The Reds pulled back a three-goal deficit to claim a draw against Championship side QPR this afternoon. Goals from James Tilley, Tom Nichols and Manny Adebowale completed a second-half comeback after the R’s took a three-goal lead early in the second period.
It was a fairly even start to the game as both sides looked to get a decent hold of the ball in the opening ten minutes. Unfortunately for the Reds, it only took eight for the Championship side to take the lead. The R’s won a corner on the right-hand side, which resulted in Sam Field rising highest and beautifully glancing a header past Morris into the back of the net.
Morris then had to deny George Thomas, who was neatly set through on goal by Stefan Johansen. The R’s midfielder had only Morris to beat but failed to do so with a cheeky chip that Morris read expertly well.
The game hit a quiet patch for the remainder of the half. Kevin Betsy’s side were holding on to the ball very well, but we’re struggling to get past a very stride QPR defence. James Tilley had a powerful effort blocked five minutes before the end of the half, which was Crawley’s best chance of the opening 45 minutes.
A handful of changes were made at half-time for both sides as two trialists, Corey Addai and Harry Ransom, were introduced for the Reds.
The Reds started the second half with good energy and looked good when going forward with the ball. However, the Championship side doubled their lead within five minutes of the re-start. Macaulay Bonne capitalised on a mistake from Corey Addai and tucked the ball into an empty net.
Bonne added another for QPR in the 58th minute after a rapid breakaway from the R’s. The ball was whipped across the box with pace for Bonne to latch on to and smash home beyond the reach of Addai.
James Tilley pulled one back for the Reds a few moments later with a neat finish into the bottom corner. Addai picked out Nichols with a long-range pass, which allowed the striker to play an attempted ball to Nadesan that was intercepted. Fortunately for the Reds, the ball fell loose to Tilley, who smashed the ball home.
This boosted the confidence of the Reds, and soon enough, the deficit was reduced to one. A trialist, who was impressive after coming on, won a penalty after a good run into the QPR penalty area. Tom Nichols stepped up and cooly slotted the ball into the bottom corner.
Sure enough, the Reds soon found themselves level. A quick free-kick routine was played to good effect, as Owen Gallacher was able to dink a brilliant through ball to Aramide Oteh. The striker forced a decent save from the R’s goalkeeper, which saw the ball fall kindly at the feet of Adebowale, who caressed the ball into the bottom corner.
The Reds looked content at the full-time whistle after completing a three-goal comeback in the second half. Kevin Betsy’s Reds are back in action on Monday night as they travel to East Grinstead Town for their third pre-season friendly.
ATTENDANCE: 2674 (1346 away)