Crawley Town 1, Bristol Rovers 2 FULL-TIME: Tunnicliffe limps off as spirited Reds are defeated by Pirates

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on items purchased through this article, but that does not affect our editorial judgement.

Crawley Town lost 2-1 against Bristol Rovers at the People's Pension Stadium tonight.

It was a ferocious start to the game which paved the way for the rest of the half. Despite seeing less of the ball, Crawley hit the channels direct and accurately, forging out a couple of chances in the opening minutes by seeking out the tireless Ashley Nadesan and Isaac Hutchinson.

Two big early chances were passed up in the opening 8 minutes by the hosts. Captain, George Francomb with the best opportunity. After Hutchinson’s flick into his path, he let the ball roll across onto his stronger right foot but fired over from a good position just inside the box. Nadesan minutes later dragged wide from a tight position after latching onto a ball into the left-hand channel. Both inside the opening 10 minutes.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Have you seen? Crawley Town forward shortlisted for League Two Fans' Player of the MonthRovers then grasped the upper hand. Danger men, Harry Anderson and Newcastle United loanee, Elliot Anderson, forcing the Reds defence on the back foot, with Glenn Morris on hand to keep the scores level with a couple of saves. Most impressively tipping Harry Anderson’s effort wide of the far post it looked destined to nestle in.

Jake Hessenthaler was back in action for first time since early DecemberJake Hessenthaler was back in action for first time since early December
Jake Hessenthaler was back in action for first time since early December

Minutes prior to Morris’ stop, a rare home chance amid pressure from the visitors, presented Hutchinson with the half’s best chance for the Reds. Centre-half, Connor Taylor, misjudged a long ball which the Derby loanee raced onto. However, James Belshaw in the sticks was quick out to smother his chipped attempt. The ball just seemingly won’t go in for him at the moment.

The game finally had chance to breath when Jordan Tunnicliffe was forced off with a hamstring injury on the 25th minute mark as the frantic pace of the game finally stalled. After last featuring against Walsall back in early December, Jake Hessenthaler was his replacement, with Francomb dropping into the back line. A change of referee saw the delay extended.

Harry Anderson put the visitors ahead on the 40-minute mark, the first shot since the break in play. The former Crawley youngster slotted through Morris’ legs from a tight angle six yards out. It was a controversial decision to let play continue when Aaron Collins, who was in a clear offside position, left the pass which Anderson eventually latched on to. Judged to have not interfered with play the flag stayed down, to the anger of the Crawley support.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A feisty affair threatened to boil over. Tony Craig was booked inside 10 minutes for a late challenge on Collins, but the visiting players and fans protested for a red card against Jack Payne who clattered into the goalscorer, Anderson, but Payne was eventually shown a yellow card to the hosts' relief.

Eight minutes added onto the end of the first half gave the Reds time to grab an equaliser before the break, which they so almost did. Nick Tsaroulla was denied by Belshaw from a first-time strike in the left-hand side of the box. Hessenthaler followed in but his effort was blocked, although some sections of the crowd thought by an arm.

Unable to find the right final pass in the remaining added time, the Reds go into the break behind. They will be confident of coming behind in what has been a thrilling contest so far.

For the latest breaking news where you live in Sussex, follow us on Twitter @Sussex_World and like us on Facebook @SussexWorldUK

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.