Crawley Town 1, Plymouth Argyle 1: Fenelon pinches Reds a point against Pilgrims

Shamir Fenelon celebrates scoring Crawley Town's equaliser during their 1-1 draw with Plymouth Argyle. Picture by Jack Beard SUS-160220-193916002
Shamir Fenelon celebrates scoring Crawley Town's equaliser during their 1-1 draw with Plymouth Argyle. Picture by Jack Beard SUS-160220-193916002

Substitute Shamir Fenelon netted his first goal for Crawley Town as they pinched a point off promotion chasing Plymouth Argyle.

The home side were happy to set back and invite their second-placed visitors onto them with new owner Ziya Eren in the bumper crowd at the Stadium.

Argyle took a deserved lead shortly after half-time through Ryan Brunt’s close-range header after dominating the opening 45 minutes.

But Reds rescued a point with seven minutes left to cap a battling defensive performance as Fenelon hooked home from just yards out after a free-kick.

Eren, who spent the first half standing with fans in the Bruce Winfield Stand before moving to the directors’ box at half-time, would have been impressed by a hard-working display ahead of the expected takeover next week.

There were starts for new signings Andy Bond and Tom Dallison after they joined the club on Friday.

Midfielder Bond signed from National League side Chorley, while Dallison came into the club from Brighton & Hove Albion on an emergency loan deal.

There was a rare start for Lee Barnard up front with Matt Harrold picking up an injury in training during the week.

Long-term absentee Lanre Oyebanjo was on the bench for the first time this season after being kept out with a knee injury.

Former Red captain Matt Simpson made the bench for Argyle on his return for injury.

It was the visitors that had the first chance after just five minutes as Gregg Wydle’s low skidding effort from 25 yards required Paul Jones to push the ball around the post.

Just four minutes later, Wylde again went close as Bobson Bawling misjudged a bounce to put the midfielder through, but Dallison got a vital block in.

Reds slowly grew into the game and looked the stretch their visitors, but errors in the final third saw any potential moves breaking down.

The visitors had a soft penalty appeals waved away as Craig Tanner went over easily after getting goalside of Rory Deacon.

Wylde went close again after being allowed too much space and his effort from 30 yards flew past Jones, but dropped just wide.

The home goalkeeper was again called into action six minutes before the break as he got down to push away an angled effort from Carl McHugh.

Crawley registered their first real effort on the stroke of half-time as Deacon cut in from the left, drove across the pitch and fired over from the edge of the box.

But there was still time for Wylde to test Jones again before the break as the ball dropped in the box and the stopper again pushed wide.

The visitors made an attacking change as the break bringing on Reuben Reid for Tanner and they had the lead within 12 minutes of the second half.

A well-worked move saw the ball worked wide to the influential Wylde and his cross to the far post picked out an unmarked Brunt, who headed home from close range.

Reds responded by bringing on striker Shamir Fenelon and it gave the home side a much-needed attacking threat.

Gavin Tomlin chested down a clipped Dallison ball in the Argyle box on 76 minutes, but his effort on the turning was always wide and rising.

At the other end, Jones tipped over a Graham Carey free-kick after a high boot, while Jordan Forster drilled wide from 30 yards.

But despite Argyle’s dominance, Reds leveled on 83 minutes. A Deacon free-kick was headed towards goal at the far post by Josh Yorwerth and Fenelon spun to hook home from two yards.

Crawley Town: Jones, Deacon, Yorwerth, Bradley, Dallison, Bawling, Atkinson (Fenelon 67), Bond, Tomlin, Edwards, Barnard. Unused subs: Oyebanjo, Young, Ashton,

Plymouth Arygle: McCormack, McHugh, Hartley, Forster, Carey, Nelson, Tanner (Reid 45), Sawyer, Wylde, Brunt (Jervis 78), Threlfeld. Unused subs: Mellor, Nardiello, Simpson, Purrington, Bittner.

Attendance: 3,533 (1,503 away).

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