Jordan Turnbull’s 68th minute goal was the difference today in an affair in which Crawley created many chances. Late into the second half Joel Lynch won a penalty for the Reds but Dom Telford struck it over the crossbar.
It was a great start for Crawley who looked energetic from the first whistle. Travis Johnson slotted into central defence and Dion Conroy partnered Jack Powell in midfield in some eye-opening changes from Saturday’s defeat to Carlisle.
The game’s only goal scorer Turnbull nearly had one after seven minutes after receiving a ball from Cogley but the lineman raised his flag quickly spotting a clear offside.
Some training ground work was displayed minutes later when Jack Powell found Telford with a short corner. The striker smashed his first-time effort over the bar.
Kellan Gordon was energetic as always crossing frequently into the area but not being able to find any targets.
On 21 minutes, Tom Fellows showed off his agility to weave past two before picking out Nadesan in behind with a brilliant through-ball. The striker met the pass well but had a low effort tipped wide by Murphy. Tsaroulla then became more involved going forward, winning a tally of corners and free-kicks.
After the half-hour mark, Powell volleyed over the bar. Oteh and Fellows also had half chances before the half-time whistle blew.
Five minutes into the second half, Powell had another effort, this time curling towards the top corner as Murphy was able to tip away yet again. Tsaroulla then found Nadesan with a cross but the header was steered wide.
Fellows had another moment of individual brillIance when he drifted inside from a wide area and unleashed a shot that was wayward.
After 68 minutes, Turnbull opened the scoring after driving forward from defence and playing a one-two which resulted in a calm, slotted effort which left Addai with no chance.
Substitute Roles made an immediate impact when he picked out Fellows in behind, but goalkeeper Murphy came to the rescue again, rushing off his line alertly and making a good block.
In the 79th minute, Lynch decided to embark on a run forward into the box and was brought down from behind to win a dramatic penalty. Telford stepped up and slammed it over the crossbar into the away section behind.
Tranmere claimed all three points in a game that Crawley arguably created much more. We remain in 23rd position and will play Northampton Town away on Saturday afternoon.
Reds XI: Addai; Gordon, Johnson, Lynch, Tsaroulla; Conroy, Powell, Oteh (Roles 69’), Fellows (Francillette 88’), Nadesan, Telford (C).