Crawley Town 3, Yeovil Town 1: Supersub Nathaniel-George's stunner helps win it for Cioffi's men

Ollie Palmer celebrates his goal. Picture by Liz Pearce
Ollie Palmer celebrates his goal. Picture by Liz Pearce

Substitute Ashley Nathaniel-George scored a stunner from 25-yards as Crawley Town beat Yeovil Town 3-1 at the Broadfield Stadium.

Nathaniel-George came on in the 57th minute to replace Mark Randall. And he made the difference as his screamer proved to be the difference in an entertaining game. Ollie Plamer gave the Reds the lead before Felipe Morais finished off the scoring with a last minute goal.

Luke Gambin made his first start while Josh Payne and Romain Vincelot returned to the starting line-up in place of George Francomb, Mark Connolly and Ashley Nathaniel-George.

Gambin made an immediate impact, thundering down the left and Felipe Morais put him through but the final ball was cut out by the Yeovil defence.

It was Yeovil who had the first real chance of the game on five minutes when referee Neil Hair played a good advantage and Jordan Green cruised past the Crawley defence but his shot hit the side netting.

Yeovil were on the front foot and after Carl Dickinson's rasping free kick had Glenn Morris scrambling, the Reds keeper was tested with a low drive from Olufela Olomola. Rhys Browne then curled over after a jinking run from Green into the Reds' box.

On 20 minutes Payne spread the ball well to find Young and he sent in a lovely cross only for Nathan Baxter in the visitors' goal to claim it ahead of Ollie Palmer. As confidence grew, Reds were looking more dangerous and on 25 minutes they took the lead.

A typical Young run and cross was initially mishit by Gambin, but it fell to Palmer who stabbed home from close range.

Joe Maguire, Mark Randall and Sessi D'Almeida were all booked as tempers seemed to rise after a few niggly challenges.

Yoann Arquin replaced the injured Alex Pattinson and the substitute had a good chance on 40 minutes but his volley from 22 yards went comfortably over Morris' goal.

But the visitors soon had it in the back of the net when Carl Dickinson found the bottom corner of the net after being found by Olomola on the left hand side of the box.

Palmer them made room for himself at the other end but his curling shot went well wide. Yeovil did have the ball in the net again by Olomola was offside when he headed in. That was the last chance of an entertaining first half.

Cioffi's men looked to attack straight away in the second half and after winning an early corner, they had shouts for a penalty when Randall went down but referee turnewd down the appeals. The Reds midfielder then shot wide from 20 yards.

Yeovil still looked dangerous on the break and Arquin broke clear 54 minutes but Morris was more than equal to the effort. The game was ebbing and flowing and could have gone either way at this point.

Cioffi made his first change on 57 minutes when Nathaniel-George came on for Randall. And the sub made an immediate impact when he was involved in a great opening which Palmer should ahve scored from.

Nathaniel-George and Gambin combined and the latter crossed for Palmer but he somehow side-footed wide.

On 63 minutes a Maguire mistake almost cost Reds dear. His pass was intercepted by Olomola and the striker nearly punished the mistake but his powerful strike just went wide.

You got the sense it was going to take something special for one of these sides to take the lead and, indeed, that is what it took. Nathaniel-George made room for himself 25 yards out and he hit a screamer. Baxter got a touch but it was not enough as the ball hit the back of the net. It was a terrific strike.

It could have been 3-1 minutes later when Palmer broke clear but he delayed his pass to Nathaniel-George, whose shot never troubled Baxter.

Yeovil tried to put pressure on the home side but they could create many clear chances, and when they did, Morris was more than up to the task. Palmer could have made things more comfortable in the dying minutes and he had two chances to make it 3-1 but the first efforrt was saved before he somehow side-footed wide.

But in the last minute, they got the third they deserved when Morais stroked home from the edge of the box.

Crawley: Morris, Young, Payne, Palmer, Gambin, Maguire, Vincelot, Moraise (capt), Randall, Camara, N'Gala. Subs: Mersin, Doherty, Poleon, Francomb, Nathaniel-George, Allarakhia.

Yeovil Town: Baxter, Dickinson, Browne, Gray, Green, Pattison, D'Almedia (capt), James, Olomola, Donnellan, Mahmutovic. Subs: Phillips, Mugabi, Patrick, Fisher, Rogers, Arquin, Ojo.

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