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Crawley secure League Two status with a point against Walsall.

30 April 2023

Crawley secured League Two status for another season this afternoon with a 0-0 draw at home to Walsall. Scott Lindsey’s side dominated large parts of the game and had chances to take all three points, but in the end, it seemed that both sides were content with just one. 

It was an even start at the Broadfield Stadium. The home terrace was making plenty of noise behind the goal with the now infamous Red & White Army chant. Corey Addai made a fairly routine save in the opening exchanges to keep the score level, which seemed to spur on the hoke crowd even more.

Travis Johnson, who was enjoying a run in the starting XI, made a crucial block to deny Walsall on the counter-attack. A Crawley player was picked of the ball, which allowed Tom Knowles to drive forward and attack the Reds’ penalty area. Johnson flew in with a brilliantly timed block to stop a dangerous cross.

Jack Powell had a quick-free-kick routine deflected out for a corner a few moments later. James Tilley nudged the ball to the Crawley midfielder, who sent a wicked effort towards the goal. It was unclear if it was a defender or goalkeeper who got the last touch, but the referee signalled a corner.

Tilley looked to be denied a certain goal five minutes before half-time as a Walsall defender made a brilliant challenge to deny the winger. Tom Fellows did brilliantly to find space and drag the ball back towards Tilley, who was lurking by the penalty spot. A brilliant last-ditched tackle from a Walsall defender stopped Tilley’s shot dead in its tracks.

Both sides had early chances in the second half. Walsall had the first effort as Matt Stevens forced Addai into a save. Tilley fired a shot at goal a few moments later, which forced substitute goalkeeper Jackson Smith into a save.

Crawley had a huge appeal for a goal a few moments later. Nadesan attacked a glorious ball from Ben Gladwin, which Smith looked to fumble over the line. Huge appeals from the players and fans followed, but the referee and linesman agreed that the ball had not crossed the line.

It was beginning to get quite nervy at the Broadfield Stadium as the clock ticked over to 70 minutes. Hartlepool were winning in the other important fixture, and the intensity at the Broadfield Stadium had significantly reduced.

Over the course of the season, this was probably one of the more unflattering games of football at the Broadfield Stadium. This was not to matter though. A point was all Crawley needed to clinch safety in League Two. The stadium erupted at full-time, and it was clear to see how much of an impact this result had on the fans, players and staff. 

Safety was secured and Crawley will be playing in League Two next season.

REDS XI: Addai, Johnson, Ransom, Conroy, Tsaroulla, Fellows (Grant 68’), Powell, Gladwin, Tilley, Telford, Nadesan

Attendance: 4189 (281)

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