Crawley Town 2 Swindon Town 2: Ollie Palmer brace earns Reds heroic draw

Crawley Town FC. Ollie Palmer . Pic Steve Robards SR1820089 SUS-180731-115858001
Crawley Town FC. Ollie Palmer . Pic Steve Robards SR1820089 SUS-180731-115858001

Crawley Town fought back from 2-0 down to earn a thrilling 2-2 draw at home to nine-man Swindon Town.

The Robins stormed to a 2-0 lead with an early goal by James Dunne followed by a second eight minutes before half-time by Keshi Anderson.

However Reds recovered in the second half by two goals by Ollie Palmer, the last in the 100th minute from the penalty spot.

Swindon had two players sent-off and had to play nearly the whole of the second half with nine men.

In an action-packed finish, Crawley substitute Josh Payne was also sent-off in added-time before Palmer was brought down, which earned Reds their decisive penalty.

Reds captain Jimmy Smith made his first appearance of the season in one of three changes to the starting line-up which lost at Port Vale.

Ashley Nathaniel-George made his first league start and Dominic Poleon returned from a one-match suspension.

They replaced Dannie Bulman, Reece Grego-Cox and Lewis Young, who were all on the bench.

Reds began well with Ashley Nathaniel-George hitting a great ball into the box which gets a touch and forced goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux to make a fine diving save.

Swindon who took the lead in the 13th minute when James Dunne intercepted a ball to the keeper by Rob Milsom, putting the ball over the line.

Reds replied with good efforts by Poleon and Palmer which were kept out by the Robins’ backline.

Swindon then made it 2-0 in the 37th minute when Anderson cut inside and stuck the ball past Morris.

Just before half-time Nathaniel-George combined with Palmer but they could not get the better of Vigouroux.

Crawley’s fortunes improved at the start of the second half as Swindon’s Toumani Diagouraga was sent-off for a late challenge on Milsom.

Palmer then pulled a goal back in the 51st minute when he netted a cross by George Francomb.

In the next minute Swindon’s Dunne made a wild challenge on namesake Jimmy Smith and was shown a straight red card, leaving the visitors with just nine players on pitch.

Smith then went close to scoring the equaliser with a chip which struck the crossbar.

Two more chances followed as Poleon headed wide and Francomb lifted over the crossbar from the edge of the box.

Swindon’s Michael Smith flung himself to block a shot by Jimmy Smith as Reds continued their search for an equaliser.

Reds midfielder Payne became the third player on the night to receive a red card given for fouling Steven Alzate.

Finally Palmer scored a late equaliser late in added-time from the penalty spot after he was brought down in the area after he was brought down by Marc Richards.

Crawley Town: Morris, Doherty, Connolly, J.Smith (capt) (Camara 75), Palmer, Poleon, Francomb, Nathaniel-George, Vincelot (Grego-Cox 83), Morais, Milsom (Payne 72)

Unused subs: Mersin, Young, Bulman,

Swindon Town: Vigouroux, Knoyle, Doughty, Nelson, Lancashire (capt), McGlashen (Alzate 53), Dunne, Anderson (M.Smith 51), Adebayo (Richards 71), Diagouraga, Taylor

Unused subs: McCormick, McCourt, Iandolo, Romanski

Referee: Charles Breakspear

Attendance: 2,050