Stevenage Football Club fight back from two goals down in West Sussex to level the scoring through an Arthur Read strike and a last-minute Scott Cuthbert tap-in…
Paul Tisdale’s men aimed to get back on track after falling just short to Tranmere earlier in the week after a five-game unbeaten run in the league. His side consisted of an entirely changed backline with O’Neill, Cuthbert, Prosser and debutant left back Bailey Clements in the starting eleven.
In front of the Boro defence was a midfield three of Michael Bostwick, Ed Upson and the slightly more offensive Zain Westbrooke, with Jake Taylor, Luke Norris and Jamie Reid leading the line.
In the opening five minutes both sides had decent spells on the ball as they looked to move it forward. Crawley’s James Tilley had the first shot on goal, but his effort was not enough to worry Christy Pym, flying high and wide.
Shortly after, Crawley found themselves on the front foot once again with Tom Nicholls cutting in on the left and forcing Pym to deny his curling effort.
Stevenage had their first chance of the game after fifteen minutes as Jamie Reid attempted to drill the ball low into the net but couldn’t quite get enough power behind his strike as Glenn Morris collected.
Just before the half-hour mark, Crawley broke on the counterattack after defending a Stevenage corner. Former Boro loanee Aramide Oteh slipped the ball through to Nick Tsaroulla who, under pressure, fired at Pym who tipped it over the bar.
The hosts took the lead a few minutes later through Tom Nicholls. The Red Devils’ new signing Isaac Hutchinson leaped highest to nod the ball down to Nicholls who slotted past Christy Pym from five yards.
Boro looked to respond immediately as they began to find more of the ball in the opposing half. Zain Westbrooke created space in the area before receiving the ball and taking aim, but his effort was well blocked. Boro were on top for the remainder of the half but found no way past the keeper, resulting in the side going into the break one goal down.
Just twenty-five seconds after the interval, The Reds doubled their lead. An unfortunate back pass from Luke O’Neill was pounced upon by Tom Nicholls who stabbed the ball past Christy Pym to get his and his side’s second of the afternoon.
Tisdale introduced his first substitutions of the game as Charlie Carter and Arthur Read replaced Michael Bostwick and Jamie Reid.
Carter made immediate impact around the hour mark as he picked the ball up from his own half before driving forward and being hacked down by James Tilley resulting in a yellow card.
Crawley came extremely close to grabbing a third with twenty minutes to go. A long ball was sent down the line to Ashley Nadesan who outpaced Luke Prosser before squaring it to Tom Nicholls, but the striker blasted over.
With ten minutes remaining, Boro pulled one back. Arthur Read received the ball just outside the area before fooling his man and striking from range on his left peg past Morris in goal. The game was now well and truly on.
Stevenage remained on the front foot after the goal and looked a real threat going forward. Luke Norris fired from range with his effort flying just inches wide of the post.
The fourth official indicated four minutes remaining as Boro piled on all the pressure. To the delight of Stevenage fans behind the goal, Tisdale’s men nicked an equaliser at the death. Christy Pym’s free kick from his own half found its way in the Crawley area as the ball was headed down by Luke Norris for Scott Cuthbert to smash home and grab a point for the visitors.
The referee then blew his whistle, concluding an entertaining second half in which Stevenage looked down and out until the last ten minutes where Cuthbert’s last-minute tap-in was the difference maker. Now onto Tuesday at The Lamex for a clash with Bradford City.
Match tickets for Stevenage vs Bradford City are now available from www.borotickets.co.uk.