Exeter 2 Crawley 2: Rooney stunner earns away draw

Crawley Town V Luton Town FA Cup (Pic by Joe Rigby) SUS-150911-161559008
Crawley Town V Luton Town FA Cup (Pic by Joe Rigby) SUS-150911-161559008

Crawley Town earned a 2-2 draw away to Exeter thanks to a 90th minute goal by substitute Luke Rooney.

He came off the bench and scored a stunning injury-time goal from 30 yards into the top corner.

It had looked like Reds were heading towards a 2-1 defeat after first half goals by Alex Nicholls and Tom Nichols gave them a half-time lead after skipper Sonny Bradley had celebrated his 50th appearance with an equaliser.

A minute’s silence was held for the victims of last night’s Paris terrorism tragedy.

The Grecians took the lead after six minutes when Alex Nicholls ran into the box and drove his shot into the net off the underside of the crossbar.

Crawley began to attack in search of a goal which bore fruit before the half hour mark.

Reds equalised after 28 minutes when Simon Walton’s corner was headed down into the net by their captain Sonny Bradley.

Crawley continued to press as Jimmy Smith blasted an attempt from outside the box narrowly wide.

Former Crystal Palace striker Clinton Morrison forced a great save from Darryl Flahavan when he cut inside and struck a powerful shot.

Then at the other end Crawley’s Roarie Deacon fired inches wide from 30 yards.

However the good work at the end of the half was undone when David Noble passed in the box to Tom Nichols who volleyed in a second goal moments before half-time.

Crawley made an early substitution when creative midfielder Luke Rooney replaced Jon Ashton and Walton dropped back into central defence.

Shamir Fenelon was brought on up front for Rhys Murphy, who did not seem to be in the thick of the action that much and later and later Lee Barnard came on for Matt Harrold, making a return to his former club.

Gwion Edwards looked dangerous for Crawley on the left and created a few chances, forcing keeper Olejnik to tip over the bar and then set up Fenelon for a shot which went straight to the Exeter stopper.

REDS: Flahavan, Walton, Bradley, Edwards, Smith, Young, Ashton (Rooney 52), Harrold (Barnard 77, Deacon, Hancox, Murphy (Fenelon 69).

Unused subs: Preston, Scales, Bawling, Tomlin

EXETER (4-4-2): Olejnik, Noble, McAllister, Harley, Davies, Morrison Wheeler 77), A.Nicholls, Moore-Taylor, Nichols, Grant, Brown.

Unused subs: Hamon, Butterfield, Reid, McCready, Tillson, Watkins

REFEREE: Kevin Johnson

ATTENDANCE: 3,664 (155 away)

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