Crawley Town 1, Blackpool 0: Connolly goal helps Reds extend four-game unbeaten run

Kaby Djalo during the Sky Bet League Two match between Crawley Town and Blackpool at the Checkatrade Stadium in Crawley. October 1, 2016. Jack Beard / +44 7554 447 461
Kaby Djalo during the Sky Bet League Two match between Crawley Town and Blackpool at the Checkatrade Stadium in Crawley. October 1, 2016. Jack Beard / +44 7554 447 461

Crawley Town continued their rich vein of goalscoring at home as defender Mark Connolly popped up with the winner to see them edge out Blackpool this afternoon.

The centre-back headed home from close range with just over 20 minutes remaining after a corner was turned goalwards by his defensive partner Joe McNerney.

Jimmy Smith during the Sky Bet League Two match between Crawley Town and Blackpool at the Checkatrade Stadium in Crawley. October 1, 2016. Jack Beard / +44 7554 447 461

Jimmy Smith during the Sky Bet League Two match between Crawley Town and Blackpool at the Checkatrade Stadium in Crawley. October 1, 2016. Jack Beard / +44 7554 447 461

It continues Reds’ record of scoring in every game at home this season and saw them extend their League Two unbeaten run to four games.

It was another impressive display from Dermot Drummy’s side who played some attractive football in a fairly even encounter, but nonetheless deserved the three points.

Reds named an unchanged line-up from the one that drew 1-1 with Colchester United midweek as goalscorer Adi Yussuf kept his place in the side.

For the Seasiders, they were forced into one change from the team that secured a brilliant 3-1 home with against Portsmouth midweek as Will Aimson came in for the injured Clark Robinson.

Billy Clifford during the Sky Bet League Two match between Crawley Town and Blackpool at the Checkatrade Stadium in Crawley. October 1, 2016. Jack Beard / +44 7554 447 461

Billy Clifford during the Sky Bet League Two match between Crawley Town and Blackpool at the Checkatrade Stadium in Crawley. October 1, 2016. Jack Beard / +44 7554 447 461

On a slick surface after the morning’s heavy rain, the hosts had a great chance inside 30 seconds as Billy Clifford ghosted into the box and his effort from the right flashed low across the goalmouth.

At the other end, Kyle Vassell then headed narrowly wide, while Reds’ Adi Yussuf ballooned an effort over the cross as he raced away from the back four.

Glen Morris was called into action on ten minutes as he showed safe hands to collect a close-range Danny Philliskirk header.

In an all-action start with Kaby Djalo pulling the strings in midfield, the best move came on 11 minutes as Clifford pulled off a nutmeg and his clipped ball found Yussuf, but Dean Lyness pushed away his glanced header.

Glenn Morris punches clear during the Sky Bet League Two match between Crawley Town and Blackpool at the Checkatrade Stadium in Crawley. October 1, 2016. Jack Beard / +44 7554 447 461

Glenn Morris punches clear during the Sky Bet League Two match between Crawley Town and Blackpool at the Checkatrade Stadium in Crawley. October 1, 2016. Jack Beard / +44 7554 447 461

Blackpool skipper Andy Taylor then took a whack on the nose and with the medical staff unable to stop the bleeding, his afternoon last just 22 minutes as he was replaced by Colin Daniel at left-back.

Two minutes before the break, a lovely slow build-up move was started by a wonderful bit of Boldewijn skill deep is his own half. Eventually, the ball was worked forwards and James Collins curled one just wide.

Glenn Morris punched clear a dangerous free-kick on the stroke of half-time, before in added time, Blackpool’s Philliskark somehow fire wide when unmarked 12 yards out in their best chance of the half.

Crawley’s first chance of the second half came from a well-crafted move as Yussuf played into Collins and he flicked round for Boldewijn to race in on goal.

He admirably stayed on his feet under a tackle and went through, but Lyness managed to stop his effort despite it looking as though it may creep through his legs.

Midway through the half at the other end, a great fingertip save by Morris pushed away Armand Gnanduillet’s effort that looked destined for the top corner from 22 yards.

Reds, however, led on 69 minutes as Connolly headed the ball over the line and in the process also bundled goalkeeper Lyness into the net after McNerney had turned Clifford’s corner goalwards.

The visitors had already used all their subs which meant for a fairly quiet period in the closing stages as Reds professionally saw the game out for their third win in four games.

Crawley: Morris, Young, Connolly, McNerney, Blackman, Smith, Djalo, Boldewijn (Bawling 90), Clifford (Davey 91), Yussuf (Banton 59), Collins. Unused subs: Arthur, Tajbakhsh, Pappoe, Beeney.

Blackpool: Lyness, Mellor, Aldred, Aimson, Taylor (Daniel 22), Potts, Payne, McAllister, Philliskirk (Osyai-Samuel 63), Vassell (Matt 61), Gnanduillet. Unused subs: Cullen, Yeates, Cain, Boney.

Attendance: 2,300.

Referee: Brett Huxtable.

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