Plymouth 2 Crawley 0: Two late goals bring second away defeat since Christmas

Crawley Town's James Collins. Picture PW Sporting Photography SUS-160611-220226001

Crawley Town's James Collins. Picture PW Sporting Photography SUS-160611-220226001

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Crawley suffered their second away defeat within six days to Plymouth who returned to the top of the table thanks to two late second half goals.

Oscar Threlkeld gave Argyle the lead with 21 minutes to go and Craig Tanner added a second goal in the 90th minute.

Crawley had missed a golden opportunity to take the lead when James Collins dinked the ball over the bar on the stroke of half-time.

Reds made just one change to the side which lost 3-2 at Leyton Orient on Boxing Day with defender Joe McNerney coming in for Andre Blackman to make his first start in eight league matches.

Head coach Dermot Drummy was absent from the dug-out due to illness, leaving assistant Matt Gray in charge.

Former Reds captain Sonny Bradley played in central defence for the Pilgrims.

Crawley’s Billy Clifford gave them their first chance with a dangerous ball forward to James Collins but it was cleared by the home defence.

At the other end, Bradley rose up to receive a free-kick but his header flew off-target.

Collins had a go on goal from the edge of the area but scuffed his shot and the chance was gone.

Reds then went close when Lewis Young croosed to Collins who set-up Jimmy Smith, who effort was blocked before Josh Payne fired the loose ball wide.

Plymouth’s Paul Garita blasted a shot on goal which keeper Glenn Morris comfortably saved.

Around the half four mark Reds pressed in search of an opening and put a succession of crosses into the penalty area without managing to make anything of them before they were cleared.

Just before half-time Enzio Boldewijn put Collins through with a superb pass for a one-on-one with keeper Luke McCormick, but he lifted it over the bar.

In the second half Crawley went close again when keeper McCormick gathered a close-range effort from Mark Connolly.

Plymouth took the lead in the 69th minute when Threlkeld received from David Fox and netted with an easy finish.

Moments later Reds had an appeal for a pently turned down when Boldewijn went on a run and was brought down in the area and Collins was booked for his protests.

Crawley could not believe their luck when substitute Connor Smith fouled Boldewijn as he raced clear, but only received a yellow card.

In the last few minutes Reds nearly equalised when Bawling ran down the right and cut back for Collins at the edge of the area, but his shot was saved.

Jordan Roberts was then denied by the keeper in the 90th minute as Town continued to press for their elusive goal.

Plymouth substitute Tanner then took advantage of Reds pushing men upfield with a second goal in added-time, set-up by Luke Jervis.

REDS: Morris, Young, Connolly (Bawling 76), McNerney, Yorwerth, J.Smith (Capt), Payne (Watt 84), Boldewijn, Clifford (Djalo 61), Roberts, Collins

Unused subs: Mersin, Blackman, Tajbakhsh, Henderson

PLYMOUTH: McCormick (Capt), Miller, Songo’o, Slew (C.Smith 75), Carey, Jervis, Bradley, Purrington, Threlkeld, Fox, Garita

Unused subs: Bulvitis, Goodwillie, Osborne, Rooney, Dorel, Tanner

REFEREE: Brendan Malone

ATTENDANCE: 9,039 (84 away)

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