Rochdale 0, Crawley Town 1: First half Appiah strike fires the Reds up to ninth
Kwesi Appiah's first half goal fired Crawley Town to a 1-0 win at Rochdale in League Two this (Saturday) afternoon.
The Ghanaian striker secured just the Reds' second away victory of the season, and moved them up to ninth in the table.
Just goal difference separates Crawley, who now have 17 points from 11 games, from the play-off places. John Yems' side are just a point behind fourth-placed Port Vale, and two behind Swindon Town, who occupy third.
Both sides exchanged chances in the opening five minutes. Jack Payne volleyed wide from a cleared Jack Powell corner, before Glenn Morris was called on to make a point-blank save to deny Conor Grant.
The Reds opened the scoring on 14 minutes. Nick Tsaroulla's effort was dragged into the path of Appiah for the Ghanaian to poke home on the stretch.
Dale stopper Joel Coleman made a flying save to keep out a Jake Hessenthaler rocket as the Reds looked to press their advantage.
The hosts then found themselves in a three-on-one situation. Aaron Morley won the ball in midfield and released Grant.
The 20-year-old drove to the edge of the box before sliding in Abraham Odoh. The Rochdale midfielder looked certain to score but Morris made a fantastic stop with his legs to keep out Odoh's goalbound effort.
The Reds had a penalty appeal turned down just before half-time. Amrit Bansal-McNulty, on his league debut, beat his marker before going down in the area, but referee Ollie Yates was unmoved.
The second half saw Crawley forge the bulk of the chances. Tom Nichols saw his low shot well blocked before Payne rattled the crossbar with a 20-yard howitzer.
Midfield maestro Hessenthaler then had two drilled efforts bravely blocked by the Dale back line.
Five minutes of added time were added at the end of the half, but Rochdale were unable to trouble the Reds.
Crawley Town: Morris, Francomb, Dallison, Craig, Tsaroulla, Hessenthaler, Payne, Bansal-McNulty (Marshall 60), Powell, Appiah (Ashford 81), Nichols. Unused: Henry, Davies, Frost, Francillette.
Referee: Ollie Yates
Attendance: 2,268 (100 away)