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Match Reports

Report: Crawley 2-0 Stevenage

22 February 2020

Stephen D Lawrence

Stevenage lost 2-0 at Crawley Town on Saturday as Alex Revell’s men failed to get off to a winning start for their new manager...

There was plenty of promise from Boro throughout the performance, but a lack of confidence in-front of goal cost Stevenage as Crawley struck at the mid-point through the first half and then deep into added time to seal the victory.

Revell named just once change for his first game as boss, recalling Ben Nugent to the starting line-up in place of Paul Digby.

The hosts almost got off to a dream start after just five minutes, putting the ball in the net through a Nadesan header after a well worked corner routine, but thankfully for Boro the linesman has his flag up.

List almost got in a few minutes later, but a heavy touch down the right-hand side saw his opportunity escape but the Reds had a number of half opportunities during the early moments of the contest, getting in down the sides and playing dangerous balls across the box, each time evading an attacking player.

Then, in the 20th minute, Crawley took the lead through a stunning volley from Bez Lubala that went in-off the post from outside the box. Seconds later, it could have been even worse as Bloomfield had a glorious chance to double their lead when he was found all alone inside the 12 yard box but shot right at Farman who stood tall to keep Stevenage in the game.

Lakin and then Carter aimed to hit back quickly, both forcing Morris into saves from the edge of the box as the urgency picked up for Revell’s side. Having already gone down once with a niggle, Dabo went down for a second time in the 30th minute, prompting an early change as Dean Parrett came on to replace the Frenchman.

Stevenage were getting into good positions but on too many occasions was the final decision or pass the wrong one. Cassidy came inches away from getting his head on a Lakin cross with five minutes left of the half, but the ball sailed just over the striker.

Grego-Cox fired over the bar soon after but just as four minutes of added time was shown, Parrett came closest for Boro all half with a curling effort from 20 yards that sailed narrowly wide of the top corner.

Nadesan fluffed his lines just a few minutes into the second half, miss-timing his shot at goal after Ferguson broke into the box down the right and pulled the ball across the Crawley player.

Carter had Stevenage’s best chance of the match up to that point on 48 minutes, after Kemp was released down the right, he pulled the ball back perfectly for Carter who couldn’t keep his shot down with the goal gaping. Stevenage’s tails were up and it was Lakin next came close for Boro, his close range effort blocked at close range.

Stevenage had the post to thank on 52 minutes as German struck the post with the help of a deflection and then was denied by a superb save from Farman, but it was Revell’s men that were asking most of the questions in the second half.

Lakin forced Morris into action again 58 minutes with a dipping strike from 20 yards that bobbled up in-front of the goalkeeper but just like in the first half, despite more good entries into the oppositions box, the final ball was lacking time after time.

List picked up a knock and was replaced by Carroll on 73 minutes before Mackail-Smith came on for Leesley as Stevenage readied up to give it everything they had in the closing stages of the contest.

Immediately after Mackail-Smith’s introduction, Parrett had a free-kick opportunity which whisked over the crossbar and with the clock winding down, Leesley dragged a shot wide from 18 yards before collective heads were in hands as Carter did the same from even closer, after a swift Boro break up the pitch.

With Stevenage pushing hard for an equaliser, Crawley were a threat on the break and deep into added time, Nadesan finished things off to make it 2-0.

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