The Reds earned themselves a decent point in Essex this evening in an entertaining 2-2 draw with Colchester United. Alex Newby opened the scoring for the visitors with a sweet strike in the 20th minute. Goals on either side of half-time from Ashely Nadesan and James Tilley saw the Reds come from behind, but a solo effort from Junior Tchamadeu in the 62nd minute ensured the points were shared in Essex.
It was a fairly even start to affairs, but the home side were the first to create a chance. Junior Tchamadeu whipped in a dangerous ball that former Red John Akinde attacked. A good piece of defending from Dion Conroy ensured Akinde missed the target, but Conroy was seriously injured in the process. After a lengthy spell on the floor, Conroy rose to his feet with the aid of Oxygen, as the defender was clearly in severe pain. Ludwig Francillette replaced the stricken defender.
Colchester’s bright start continued, and the home side took the lead in the 19th minute. Alex Newby picked the ball up from range and curled a perfectly placed strike into the bottom corner. The surface at the JobServe Community Stadium was very slick, and Newby used that to his advantage, which gave David Robson very little time to react.
Crawley were building into the game and began to make chances. Tom Fellows was making a real impact and had a shot and cross well blocked within the space of five minutes. Lewis Young made a slight change to the formation as Nadesan dropped deeper and further to the right.
The change made an instant impact, and it was that man Nadesan who drew Crawley level in the 44th minute. George Francomb received the ball on the right and dinked a lovely ball into the box, which Nadesan flicked in at the near post. Sam Hornby in the Colchester goal appeared to be wrong-footed by the early header.
Crawley’s confidence was now sky-high, and just as they did against Mansfield, Crawley scored within the first two-minutes minutes of the second half. Nichols found James Tilley, who hit a shot at goal. Hornby made an attempt to save the strike with his legs, but his attempt failed as the ball trickled over the line.
Colchester still looked dangerous, especially on the counter-attack, as Tchamadeu was still creating a lot of chances for the home side from right-back.
Sure enough, Tchamadeu levelled the score a few moments later. The full-back received the ball with space ahead of him and picked out the bottom corner with his left foot. It was a decent strike from the youngster, who had completely swung the momentum back in favour of the home side.
The Reds survived a flurry of Colchester attacks as the clock ticked over to 80 minutes. The defence were having to work extra hard to keep the score level with just under ten minutes remaining.
Crawley saw out the remaining minutes, which included six minutes of injury time, to pick up a point in Essex. All things considered, a draw was probably a fair result as both sides had chances to win it late on. Crawley can hold their heads high as they travel to Bradford City this weekend.
REDS XI: Robson, Francomb (Jenks 59’), Conroy (Francillette 15’), Craig, Tsaroulla, Powell, Hessenthaler, Tilley, Fellows (Telford 69’), Nichols, Nadesan
Attendance: 2931 (240 away)