Swindon 1-1 Crawley Town: Tubbs on target again to earn Reds a late point

Matt Tubbs has scored four in four since returning to Crawley. Photo by David Linney
Matt Tubbs has scored four in four since returning to Crawley. Photo by David Linney

Matt Tubbs continued his red-hot streak in front of goal - netting his fourth goal in as many games - as Crawley came back from a goal down to pick up a well-earned point at Swindon.

Tubbs found the net with ten minutes remaining as it finished 1-1, after former Red Nathan Byrne had given the Robins the lead in the second half.

John Gregory made one change with Jamie Proctor starting in place of the suspended Billy Clarke, who was sent off in the victory over Walsall three days earlier. Sergio Torres was named on the bench whilst James Hurst and Connor Essam continued to miss out on making the squad.

Andy Drury had the first attempt on goal after shaky play from Tyrell Belford and his defence but Drury’s side-footed effort drifted wide.

Up the other end, former Crawley loanee Nathan Byrne hit an effort wide after good work from Dany N’Guessan.

The returning Proctor had a strike that Belford had to tip over the bar on five minutes in a lively opening at the County Ground.

The Crawley pressure on their opponents was frustrating the home fans with Drury and Mike Jones in particular scrapping with the Swindon central midfield duo of Ryan Harley and Yaser Kasim.

Drury, who was lucky to be booked rather than sent off for a tackle on Louis Thompson, hobbled off just after the half hour mark which gave Reds fans the chance to have their first look at Crystal Palace loanee Sullay Kaikai.

Just five minutes later and Crawley should have been awarded a penalty. Proctor twisted Robins’ captain Darren Ward inside out before being felled by the defender. Referee Mr Rushton, however, waved away calls for a spot kick.

The best chance of the half came to N’Guessan after a routine punt upfield by Thompson. Neither Kyle McFadzean or Joe Walsh picked up the Frenchman and fortunately for Gregory’s side N’Guessan missed the ball completely and it bounced into the grateful gloves of Paul Jones.

Reds came out of the blocks quickest after the break and Mike Jones’ strike trickled wide of Belford’s right-hand post.

However, Swindon broke the deadlock on 48 minutes when a cross from the right by Jack Barthram was deftly headed on by Byrne and past Paul Jones.

Crawley’s response was good and the visitors upped the ante with a number of corners on either side that Kaikai took.

Swindon had a great opportunity to make it 2-0 on 56 minutes as a neat counter attack saw N’Guessan break clear, however, his left-footed strike flew into the side-netting.

Crawley should have equalised eight minutes later when Mike Jones’ hanging ball from the left found the head of Gary Dicker and a few inches either side of Belford and it would have been 1-1.

Moments later, Kaikai saw his free kick go inches wide of Belford’s right-hand post as Crawley attempted to come back into the game.

Reds grabbed exactly what they deserved with ten minutes remaining when Tubbs - who barely had a sniff all game - swept home past Belford after a superb low cross from the excellent Dicker.

That was to be the final real play of the game as the minutes petered away, with both teams content with a point apiece.

REDS: P. Jones; M. Connolly, McFadzean, Walsh, Sadler; Simpson (c), Drury (Kaikai, 32), Dicker, M. Jones; Tubbs, Proctor (Bulman, 53)

UNUSED: Atkins, Torres, Fallon, Boateng, P. Connolly