Crawley Town 1, Harrogate Town 3: Three first goals enough to condemn Reds to third home defeat of season - match report

Harrogate’s three-goal first half flurry was enough to condemn Crawley to their third home defeat of the season.
Simon Power scores for Harrogate Town. Picture by UK Sports Images LtdSimon Power scores for Harrogate Town. Picture by UK Sports Images Ltd
Simon Power scores for Harrogate Town. Picture by UK Sports Images Ltd

Aaron Martin tucked in the opener, before Josh March converted his penalty after being brought down by Josh Wright.

Simon Power fired in a deflected third goal in the first half, before Dallison bundled in what would be a consolation goal for the Reds, as the Sulphurites were able to see out the win despite Will Smith’s red card.

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John Yems made two changes to the side that drew with Leyton Orient on Tuesday night, as Joe McNerney replaced the injured Jordan Tunnicliffe, and Mark Wright was handed his first start for Crawley.

Harrogate broke the deadlock in a cagey start to the game, when some great play between Aaron Martin and Josh March saw March slide a low cross into Martin, who steadied himself before forcing the ball past Glenn Morris to give the Sulphurites the lead in the 13th minute.

March fired a deflected shot over as Harrogate looked to build on their strong start, and the following corner caused Crawley more problems, as Connor Hall brought down George Thompson’s delivery before firing into a crowed six-yard box, before the Reds eventually scrambled clear.

Things soon got worse for Crawley when, in the box, Josh Wright tripped March on the counter-attack, with the referee awarding a penalty to Harrogate. March stepped up, and rolled the ball home, sending Morris the wrong way, to double Harrogate’s lead in the 30th minute.

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It was becoming a painful afternoon for the Reds when, following a corner kick, the ball was played into Simon Power on the edge of the box, whose shot found the bottom corner via a cruel deflection, making it 3-0 to Harrogate at halftime.

In the second half March forced Morris into a sharp save when he spun and fired towards the bottom corner from outside the box.

Crawley made a good start to the second half and found the net when a short corner saw Sam Matthews lift in a brilliant in swinging cross. James Belshaw clawed away, but Joe McNerney stabbed it back goal-wards, before Tom Dallison finally forced the ball over the line to give Crawley hope on the 53rd minute.

Crawley’s comeback hopes were strengthened when Tarryn Allarakhia slid a great pass through to Tom Nichols, who was tripped by Will Smith, who, being the last man, was dismissed for denying a goalscoring opportunity. The resulting free-kick was inches wide, as Jordan Maguire-Drew whipped into the side-netting.

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Despite the improved second half display, the Sulphurites were able to see out an important win against a frustrated Crawley side.

Crawley: Morris, Francomb, McNerney, Powell (Allarakhia 45’), Nadesan (Maguire-Drew 45’), Nichols, Matthews (Frost 74’), Craig, M. Wright (Dallison 45’), Hessenthaler (Davies 74’), J. Wright

Harrogate: Belshaw, Falkingham, Smith, Burrell, Thompson, Martin (Andrews 89’), Hall, Francis, March (Muldoon 70’), McPake (Lawlor 68’), Power (Kerry 70’)

Report by Coren Blackburn

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