Crawley’s six-game unbeaten streak came to an end at the hands of Doncaster Rovers this evening. A first-half strike from Mo Faal and a second-half penalty from Joe Ironside ensured Crawley were sent back to Sussex empty-handed.
It was a fairly even start to proceedings at the Eco-Power Stadium as both sides enjoyed plenty of the ball in the opening exchanges.
The first real chance of the match fell to the Red Devils as Laurence Maguire forced a decent save out of Louis Jones, who denied the centre-back a second goal in as many games. Will Wright hurled a long throw into the danger area, which Laurence met with conviction. Fortunately for Doncaster, Jones was alert to the effort.
Doncaster then enjoyed a flurry of chances as Corey Addai was called into action with several decent saves to keep the score at 0-0. The pick of the bunch came just after the 25th minute as the Crawley goalkeeper sprung down to his right to collect an effort from pin-point range.
Unfortunately, Corey’s heroics were soon undone as Doncaster capitalised on a mistake in the Crawley half and took the lead. Joe Ironside pounced on the ball and was able to find Mo Faal in acres of space inside the Crawley area. Faal took his chance well and planted a lovely finish into the bottom corner past the on-rushing Addai.
Crawley suffered another scare when Liam Kelly went down with a nasty-looking head injury before the half-time break. The influential midfielder had clattered into a Doncaster man inside the opposition penalty area and looked to be in some pain. After a lengthy check and a great deal of bandaging, Kelly was thankfully allowed back onto the pitch.
The Reds were unable to find a way back into the match in the remaining minutes of the first half, and Scott Lindsey’s side were faced with an uphill battle in the second half.
Crawley looked positive at the start of the second half as they looked to find a way back into the game from a losing position. Something that we have seen them do on multiple occasions this season.=
Tsaroulla created Crawley’s best chance of the half just before the hour mark as he took on several Doncaster defenders before drilling the ball across the goal. Somehow, the ball did not find its way into the back of the net, with several players from both sides lunging.
Only minutes after the chance, Crawley found themselves two goals down. Will Wright was penalised for bringing down a Doncaster striker in the penalty area, much to the disgust of Wright and the Crawley bench. Joe Ironside cooly dispatched the spot-kick.
The rest of the half was pretty bleak for the Reds and offered very little in the way of chances. Doncaster seemed comfortable with a two-goal lead and didn’t threaten Crawley on many occasions after the second goal was scored.
The home side rode out the remaining minutes and claimed all three points.
REDS XI: Addai, Tsaroulla (Roles 63’), Maguire, Wright, Johnson, Forster (Gordon 73’), Williams, Kelly (Henry 46’), Darcy (Khaleel 73’), Campbell (Swyer 81’)