Crawley Town 1, Salford City 0: Nichols does it again as Reds claim another brilliant win
Tom Nichols’ first-half strike was the difference in another superb Crawley win against playoff chasing Salford City.
Nichols ghosted in behind and scored at the second attempt to give Crawley what would prove to be the winner, as the Ammies were unable to penetrate the Crawley defence who were solid once again.
John Yems made no changes to the Crawley side that beat Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park on Saturday.
Crawley enjoyed the first clear-cut chance of the game when Ashley Nadesan had the pace to beat Salford’s back-four and get on the end of a long ball, but he couldn’t force his left-footed finish past Vaclav Hladky from close range.
Ash Hunter bended a free-kick just wide of the top corner, before he was presented with a great through-ball from Brandon Asante, but Glenn Morris produced a big save to keep the Ammies out.
In an even start to the game it was the Reds who broke the deadlock when Tom Nichols did brilliantly to wriggle free of the Salford defenders, and with his initial effort being saved by Hladky, he was able to follow his shot in to give Crawley the lead in the 21st minute.
Soon after it could’ve easily been two for Crawley when the goalscorer Nichols slid an excellent ball through to Jordan Maguire-Drew, but Hladky stood up tall to deny Maguire-Drew’s attempted chip.
Morris was called into action again when he had to keep out Ian Henderson’s stabbed effort, before the linesman’s flag denied a wonderful Crawley goal, when Jake Hesketh found Maguire-Drew, who showed brilliant footwork before lifting the ball into Nadesan who headed in, but he was ruled offside.
Crawley were given a scare early in the second-half when Hunter sent a low drive towards goal which was parried by Morris, with it falling kindly for Henderson, who headed wide from point-blank range.
Hesketh fired Nadesan’s layoff wide, before Henderson somehow couldn’t head in from close range, with Jake Hessenthaler eventually clearing off the line following a great save from Morris.
Crawley were unlucky again when a free-kick fell to Hessenthaler on the edge of the box, as he did well to control the ball and volley, with his strike kissing the outside of the post. And despite having to withstand serious Ammies pressure late on, the Reds were able to see out another great win.
Crawley: Morris, Francomb, McNerney, Powell, Nadesan, Davies, Nichols, Tunnicliffe, Hesketh (Sesay 72’), Maguire-Drew (Wright 72’), Hessenthaler
Salford: Hladky, Touray, Lowe, Clarke (Bernard 57’), Hunter (Gotts 67’), Turnbull, Towell (Wilson 61’), Threlkeld, Coutts, Asante, Henderson