Crawley Town 0, Yeovil Town 1: Reds stunned by late winner

Billy Clarke's shot is blocked by Yeovil's Byron Webster (Pic by Jon Rigby)
Billy Clarke's shot is blocked by Yeovil's Byron Webster (Pic by Jon Rigby)

Crawley Town were stunned by a last minute goal in a 1-0 defeat to Yeovil Town at the Broadfield Stadium tonight.

David Hunt headed into his own net in the 90th minute after the Glovers withstood wave after wave of Crawley attack in the second half. The Reds just could not find the vital goal, as Nicky Adams sliced wide from ten yards and Gary Alexander hit the crossbar with the pick of the home side’s chances.

Crawley made four changes from the side which drew with Walsall, three of which were enforced as Mark Connolly and the returning Kyle McFadzean replaced suspended duo Claude Davis and Joe Walsh.

Yeovil featured just one change and had a decent opening after two minutes, Keanu Marsh Brown’s pace saw him burst into the left back position and it took a smart save from Paul Jones to keep it goalless.

The early signs indicated an entertaining contest, with Crawley forcing a couple of early corners as they played some high tempo stuff. Billy Clarke fired over from the edge of the box and both he and Gary Alexander saw shots blocked.

Crawley wanted a red card on 15 minutes when Byron Webster was booked for handball on the edge of the box, McFadzean smashed the resulting free kick into the wall though.

A succession of awkward bobbles and slips on a tricky pitch led to some scrappy passages, but Crawley had settled into a better rhythm, and keeper Marek Stech made a superb double save, first parrying a Mike Jones effort and then getting just enough on Clarke’s follow-up.

Moments later, Josh Simpson dragged an effort narrowly wide, before Alexander stole half a yard to flash a half volley over the bar.

Yeovil defended high up the pitch, and when Clarke got the better of Luke Ayling, he squared for Adams, whose shot was held by Stech.

There was always a danger at the other end too, Joe Edwards jinked past Nathan Byrne and Jones turned his shot round the post just after the half hour.

Encouraged by that, Yeovil called Jones into action again, when he blocked James Hayter’s header from a Marsh-Brown cross.

Reds were forced into a reshuffle before the break, an injury to a clearly disconsolate McFadzean saw Hunt introduced, Byrne moved to left back and Mat Sadler play a makeshift centre back role.

Those changes did not look to have overly affected the Reds in the early stages of the second half, but Stech remained untested, while Marsh-Brown curled a Glovers free kick narrowly over at the other end.

Despite a lack of goals, there was no shortage of chances as Crawley pressed again and Alexander flashed one wide before Stech palmed Adams’ curler away.

It was wave after wave from the Reds now, and Connolly’s shot was cleared off the line by a gaggle of defenders before Mike Jones put his follow-up wide. It looked as if Adams had spurned the pick of the chances when he sliced wide from Clarke’s cute pass.

The pressure was incessant from Crawley and Josh Simpson’s shot was cleared off the line by Luke Ayling. There was rarely a let-up in the frenetic pace despite tired legs on the heavy surface, and Crawley went even closer when Alexander’s header looped on to the top of the crossbar.

But for Crawley’s effort in the second half, Yeovil completed their smash and grab raid in the final minute. Jamie McAllister swung in a left foot corner, and substitute Hunt headed past his own keeper under pressure from Paddy Madden to stun the home side and leave the Reds without a League win in five.

Crawley Town: Paul Jones, Nathan Byrne, Mat Sadler, Kyle McFadzean, Mark Connolly, Hope Akpan, Josh Simpson, Nicky Adams, Mike Jones, Gary Alexander, Billy Clarke.

Subs: Sergio Torres, David Hunt (on for McFadzean 44), Nicky Ajose (on for M Jones 76), Dannie Bulman, John Akinde, Charlie Wassmer, Michel Kuipers.

Yeovil Town: Marek Stech, Luke Ayling, Jamie McAllister, Byron Webster, Keanu Marsh-Brown, James Hayter, Sam Foley, Paddy madden, Daniel Burn, Korey Smith, Joe Edwards.

Subs: Richard Hinds, Gavin Williams (on for Hayter 80), Gareth Stewart, Gozie Ugwa (on for Foley 68), Curtis Haynes-Brown.