Crawley Town ran out 2-1 winners against Harrogate Town on a crisp and cold November Saturday afternoon at the Broadfield Stadium.
Ben Gladwin opened the Crawley account, before Jack Muldoon ensured the sides went into half-time level, striking deep into time added on at the end of the first half. However, Lolos’ second half header was enough to ensure that all three points remained in West Sussex.
It was an end-to-end start to the game, with both sides having opportunities to take the lead inside the first 10 minutes. Crawley striker Danilo Orsi was fouled in the box, but did excellently to maintain control of the ball and get a shot off on goal which was eventually saved.
At the other end, Abraham Odoh went close for the visitors, who was set free following some lightning-fast footwork from ex-Middlesbrough forward Sam Folarin - who did well to gain control of the ball in a tight area. However his effort was well blocked.
With 20 minutes on the clock, Luca Ashby-Hammond was on hand to deny Jack Muldoon his third goal of the season. A devilish cross in from Matty Foulds was met first-time by Muldoon, who timed his arrival into the penalty area perfectly and met the ball as it dropped out of the sky with a strike that looked to be arrowing into the corner but for the reflexes of our Fulham loanee.
Just a minute later, Crawley took the lead through captain Ben Gladwin, who drove home a wonderful low strike from 25 yards. There was some neat interplay on the edge of the Harrogate area before the ball was played back to the 31-year old who picked his spot and duly found the target, much to the delight of the fans in attendance.
Crawley looked to pile on the pressure following their opener, and Danilo Orsi came close to doubling the home side’s advantage, flicking a Kellan Gordon cross on towards goal, and he was unlucky to see the ball collide with the post rather than nestle in the back of the net.
Harrogate’s afternoon worsened when joint-top scorer Folarin was substituted following a suspected injury. The attacker went down clutching his hamstring but was able to leave the field walking. The visitors, nicknamed the Sulphurites, had a good chance to level from a free-kick in an advantageous position, but captain George Thomson could not get enough power on his effort to lift it over the Crawley wall.
With seven minutes of added time announced at the end of the first-half thanks in part to Folarin’s injury, it was ultimately Harrogate who would profit from these as Jack Muldoon equalised following Anthony O’Connor’s towering header from a corner in the fifth of those seven. The ball ricocheted off Muldoon and into the back of the net to level the scores, which was perhaps a fair reflection of the first half, as the teams headed in for the break.
The second half began as the first had, as a rather cagey affair with little in the way of chances for either outfit. With just under an hour gone, young attacker Ade Adeyemo was introduced as Crawley looked for a spark to ignite their second-half showing.
Lo and behold, Adeyemo was at the heart of Crawley’s first real chance of the half. Positioned out on the right-hand side he flashed a dangerous ball across the face of goal, and found Nick Tsaroulla, who saw his shot brilliantly saved by Mitchell in the Harrogate net.
With just over 70 minutes played, Crawley retook the lead when Klaidi Lolos headed home from close range. The corner was floated into the box and looped over Mitchell, landing perfectly for Lolos who was well-placed to nod it in and restore the Crawley advantage.
Crawley then expertly resisted a late flurry of Harrogate pressure to hold on to the result, and climb to eleventh in the table with three points added to the season's tally, which now stands at 27 after 18 games.
REDS XI: Ashby-Hammond, Gordon, Williams, Darcy (Adeyemo 57'), Maguire, Tsaroulla, Kelly, Gladwin (c), Lolos, Campbell (Johnson 79'), Orsi
Attendance: 2,829 (93 away)