Crawley were denied another fantastic three points on the road this afternoon by a late equaliser from Lewis Alessandra. Crawley took the lead through Ashley Nadesan in the 25th minute after a defensive mishap from the home side. Nadesan missed a penalty in the second half, which proved costly as substitute Lewis Alessandra nodded home in the 93rd minute.
It was a bright start from the Reds, who were under the guidance of Assistant Manager Lee Bradbury as Manager John Yems missed out due to personal reasons. Sam Matthews kept his place in the starting eleven and got in behind the Carlisle back line twice in the opening five minutes. The Blues’ defence dealt with both attacks well.
Crawley continued their bright start and were nearly rewarded with an early lead as James Tilley rattled the crossbar from distance. The ball broke to Tilley on the edge of the box following a Crawley corner, and the wing-back wasted no time firing a wicked first-time volley towards goal. The effort looked goalbound, but unfortunately for the Reds, the effort cannoned off of the woodwork.
Ashley Nadesan was gifted a chance to put the Reds ahead in the 25th minute after a defensive error from the home side. Morgan Feeney got the ball stuck in between his legs inside his own penalty area, which resulted in the ball falling to Nadesan, who took one touch and calmly slotted under Mark Howard to put Crawley ahead.
Nadesan almost gave Crawley a second goal just moments later, but once again, the woodwork came to Carlisle's rescue. Brilliant work from Nichols on the wing gave the striker time to pick out his strike partner with a brilliant driven cross. Nadesan was able to poke an effort towards goal, which deflected off of the post with the help of a Carlisle defender.
Crawley entered the break with a slim lead one-nil lead, but in truth, could have been two or three goals to the good at the interval.
Carlisle started the second half much better than they did the first, and within the first couple of minutes, Jon Mellish struck Crawley’s crossbar. In a similar fashion to Tilley’s strike in the first half, Mellish struck a powerful dipping volley from range which rattled the crossbar.
Morris made a smart save from Brennan Dickenson just moments later as the hosts really began to turn up the pressure. In the meantime, Crawley introduced Caleb Watts, who was making his debut for the club.
Despite Carlisle looking bright, Crawley were still dangerous on the attack and continued to threaten the host’s goal. In the 72nd minute, Crawley won a penalty through James Tilley. Tom Nichols was replaced just one minute before the decision, which left Ashley Nadesan with the responsibility of the spot-kick. Nadesan stepped up and blazed his effort over the bar.
With the game reaching its dying stages, Glenn Morris produced a wonder save to deny the hosts an equaliser. For the second week in a row, Morris spread his body to divert an effort round the post in the last knockings.
Unfortunately for Crawley, this was not enough to secure all three points. With five minutes added time indicated, Carlisle snatched a late equaliser. Lewis Alessandra placed a perfectly directed header into the Crawley net from a corner.
The Reds hit the road again on Tuesday night as we travel to the Lamex Stadium to take on Stevenage.
REDS XI: Morris, Tsaroulla, Lynch, Craig, Francomb, Tilley, Powell, Payne, Matthews (Watts 63’) (Davies 80’), Nichols (Grego-Cox 73’), Nadesan.
ATTENDANCE: 4350 (76 away)