The Reds' unbeaten run came to an end at Crewe Alexandra this afternoon. Neither side looked likely to score in the first half despite some early chances. Courtney Baker-Richardson scored the only goal of the game in the 73rd minute, and despite a strong final ten minutes, Crawley fell to their first defeat of the month.
Crawley made a good start to the match and had a shout for a penalty in the seventh minute. James Tilley linked up well with Tom Fellows and raced through towards goal. The Crawley midfielder was pushed to the floor, but referee Rebecca Welch deemed it to be in a fair manner.
Crewe responded to Crawley’s early chance and hit the woodwork moments later through Courtney Baker-Richardson. An initial Crewe corner was cleared by the Red Devils, but the ball soon found its way back into the danger area. Baker-Richardson peeled away to the front post, where he met the effort well, but the post came to Crawley’s rescue.
In the space of the next two minutes, both sides had great chances to take the lead. Crawley’s chance came first as Nichols picked out Tom Fellows with a lovely lofted pass. Fellows attempted to lob the 6 foot 6” Arthur Okonkwo but had his effort thwarted. Baker-Richardson was played through in a similar fashion at the other end and forced a brilliant save from Corey Addai.
In truth, after a decent start to the match, the affair began to die down as neither team seemed desperate to risk it all with a fast breakaway. As a result, the score remained 0-0 at the half, and neither team seemed to be too disappointed.
Harry Ransom almost put Crawley ahead in the early stages of the second half after the ball broke loose to the centre-back at the far post. Fellows floated a ball into the Crewe area, which Ludwig Francilliette flicked on. Ransom looked a little surprised to see the ball arrive at him and could only stick out a leg and poke wide.
Telford then tested Okonkwo with a low-driven effort, which the Arsenal loanee saved well. It was a well-worked move from the Reds as Tsaroulla found the striker on the edge of the box. With his back to goal, Telford turned and fired a shot at goal, which Okonkwo reacted to well with a smart save.
Just as the game was beginning to die back down, Courtney Baker-Richardson put his side ahead. A sloppy piece of play in the midfield cost Crawley as the ball was fed through the Crewe number nine. The forward was gifted the opportunity and took it well as he poked the ball under Addai.
Crawley gave it a really strong push inside the final ten minutes but failed to find that killer shot or pass to rescue a point.
REDS XI: Addai, Tsaroulla, Craig (Powell 84'), Francillette, Ransom, Fellows, Hessenthaler, Balagizi, Tilley (Nadesan 74'), Nichols, Telford (Chuckwuemeka 74')