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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

12 March 2024 Venue Broadfield Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Reports

Report: Crawley 2-1 Notts

Robertson red leads to turnaround

12 March 2024

Crawley Town turned the game on its head after Scott Robertson was shown a second yellow card at the Broadfield Stadium.

We were 1-0 up thanks to Sam Austin's first-half opener but, after Robertson was shown a second yellow card, goals from Klaidi Lolos and Ade Adeyemo earned their side the win.

Stuart Maynard opted for a back three, which saw Sam Slocombe protected by Adam Chicksen, Kyle Cameron and Lewis Macari.

Jodi Jones to return to the left-hand side, with Aaaron Nemane occupying the opposite flank and Scottish duo Robertson and Jim O’Brien continuing at the base of midfield.

Further forward, Austin was given the nod to partner Dan Crowley in behind Macaulay Langstaff.

With Richard Brindley, Aden Baldwin, Jaden Warner, John Bostock and David McGoldrick all injured or still working towards a return, and Geraldo Bajrami, Matt Palmer and Cedwyn Scott all lengthy absentees, Maynard’s bench options were limited.

That presented youngster James Sanderson with the chance to return to the squad as he joined Luca Ashby-Hammond, Connell Rawlinson, Will Randall, Tobi Adeabyo, Charlie Colkett and Alassana Jatta on the sidelines.

At the beginning of what would prove to be an inspired performance from Slocombe, we had him to thank for a big double save inside three minutes as the hosts broke down our left and crossed for Lolos, who took a touch before seeing his fiercely-struck effort brilliantly saved by the keeper – with a team-mate’s follow-up effort also being dealt with by Slocombe.

Our response came shortly afterwards as Austin pounced on a loose ball to release Jones, who in turn worked the ball to Crowley. The midfielder weaved his way into the area in typical style before firing a low, left-footed effort goalwards which was well saved by Corey Addai.

And Crowley came even closer to putting us ahead three minutes later as Jones did brilliantly to work his way out of a tight space and then into the area, before sliding a low cross into the six-yard box. Crowley looked destined to turn the ball home but a superb last-ditch challenge came in to turn the ball behind.

Jones was enjoying a scintillating start to the game and drew a foul, and a booking, from Kellan Gordon before seeing his subsequent low free-kick fired off-target by Langstaff under pressure from several defenders.

But we didn’t have to wait much longer to get the lead our strong start deserved as, on 20 minutes, Nemane’s throw sent Crowley to the byline. In turn, he dinked a cross towards Austin near the penalty spot and he managed to do enough to put his marker off his clearance before pouncing on the loose ball and guiding it past Addai.

Crawley reminded us of their own threat six minutes later as Lolos’ right-footed effort from the edge of the area crashed off the crossbar, but we then had a chance of our own as we broke two-v-two through the middle of the pitch and Langstaff saw a low effort from a narrow angle saved after being supplied by Crowley.

Langstaff was played into the area once again seconds later, thanks to Jones this time, but with the ball running away from goal and the chance coming on his left foot his only real option was to try and lob Addai – and he failed to get the elevation required.

The hosts came on strong towards the end of the half, Slocombe having to make two saves before seeing an Adam Campbell shot fly over.

But we claimed the final chance of the opening period as the ball bounced to O’Brien 20 yards out. He didn’t catch his effort sweetly and it was blocked by a defender, with our handball appeals being waved away.

We emerged for the second half in a flat back four, with Macari partnering Cameron and Nemane slotting in at right back, and we made a controlled start before seeing a Langstaff finish ruled out for offside.

A minute later Langstaff had another sniff at goal as O’Brien broke out of midfield and played the forward into the right-hand side of the area. He could only drag the ball across goal and comfortably wide of Addai’s far post.

The hosts had to wait until the 68th minute for their first threatening moment of the second period as Lolos’ fierce strike was met with a strong Slocombe save.

And, after the keeper had made to two more excellent saves to deny Lolos and then Joy Mukena, the hosts’ momentum was helped by the dismissal of Robertson as, after being booked for preventing the taking of a Crawley throw-in earlier in the half, the midfielder was shown a second yellow for a foul.

Jones and Crowley made way for Colkett and Adebayo as we looked to consolidate our lead and see the game out – but on 79 minutes Lolos was played into the area and finally found a low finish beyond Slocombe to level the match.

And, shortly after Slocombe had made another strong save at his near post, his goal was breached again on 85 minutes as Adeyemo cut in from the left and sent a powerful low shot into his bottom corner.

Slocombe denied Lolos his second with an outstanding fingertip save moments before eight added minutes were signalled.

But, after Nemane had skirted along the edge of the area menacingly before seeing his shot blocked, there was to be no comeback and we left Sussex empty-handed.

STARTING XI: Slocombe; Chicksen, Cameron, Macari; Jones, Nemane; Robertson, O'Brien; Austin, Crowley; Langstaff

SUBS: Ashby-Hammond, Rawlinson, Randall, Adebayo, Colkett, Sanderson, Jatta

BOOKINGS: Slocombe 30', O'Brien 51', Robertson 66' & 72' (S/O)

ATTENDANCE: 3,542 (306)

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