Crawley 3, Grimsby 2: Roberts double helps excellent Reds back to winning ways

Football  Crawley Town Fc v Grimsby. Yorwerth. Pic Steve Robards SR1634627
Football Crawley Town Fc v Grimsby. Yorwerth. Pic Steve Robards SR1634627

Crawley Town ended their nine game winless run with a superb scalp over in-form Grimsby Town at the Checkatrade Stadium this afternoon.

Goals from James Collins and a Jordan Roberts brace - the second direct from a corner - saw Reds win for the first time in League Two since October 1 when they beat Blackpool 1-0.

Football  Crawley Town Fc v Grimsby. . Pic Steve Robards SR1634643

Football Crawley Town Fc v Grimsby. . Pic Steve Robards SR1634643

The victory came from a fantastic team performance with stand-out displays from the returning Josh Yorwerth at centre-back and Josh Payne in holding midfield.

Dermot Drummy has maintained he was happy with the way his side was playing going into the game, but stressed they had to cut out the silly mistakes at the back.

That they did against a Mariners side who came into the clash in sixth-place on an unbeaten run of four league matches.

Collins’ first-half strike was levelled up on the stroke of half-time by Mariners’ talisman Omar Bugle, but Roberts added a brace in a second half that Reds dominanted - despite a late cracker from Bogle.

Football  Crawley Town Fc v Grimsby. Connelly. Pic Steve Robards SR1634652

Football Crawley Town Fc v Grimsby. Connelly. Pic Steve Robards SR1634652

Reds made three changes from the 3-1 defeat at Mansfield as Adi Yussuf came in for Matt Harrold, Payne made his return from injury after missing two and a half months with an ankle injury in the centre of the park with Enzio Boldewijn missing out.

Yorwerth also made a welcome return to the centre of defence after his loan spell with Merthyr Town, he replaced Addison Garnett, who was not in the squad.

The young Welsh centre-half partnered Mark Connolly at the back, who was making his 100th appearance for Reds.

The hosts should have had the lead on four minutes as a lovely move saw Billy Clifford put Roberts away down the left and his cross found Yussuf in the six-yard box, but he headed agonisingly wide of the post.

Glenn Morris was called into action on nine minutes as he got down well to push away an effort from Kayden Jackson that looked destined to nestle in the bottom corner after he skipped inside.

Mariners top-scorer Bogle got his first sight at goal on 15 minutes after a couple of missed attempts to clear at the back, but he whipped over the bar from 16 yards.

On the 20-minute mark, Yussuf fired a snap-shot at James McKeown which the Grimsby keeper could only parry after great build-up play from the home side.

Reds took the lead in the 31st-minute as Yussuf raced away down the right while Collins came alive in the middle. The wide man beat his opponent and crossed for his team-mate at the back post, who cut back and finished past McKeown.

The visitors had a few half-chances from set-pieces after the goal, but none troubled Morris - all flying well off target, while the back-four continued to put in sterling efforts.

That was undone in the second minute of added time as Tom Bolarinwa’s right-wing cross took a deflection off Andre Blackman and looped up nicely for Bogle to head into the far bottom corner on the stroke of half-time.

In a fast-paced start to the second period, Clifford tapped into Yussuf in the box and he cut back for the arriving Jimmy Smith, but his shot from outside the area was blocked away.

Grimsby immediately responded through Bogle, who fired onto the roof of the net from 30 yards.

Crawley led for the second time of 56 minutes as Clifford puts Collins away in the right channel and he drove into the box and picked out Roberts with a low cross, who found the bottom corner.

McKeown then made an unbelievable save to deny Collins from a well-worked corner and then the striker’s follow-up shot was cleared off the line.

With 20 minutes left and Crawley in search of a third, Collins found Yussuf in space but he fired over from 15 yards, while Collins then cut in and fired at McKeown.

The safety net eventually came on 78 minutes as Roberts curled in direct from a corner with the ball already over the line as McKeown scooped it into the net.

And that proved vital as Bogle pulled one back with a minute to go with a screamer into the top corner, but Reds held out an additional five minutes thanks to a fine stop by Morris late on.

Crawley: Morris, Young, Connolly, Yorwerth, Blackman, Payne, Smith, Yussuf (Boldewijn 71), Clifford (Djalo 74), Roberts (Harrold 81), Collins. Unused subs: Davey, Tajbakhsh, Henderson, Mersin.

Grimsby: McKeown, Mills, Gowling, Collins, Andrew, Disley (Comley 66), Summerfield (Vernon 74), Bolarinwa, Vose, Jackson (Brown 66), Bogle. Unused subs: Pearson, Chambers, Jones, Henderson.

Attendance: 2,315.

Referee: Graham Salisbury.

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