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Crawley take a massive step towards League Two survival with win at Hartlepool.

22 April 2023

Crawley picked up a massive three points in their fight for League Two survival with a win at Hartlepool United this afternoon. A brace from Dom Telford was enough to secure Crawley the three points. Telford's first came minutes before half-time as he nodded home at the far post to give the Reds the advantage at half-time. Telford's second will be a contender for the Goal of the Season Award as he plucked a beautiful pass from Corey Addai out of the air and dispatched it into the back of the net to secure Scott Lindsey's side the all-important three points.

The Suit Direct Stadium was rocking at the start of the game, and the Hartlepool players were doing their best to match their fans by putting in some strong challenges inside the opening five minutes. Edon Pruti took things a little too far with an awful challenge on Ashley Nadesan. The Hartlepool centre-back was awarded a yellow card.

Crawley actually started the game pretty well and enjoyed a lot of possession in the opening ten minutes. Jack Powell forced a very good save from Jakub Stolarczyk as the midfielder powered a header towards the goal. James Tilley followed up with an effort a few moments later but dragged his shot wide of the target.

Ben Gladwin entered the book just before the half-hour mark, and it came at a time where Hartlepool had begun to play with some real confidence. Crawley had a free-kick to defend from Gladwin's challenge, but fortunately, Callum Cooke fired well over the bar. Josh Umerah had nodded wide a few moments earlier as the home side pushed for the opener. 

The Red Devils continued to play some very decent football at the Suit Direct Stadium and took what was probably a deserved lead in the 40th minute. A smart, quick free-kick from Powell set up the attack, and the ball eventually found its way to Tsaroulla on the far side. The Crawley full-back whipped a very dangerous ball to the far post, where a hoard of Crawley players waited. Dom Telford got the final touch and nodded home to give Crawley the lead.

The home side looked fired up on the other side of the break and almost pulled it back to level terms within the first two minutes. Corey Addai made a brilliant reaction save to deny Jamie Sterry's powerful effort. The shot was powered towards the goal with some real venom and took a late flick off of a Crawley defender. Addai reacted superbly and tipped the shot to safety.

Oteh had been struggling with an injury in the latter stages of the first half, and less than ten minutes into the second, he was forced off. Tom Fellows replaced the wide man and was set to have his work cut out on the left flank as Sterry was causing some real problems for the Crawley defence.

Hartlepool were putting some serious pressure on the Crawley defence but were able to take a two-goal lead courtesy of a piece of magic from Dom Telford. Corey Addai pelted the ball forward and found the Crawley striker in space behind the Hartlepool defence. Telford took the ball down with a simply world-class touch and buried the ball past Stolarczyk to give the Red Devils a very small cushion.

The next twenty-five minutes were very nervy. Hartlepool were naturally throwing everything and the kitchen sink at Scott Lindsey's side in the final exchanges. Seven additional minutes were indicated by the fourth official. Earlier in the game, referee Sam Barrot had gotten injured earlier in the match, so it was now Thomas Kirk with the whistle.

Fortunately, Crawley held on to claim a massive three points in their fight for League Two safety. Scott Lindsey's side are now only one point from survival, and face Walsall at home in a week's time.

REDS XI: Addai, Johnson, Conroy, Ransom, Tsaroulla, Tilley, Powell, Gladwin (Grant 60'), Oteh (Fellows 53'), Nadesan, Telford (Khaleel 81')

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