Crawley 0 Notts County 1: Reds suffer home defeat

Crawley Town V Notts County 16/1/16 (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-160116-170109008
Crawley Town V Notts County 16/1/16 (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-160116-170109008

Crawley Town suffered a rare home defeat when a 62nd minute goal by Filip Valencic settled a poor game.

Notts County’s goal was scored with their only chance of the match through a 25-yard stunner by Valencic.

It came very much against the run of play and Crawley will be disappointed they failed to take advantage of their better possession throughout.

Mark Yates named an unchanged starting XI from that which beat Cambridge United 1-0 the previous week.

New signing on loan from Crewe, midfielder Chris Atkinson was named on the bench, while Josh Yorwerth also returned to the squad from a hamstring injury.

Notts County left out former Reds topscorer Izale McLeod who was injured as they made four changes in Jamie Fullarton’s first game in charge.

Crawley went on the attack right from the start, not allowing Notts County a sniff of the home half in the first 10 minutes.

Gavin Tomlin forced ex-Manchester United goalkeeper Roy Carroll to tip over his third-minute volley.

Tomlin again went close from 20 yards when he intercepted a clearance but his scuffed shot from the right which went narrowly wide.

Crawley dominated possession and were clearly looking the sharper of the two sides but found it difficult to breakthrough the Magpies’ defensive set-up.

Sonny Bradley rose to head a corner kick on-traget but was denied by Ronan Murray who made a goalline clearance.

Notts County eventually tried a shot on goal as Murray set-up Filip Valencic who fired woefully over the top and out of the ground.

The second half began with Crawley still doing most of the attacking and getting closer to scoring.

Sonny Bradley headed a cross narrowly wide.

Then a free-kick taken by newcomer George Smith was headed on by Bradley to Jon Ashton whose more convincing header was caught by the keeper.

Notts County took the lead against the run of play in the 62nd minute as Jon Stead nodded down to Valencic who looped a stunning drive from 25 yards into the far corner.

Crawley brought on new signing Chris Altkinson for Tomlin to make his debut.

Gwion Edwards went on a run, cut inside but shot wide.

Shamir Fenelon was brought on up front in place of Lee Barnard and played a threatening balll to Edwards who was offside.

Despite looking on top for mmost of the game, Reds had to rue not having a cutting eddge in front of goal as they slipped to defeat in a poor game.

REDS: Flahavan, Walton, Bradley, Edwards, Barnard (Fenelon 79), Young, Ashton, Harrold, Tomlin (Atkinson 66), Jenkins (Deacon , Smith

SUBS: Rooney, Preston, Bawling, Deacon, Yorwerth

NOTTS COUNTY: Carroll, Bennett, Hollis, Murray (Smith 82), Milsom, Thompson, Hewitt, Valencic, Campbell, Atkinson, Stead

SUBS: Amevor, A.Smith, Spencer, Loach, Sharpe, Burke, Aborah

REF: Keith Stroud

ATTENDANCE: 2,074 (263 away)

MAN OF THE MATCH: George Smith

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