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Match Reports

TOWN 1- 2 Crawley Town - Second-half strikes see Town fall to defeat

9 March 2024

Match Reports

TOWN 1- 2 Crawley Town - Second-half strikes see Town fall to defeat

9 March 2024

Second-half goals from Harry Forster and Klaidi Lolos consigned Town to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Crawley Town at The Envirovent Stadium this afternoon.

Simon Weaver’s side had been in control of the game, going in at the break 1-0 ahead thanks to George Thomson’s eleventh league goal of the season but two goals in ten minutes capped a comeback performance to dent playoff ambitions

Town made one change to the side that earner a 1-1 draw at Swindon last weekend with Warren Burrell replacing the injured Liam Gibson.

The visitors, defeated last time out 1-0 away to Morecambe, came into the game with an unchanged line-up that featured former Town-players Danilo Orsi and Jay Williams.

It was a quiet opening ten minutes to the game, Town looking to get the ball out wide early but Crawley compact and neat in possession.

A Thomson snapshot on 12 minutes failed to test the ‘keeper as he scuffed his effort and dragged the shot wide.

The visitors were dealt a blow on 20 minutes when captain Dion Conroy was forced off with injury after 20 minutes, to be replaced by Joy Mukena.

The deadlock was broken on 26 minutes when Thomson struck. Smart play from Jack Muldoon held the ball up well he fed the onrushing Thomson who fired smartly with his left foot beyond Corey Addai.

Muldoon was again provider on the half-hour with a clever touch to Matty Daly who turned and shot, forcing a smart save from Addai down to his left.

Addai was the busier of the two ‘keepers and he then had to be at full stretch to deny Dean Cornelius with Town looking to press their advantage further before the break.

The visitors forays into the Town were limited by Ronan Darcy found himself in possession five minutes before the break, but with Town players flocking around him he fired a left-footed strike high and wide of the target.

Kellan Gordon received a yellow card for his reaction to the referees failure to award a free-kick.

A Harry Forster half-volley out of nowhere had James Belshaw at full-stretch to tip over the bar on his 200th appearance.

Cornelius then went into the book on the stroke of half-time for pulling back Forster as Town went in at the break in the driving seat.

A quick thrown-in from Muldoon at the start of the second-half see Cornelius free and he set up Daly for a shot from the edge of the box that tested Addai in the visitors goal.

There was a good spell of possession from Crawley following this though and with the Town defence backpedalling Forster curled an effort beyond the partially unsighted Belshaw, who was relieved to see the ball go wide.

Thomson then had a good effort when the advancing Daly found him with a smart bass. Addai was well behind the ball though to thwart the danger.

At the other end hesitation from Abu allowed the visitors to get a snapshot away which Belshaw had to be quick to react to.

The Town keeper couldn’t keep out the equaliser a minute later though when Forster scrambled the ball home from close range after Town didn’t clear the danger.

The goal saw both sides make immediate changes. Town made a pair of substitutions with Josh Math and Levi Sutton replacing Abraham Odoh and Stephen Dooley, whilst the visitors brought on Adam Campbell for Jeremy Kelly.

Substitute March had an immediate impact when he won possession and set up Muldoon who struck well but a little too close to Addai.

Town fell behind on 65 minutes however when Lolos cracked an unstoppable effort beyond Belshaw from the edge of the area to cap the comeback their play after the break had threatened.

There was another change for Town immediately after with Tom Bloxham replacing Daly in a like for like change.

March almost levelled shortly after when cleverly ghosted in at the far post to get a touch on Thomson’s low free-kick but, frustratingly for Town, the ball slid just beyond the far post to safety.

Despite having taken the lead the visitors weren’t resting on their laurels with a further triple change on 70 minutes that saw Jack Roles, Nick Tsaroulla, and Ade Adeyamo replace Forster, Darcy and Gordon.

And Tsaroulla missed a golden opportunity to wrap up the points fiver minutes later when persistent play from Orsi saw him pull the ball back but the Crawley substitute, in time and space, hooked his shot well wide.

Belshaw could only stand and admire Campbell’s effort ten minutes from time that dipped viciously to canon back off the crossbar. Town continued to search for an equaliser, and perhaps more, but the visitors threat remained.

Simon Weaver introduced Joe Mattock for Matty Foulds with five minutes remaining as Town went to a back three in search of a late goal but despite a late March half-chance Town couldn’t find a way through.


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