The Red Devils picked up a massive three points against Salford City this afternoon with a brilliant performance at the Broadfield Stadium. First-half goals from Dom Telford and Dion Conroy put the Reds in good stead at the half-time break. Teddy Jenks netted his first Crawley goal to put his side in complete control. Late goals from Ryan Watson and Matthew Lund set up a nervy finish, but Lindsey’s side held on to claim all three points.
Crawley started brightly as Jack Powell forced a routine save from Alex Cairns within the first five minutes. A good piece of footwork on the left wing from Tom Fellows allowed the winger to find Powell on the edge of the box. After a slight adjustment, Powell was able to make space for a shot which Cairns took well on the dive.
Rafiq Khaleel was given his first league start for Crawley by new Manager Scott Lindsey, and the youngster almost repaid him inside the first ten minutes. Another good move from Crawley gave the youngster space to line up a shot from distance, and the midfielder very nearly found the target as his shot flew past the post.
Crawley’s persistence paid off as they took the lead in the 24th minute. More good work from Khaleel gave Crawley a corner which captain Dom Telford nodded home beyond Carins to give his side a deserved lead.
Just under ten minutes later, Crawley doubled their lead. With another corner! Jack Powell floated a delicious ball into the Salford danger area, which Conroy beautifully flicked in at the near post to give his former and now current Manager a two-goal cushion in his first game in charge.
Corey Addai made a very decent save to deny Callum Morton just a few minutes after Crawley had doubled their lead. Morton raced through on goal and had plenty of the target to aim for, but Addai got down brilliantly to palm away the Salford man's effort.
It was a quiet opening to the second half, but it was Salford who created the first chance of the half. A tremendous ball from Ryan Watson found Callum Hendry, who let fly with an audacious effort from outside the box. Addai was alert to the effort and tipped it over the bar with an acrobatic save.
It was a game of firsts for a lot of the lads out on the pitch this afternoon, and Teddy Jenks continued the trend with his first Crawley goal, which was scored with a great deal of composure. Oteh worked the ball back to Jenks on the edge of the box after a cross was only half cleared by Salford. Jenks expertly turned his man and curled a brilliant effort into the bottom corner.
Three changes followed for the Reds as Jenks, Khaleel and Oteh were replaced by Ben Gladwin, Ashley Nadesan and Mazeed. All were greeted with a big round of applause as they had all put in a mighty shift. Oteh worked his socks off on the wing, Khaleel showed a great deal of class on his full-league debut, and Jenks scored an excellent first goal for the club.
Salford pulled a goal back in the 77th minute as Watson bundled home a rebound after Addai had made a decent stop from Luke Bolton. Another goal followed with two minutes of added time remaining. Matthew Lund scored a goal that was very similar to the one that his teammate Watson had scored moments earlier. The ball was bundled home to set up a very nervy end at the Broadfield Stadium.
Fortunately, Crawley held on to claim a massive three points in Scott Lindsey’s first game in charge.
REDS XI: Addai, Johnson, Conroy, Francillette, Tsaroulla, Khaleel (Ogungbo 74’), Powell, Jenks (Gladwin 66’), Oteh (Nadesan 66’), Fellows, Telford (Ransom 87’)
Attendance: 2600 (129 away)