The Red Devils claimed their second point of the season at the Crown Oil Arena this afternoon. Jack Powell gave Crawley the lead on the stroke of half-time with a brilliant strike. Tyrese Sinclair equalised for the Dale in the 58th minute with a neat header into the bottom corner. Nick Tsaroulla was dismissed for a second bookable offence in the 85th minute, but Crawley survived a late onslaught to take a point back to Sussex.
Crawley started brightly and earned themselves a very decent chance in the opening five minutes. Tobi Omole received the ball on the edge of the box and burst past his marker following a Crawley set-piece. Omole cut the ball back into the Rochdale area, but it was well dealt with by the Dale defence.
The Reds continued their bright start to the match with a succession of balls into the box, which were all dealt with. Rochdale themselves had played some decent football in the opening twenty minutes but had failed to trouble Corey Addai in the Crawley goal.
The Red Devils were forced into an unfortunate change in the first half as Tobi Omole succumbed to an injury. Tony Craig returned to action after his one-game suspension to take Tobi’s place.
Just as the match looked to be heading to a goalless half-time break, Crawley took the lead. Nick Tsaroulla won the ball back with a brilliant challenge, which freed James Balagizi. The Liverpool loanee set off towards goal and slid the ball to Jack Powell on the edge of the box, who thundered the ball into the top corner with an inch-perfect finish.
Rochdale came flying out of the box in the second half and were unfortunate not to pull the game level. The ball broke loose in the box, which allowed a Dale forward to poke an effort at goal that forced a decent save from Addai.
Rochdale equalised in the 58th minute through Tyrese Sinclair. Aidy White had acres of space on the left flank to pick out Sinclair, who guided a header past Addai into the bottom corner.
Crawley were now firmly on the back foot, and the home side looked the much more likely side to score next. With that in mind, Betsy introduced James Tilley and Dom Telford to try and revive Crawley’s efforts.
Both teams now looked capable of taking all three points from this game, but it was still Rochdale who were holding the majority of the ball.
Addai was forced into another low save as Liam Kelly curled an effort towards goal from the edge of the box. The Rochdale midfielder felt he should have troubled the Crawley goalkeeper more and showed clear frustration.
Things got worse for Crawley as Nick Tsaroulla was shown a second yellow card in the 85th minute. Abraham Oddoh skipped past Tsaroulla and fell straight to the floor. Alan Young thought about the challenge for a while before pulling out the full-back’s second yellow card.
Corey Addai saved the Reds a point with a fantastic save down to his left with only two minutes to go. Kelly fired a low volley toward goal, which looked to be creeping into the bottom corner. Corey extended his arm and made a brilliant stop to save a point for Betsy’s Reds.
REDS XI: Addai, Tsaroulla, Omole (Craig 26’), Ransom, Johnson, Jenks (Tilley 72’), Powell, Hessenthaler, Balagizi (Bremang 85’), Nadesan (Telford 72’), Nichols
Attendance: 2277 (113 away)