Crawley Town 1 Bradford City 0: Emile Sinclair goal seals great win

Nicky Adams and Jamie Proctor congratulate Crawley Town goalscorer Emile Sinclair
Nicky Adams and Jamie Proctor congratulate Crawley Town goalscorer Emile Sinclair

Crawley Town stretched their unbeaten run in League One to seven matches thanks to an early second half goal scored by Emile Sinclair.

It was the former Peterborough Utd striker’s third goal in four matches he has played since the Reds bought him for £100,000.

It was a finely balanced game between two good footballing teams, which both had key players missing - Crawley were without joint topscorer Billy Clarke due to a knee injury while Bradford were without topscorer Nahki Wells, ruled out with an injured ankle.

Richie Barker made four changes to the side hwich had lost to Newport County 3-2 11 days earlier in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy. James Hurst served a suspension for his sending-off, while Andy Drury, Dannie Bulman, Joe Walsh and Kyle McFadzean returned. Sergio Torres, Mark Connolly and Connor Essam were on the bench.

Bradford began the game in fourth place in the table looked the better side in the first half.

Kyel Reid combined with James Hanson to present Mark Yeates with a good chance which he lifted over the bar.

Thompson put another opportunity wide from the six-yard box after a miskick by Kyle McFadzean allowed Yeates to cross into the danger-zone.

Bradford kept the pressure on and came close again when James Meredith headed into the box and Thompson failed to control the high ball and skied his shot.

Crawley weathered the storm and gradually created a few chances of their own as Jamie Proctor had a shot blocked from a tight angle by keeper Jon McLaughlin

Josh Simpson set up attacking dynamo Nicky Adams for a terrific shot on target which was deflected for a corner by Matthew Bates.

Just before half-time Mike Jones scuffed a shot wide for Crawley from 20 yards while under pressure from a challenge.

Crawley improved greatly in the second half and got themselves in front in the 53rd minute when Andy Drury put Sinclair through into the area with a fine pass, he ran on and struck it firmly to beat McLaughlin.

The Reds dominated most of the second half as Adams and Proctor went close and Drury shaved the crossbar with a cross. Sinclair and the in-form Proctor were both denied by alert saves by McLaughlin while Northern Ireland international Rory McArdle intercepted a cross from Adams destined for substitute Gary Alexander with five minutes to go.

Bradford put the squeeze on Crawley with some late pressure as they searched for an equaliser. The menacing Hanson blasted wide from long-range and in the last minute a McArdle header was saved from point-blank by Reds’ keeper Paul Jones as Crawley defended well at the end to clinch victory.

REDS: Jones; Simpson, McFadzean, Walsh, Sadler; Bulman; Adams (Essam 90), Jones, Drury; Sinclair (Alexander 78), Proctor (Connolly 87)

Unused subs; Torres, Rooney, Maddison

BRADFORD: McLaughlin; Darby, Bates (Connell 75), McArdle, Meredith; Thompson (De Vita 71), G Jones, Doyle, Reid. Yeates (Folan 63), Hanson.

Unused subs: Ripley, Oliver, Kennedy. McHugh

ATTENDANCE: 3,836 (746 away)

REFEREE: Dean Whitestone

MAN OF THE MATCH: Emile Sinclair