was looking to be a tough second half for his side.
Crawley started the second half well, however, and Tom Nichols forced a very smart save from Jameson. The striker combined with Nadesan on the edge of the area and whipped an effort towards goal. Jameson read the curling effort well and beat the shot away.
Tilley stung the palms of the Harrogate goalkeeper a few moments later as the Reds ramped up the pressure in the blistering Yorkshire heat.
Addai was then forced into a brilliant save to keep the score level. Kayne Ramsay got the better of Brandon Mason and fired a powerful pass across the face of goal. The ball made its way to the back post where a Harrogate attacker swooped in to fire at goal. Addai sprinted across his goal line and spread his body to block the effort.
Jameson made a wonder save of his own minutes later to deny Ogungbo at the other end. Tony Craig whipped the ball back into the Harrogate box following a Reds set-piece, which Ogungbo met well. Jameson scrambled across and acrobatically tipped over the bar.
James Tilley struck the bar a few moments later with a similar effort to Ogungbo’s. Mason this time was the provider with a decent ball into the area which Tilley met well. For a moment the ball looked to be creeping in over the top of Jameson, but the woodwork came to the home side’s rescue.
The normally prolific Jack Muldoon had a chance to steal all three points for the home side but dragged the ball wide of the target. As the clock ticked over to 90, Muldoon was thread clean through on goal. The striker had only Addai to beat but dragged his effort well wide of the goal.
The referee blew for the full-time whistle shortly after, which saw Crawley claim their first point of the Sky Bet League Two season. In truth, it could, and perhaps should have been three, but it wasn’t to be and Betsy’s Reds travel back to Sussex with just the singular point.
REDS XI: Addai, Ogungbo, Craig, Francillette (Tilley 41’), Johnson, Mason, Hessenthaler, Powell, Nichols, Nadesan (Oteh 76’), Appiah (Balagizi 71’)