Crawley fell to defeat in Yorkshire this afternoon at the hands of Doncaster Rovers. James Tilley scored the only goal for the Red Devils to ensure that the two sides entered half-time level. A second-half double from George Miller, and a late goal from Kyle Hurst, ensured Rovers walked away victorious.
Kevin Betsy’s side started the game on the front foot and appeared to be making some good in-roads towards the Doncaster backline. Nick Tsaroulla linked up with Tom Nichols in the 5th minute, which allowed Tsaroulla to make room for a cross. Ro-Shaun Williams dealt with the danger well in the end.
Doncaster began to settle into the game and created an excellent chance in the 15th minute. Kyle Hurst, who was having an exciting battle with Tom Fellows, burst into the Crawley box after a tidy section of play. Corey Addai came rushing out of his goal and made an excellent save from point-blank range.
Caleb Chukwuemeka was handed his first league start for Crawley by Betsy this afternoon. The striker, who joined the Reds on deadline day, was playing in a slightly adapted wide position and very nearly gave Crawley the lead. Caleb shuffled past his man inside the Rovers’ penalty area and fired a shot at goal, which whistled past the post.
Moments after James Tilley had almost fired a rocket into the bottom corner of the Doncaster goal, the home side took the lead. A very dubious decision to give Doncaster a free-kick resulted in the goal. The first cross, was cleared well, but the second was headed in at the far post by Joseph Olowu.
Crawley responded excellently and found themselves level only a minute after Doncaster had taken the lead. It was a great move from Betsy’s side as Tilley, Nadesan, and Nichols all linked up on the edge of the area with great fluidity, which freed up space for Tilley to have a shot. The Reds’ number seven curled a delightful effort past Jonathan Mitchell to ensure Crawley entered the half-time break level.
Chukwuemeka was having a fine game out on the left and almost provided an assist to Nick Tsaroulla. A ball was whipped into the Crawley area, which Caleb brought down and backheeled to Tsaroulla. The young full-back drilled an effort at goal, which was well saved by Mitchell.
Just as Crawley looked to be asserting their dominance, Rovers were awarded a penalty. The ball was floated into the Crawley penalty area towards the back post, where Kieran Agard headed back across goal. The ball took a deflection off of a Crawley man, and the referee judged that the ball was handled in the box in the process. George Miller stepped up and slotted the ball past Addai in the Crawley goal.
Before Crawley could even think of pulling a goal back, Rovers extended their lead. Miller received the ball in the box following a very unfortunate deflection, and the striker wasted no time in blasting the ball into the roof of the net.
Three soon became four as Hurst made a darting run from the half-way line, beating several Crawley defenders on the way. The young attacker breezed past the last man and poked the ball under Addai.
The Reds are back in action next Saturday when Stevenage visit the Broadfield Stadium.