Crawley 0 Luton Town 0: Reds impress against league leaders

DM17103030a.jpg Football: Crawley FC v Luton. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-171021-185156008
DM17103030a.jpg Football: Crawley FC v Luton. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-171021-185156008

Much-improved Crawley Town had chances to win an exciting 0-0 draw with league leaders Luton Town.

Reds received a standing ovation from the fans as they left the field, having risen well to the occasion of playing the division’s outstanding side.

DM17102981a.jpg Football: Crawley FC v Luton. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-171021-185028008

DM17102981a.jpg Football: Crawley FC v Luton. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-171021-185028008

In the end Crawley would have felt unlucky not to have taken three points from the game, having created plenty of chances to score and restricting the visitors to a couple attempts on goal.

Harry Kewell made two changes from the side which lost to Chesterfield on Tuesday with Josh Yorwerth returning from suspension and Panutche Camara replacing Billy Clifford and Dennon Lewis who were on the bench.

Luton boss Nathan Jones named an unchanged side from the one which beat Exeter City 4-1 away in midweek.

There was a good atmosphere created by both sets of fans and there was a healthy gate, boosted by a massive away support.

DM17103093a.jpg Football: Crawley FC v Luton. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-171021-185252008

DM17103093a.jpg Football: Crawley FC v Luton. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-171021-185252008

The game was played in windy conditions created by Storm Brian which at times affected the flight of the ball. In a mixed bag of weather, there was also rain, sun and a rainbow.

It took until the 19th minute until the first chance of the game which fell to Crawley as Jordan Roberts put captain Jimmy Smith through on goal but his shot went straight to keeper Mark Stech.

Enzio Boldewijn then went on a run and launched a shot while off-balance which flew over the bar.

Roberts then went on a crossfield run and struck a shot which was deflected and it was caught by Stech.

DM17103044a.jpg Football: Crawley FC v Luton. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-171021-185207008

DM17103044a.jpg Football: Crawley FC v Luton. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-171021-185207008

Camara then had a low shot saved by the keeper after Dannie Bulman won possession from a defender.

Luton saw their first chances as half-time approached as Jack Stacey was denied by the advancing Glenn Morris and former Crawley topscorer James Collins headed a corner wide.

For Reds, Boldewijn set-up Yorwerth for a chance which he volleyed on the turn but the ball was caught by Stech.

In the second half Collins struck a shot across the face of goal but it was Crawley who looked hungriest to score.

DM17102627a.jpg Football: Crawley FC v Luton. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-171021-184922008

DM17102627a.jpg Football: Crawley FC v Luton. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-171021-184922008

Roberts had a run and shot which forced Stech into a diving save before Smith set-up Yorwerth for an attempt which was blocked by a defender.

Glen Rea’s header was caught by Morris in a short period of pressure for the visitors.

Cedric Evina got to the byline and crossed a dangerous ball into the six-yard box but there was no-one who could get on the end of it and it was cleared.

In the closing stages Crawley went close to scoring but somehow couldn’t find the net.

Bulman supplied to Roberts who tried to slide the ball under keeper Stech but the keeper blocked it and went out for a corner.

The ball was then put into the six-yard box from a corner but there was no-one on hand to put away the loose ball.

DM17102940a.jpg Football: Crawley FC v Luton. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-171021-185006008

DM17102940a.jpg Football: Crawley FC v Luton. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-171021-185006008

Luton substitute Elliott Lee volleyed against the post as they went in search of a late winner.

Finally Camara saw the keeper off his line and had a go from long-range which went narrowly wide as Reds had to settle for an entertaining draw.

REDS (4-1-2-3): Morris, McNerney, Connolly, Boldewijn, Smith (capt), Roberts, Yorwerth, Evina, Bulman, Lelan, Camara.

Unused subs: Doherty, Payne, Mersin, Djalo, Clifford, Tajbakhsh, Lewis

LUTON (4-1-2-3): Stech, Potts, Cuthbert (capt), Stacey, O.Lee (Ruddock-Mpanzu 79), Hylton (E.Lee 73), Cornick (Cook 89), Rea, Berry, Collins, Sheehan

Unused subs: Justin, Mullins, Gambin, Shea

REFEREE: Trevor Kettle (Rutland)

ATTENDANCE: 3,494 (1,642 away)