Crawley were frustrated by bottom of the table Scunthorpe United this afternoon at The People’s Pension Stadium. Crawley created countless chances, but a combination of resilient defending and simply excellent goalkeeping meant the Reds had to settle for a point.
Crawley created the first chance of the game and arguably should have taken the lead through George Francomb in the 15th minute. Jack Powell played a brilliant pass through to Ashley Nadesan, who backheeled the ball into the path of Francomb. The skipper failed to keep his shot down and saw it fly over the bar.
Crawley were then denied what appeared to be a clear penalty. After Issac Hutchinson had a header saved well by Rory Watson, a Scunthorpe defender looked to have controlled the ball with his hand. Referee James Bell waved away the protests.
Hutchinson was looking like the most likely of Crawley players to find the back of the net and almost did so ten minutes before half-time. Nadesan fired a ball across the goal, which Hutchinson got a slight touch on. Watson saved well again in the Scunthorpe goal.
Crawley controlled the entirety of the first half but failed to find the opening goal within the first 45 minutes.
The Reds got off to a flying start in the second half, and had it not been for a great block from George Taft, Hutchinson would have scored. Nadesan broke through the Iron’s defence and squared the ball to Hutchinson, who had the goal at his mercy. Taft flew in with a vital block to deny the Derby loanee.
Despite Crawley’s pressure, Scunthorpe almost took the lead with a speculative effort from the edge of the area. Hayden Hackney struck an effort towards goal, the ball moved around in the air, and as a result, Morris was forced to tip over the bar quite spectacularly.
Watson was proving to be Hutchinson's arched nemesis. The goalkeeper once again saved brilliantly from Isaac from inside the box. Watson somehow got down to his left to tip Hutchinson’s powerful effort around the post.
Substitute Archie Davies then stung the palms of Watson from the edge of the area. Crawley were really beginning to turn up the pressure with ten minutes of the tie remaining.
Watson again denied the Reds with a brilliant stop, this time from Nadesan. The striker received the ball from Frost inside the area and stabbed an effort towards goal. Watson spread himself well and got his full body behind the effort.
The Scunthorpe defence held firm and forced Crawley to settle for a point at The People’s Pension Stadium.
REDS XI: Morris, Tsaroulla, Craig, Tunnicliffe, Lynch, Ferry, Payne, Powell, Francomb, Hutchinson, Nadesan.
Attendance: 2144 (125 away)