Crawley Town and former Bournemouth and Bristol Rovers star on 'natural relationship' with attacking Reds partner

Crawley Town star Sam Matthews returned to action on Saturday and immediately made an impact.

He provided the assist for Tom Nichols' in the 1-0 win at Northampton Town, which made it two wins out of two in 2022 for the Reds.

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In his post-match interview, Nichols praised Matthews, who had returned after picking up a shoulder injury in the first game of the season at Hartlepool United, and their partnership.

Sam Matthews at Northampton Town last week

And during the Carlisle United press conference on Thursday, Matthews returned the compliment.

The pair have know each other for a while and played together at Bristol Rovers before rejoining forces at Crawley Town.

Matthews said: "I knew Tom before we played at Bristol Rovers together then we both signed here.

"It’s quite a natural partnership we have on the pitch. We don’t discuss it much but it comes down to the positions we take up and we help each other on the pitch.

"It’s been a strength of our side throughout. And it’s not just me and Tom.

"The Gaffer has touched on it before about having partnerships on the pitch and having good relationships can make a really big difference. Long may that continue."

Matthews is one of many Reds players who have been hit by injury this year but praised the group for sticking together during the tough time.

He said: "You don’t want anyone to be injured but if you are in a similar position there will be circumstances when you are both watching a game, schedules can be married up.

"As a group we get on well, there are good relationships between the players and they try to make the injured lads feel part of the group, you never feel disconnected."