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Match Reports


21 October 2017

Match Reports


21 October 2017

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The Town remain top of the Sky Bet League Two table after they were held to a goalless draw at Crawley Town this afternoon.

The Hatters went into the game a point clear at the summit of the fourth tier after they defeated Exeter City 4-1 on Tuesday, knowing a win today would make it five consecutive wins and eight from their last nine.

They were unable to break down a physical Red Devils defence though, as James Collins and Elliot Lee both went close for Nathan Jones' side.

Town started the more dominant side and Collins had a decent opportunity to score against his old side after 15 minutes, but not only was his header wide from Glen Rea's right-wing cross, he was also offside.

Crawley were the first side to register a shot on target when captain Jimmy Smith let fly from 25 yards 17 minutes in, but his effort was straight at Marek Stech who had the simple job of crouching down to collect the strike.

Jordan Roberts was a good outlet for his side all afternoon and he went close to opening the scoring when he drifted in from the right before having a go on his left from just outside the Hatters' box after 27 minutes – his shot took a deflection and looked like it was heading for the top left corner, but Stech was there again to claim it in the air.

Ten minutes before the break the Hatters nearly made the breakthrough when Alan Sheehan went on a marauding run into the Crawley half before getting it into the feet of Luke Berry, whose well weighted through pass found Jack Stacey, but Glenn Morris was quick to get off his line and block the defender's strike from 10 yards.

Collins had another half decent chance to score two minutes before half-time as he met Sheehan's cross from a nearside corner, but the ball deflected off the forward's shoulder and agonisingly wide of the top left corner.

The striker was then guilty of missing a great opportunity for the visitors nine minutes into the second half, when Hylton picked out his fellow striker out on the far side of the Crawley penalty area. The ex-Red Devils man got the ball out of his feet and struck it looking for the bottom left corner, but it drifted wide.

Five minutes later the hosts fashioned a good opportunity when they had men over with the Hatters struggling to get back, but Josh Yorwerth's strike from the edge of the box was brilliantly blocked by Berry.

A minute after the hour mark Roberts left footed effort from 25 yards was denied emphatically by Stech, who dived to his right getting a strong hand on the ball before diving on it.

Glen Rea had three chances in the space of four minutes to give Jones' side the lead, first seeing his effort blocked out for a corner before his powerful header was straight at Morris. He then had another effort cleared behind for a corner, he then met Sheehan's cross from the right well but his headed effort was again right into the path of the Crawley keeper.

With 13 minutes to go Crawley were denied an almost certain goal as Cedric Evina's cross evaded everyone in the middle of the Town box with two of the Red Devils' players waiting at the back stick, but Potts got a vital clearance in to ensure the game stayed goalless.

Substitute Elliot Lee curled an effort wide of the far post with nine minutes to go, before Dannie Bulman put Roberts through but he was expertly denied by Stech from eight yards.

E Lee then created the best chance of the game when Sheehan sent the ball forward from inside his own half. The forward let the ball bounce over his shoulder before he half-volleyed it across the face of goal 18 yards out – but it hit the bottom of the far post before going out of play.

The point sees the Hatters retain first place in the league, whilst fellow promotion chasers Notts County drew at Carlisle and Exeter City were defeated 2-0 at home by Port Vale.

Crawley: Morris, McNerney, Connolly, Boldewijn, Smith, Roberts, Yorwerth, Evina, Bulman, Lelan, Camara.

Subs: Doherty, Payne, Mersin, Djalo, Clifford, Tajbakhsh, Lewis.

Yellow: Lelan

Hatters: Stech, Stacey, Cuthbert, Sheehan, Potts, Rea, Berry, O Lee (Mpanzu 80), Cornick (Cook 90), Hylton (E Lee 73), Collins.

Subs: Justin, Mullins, Gambin, Shea.

Yellows: Berry, Stacey, Potts, Sheehan.

Attendance: 3,494
Away: 1,642

Referee: Trevor Kettle

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