Crawley 1 Barnet 1: McNerney heads Reds to draw

Crawley Town players celebrate Joe McNerney's equaliser during their 1-1 draw with Barnet. Picture by Phil Westlake SUS-160820-235453002

Crawley Town players celebrate Joe McNerney's equaliser during their 1-1 draw with Barnet. Picture by Phil Westlake SUS-160820-235453002

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Crawley Town maintained their unbeaten opening to the season when they drew 1-1 with Barnet.

Barnet took the lead in the third minute when John Akinde received a long ball by Togwell and beat Alex Davey before blasting in a volley into the top corner.

Crawley Town Football Club's  Billy Clifford at the Checkatrade Stadium in Crawley. July 25, 2016.
EDITORIAL USE ONLY
James Boardman / Telephoto Images SUS-160408-172040002

Crawley Town Football Club's Billy Clifford at the Checkatrade Stadium in Crawley. July 25, 2016. EDITORIAL USE ONLY James Boardman / Telephoto Images SUS-160408-172040002

Joe McNerney brought the teams level with a headed goal after 67 minutes.

Reds made just one change to the side who beat Exeter City 1-0 away on Tuesday night.

McNerney replaced former Kilmarnock captain Mark Connolly in central defence.

Jordan Roberts failed a fitness test so did not make the squad having not recovered from a bruised toe.

Crawley Town striker James Collins attacks the Barnet goal SUS-160821-001725002

Crawley Town striker James Collins attacks the Barnet goal SUS-160821-001725002

Striker Adi Yussuf passed his test and is on the bench.

Barnet include former Crawley striker John Akinde is playing up front and is their topscorer both last season and this season.

The visitors took an early lead when a long ball from Sam Togwell reached Akinde, he powered past Alex Davey and volleyed into the top corner.

Akinde soon had a chance to increase the Bees’ lead when he struck from the right but the ball was turned around for a corner by Yusuf Mersin.

Joe McNerney celebrates scoring Crawley's equaliser during their 1-1 draw with Barnet. Picture by Phil Westlake SUS-160820-235440002

Joe McNerney celebrates scoring Crawley's equaliser during their 1-1 draw with Barnet. Picture by Phil Westlake SUS-160820-235440002

Moments later Mersin touched a header by Michael Nelson over the bar.

Akinde then headed a great cross by Elliot Johnson inches wide as Barnet kept the pressure on.

Reds gradually got into the game after this early deluge of chances and created a couple of their own through Billy Clifford, which blazed over the bar and Josh Payne, which was tipped over by keeper Josh Vickers.

Akinde missed a great chance to increase the lead with a shot across goal which trickled wide.

Joe McNerney reels away after scoring Crawley Town's equaliser during their 1-1 draw with Barnet. Picture by Phil Westlake SUS-160820-235426002

Joe McNerney reels away after scoring Crawley Town's equaliser during their 1-1 draw with Barnet. Picture by Phil Westlake SUS-160820-235426002

Then at the other end Crawley’s Clifford lifted a ball over the top to Boldewijn on the right, he clipped the ball back but could not find James Collins and the moments was gone.

Reds pushed forward again as a Smith corner was headed over the bar by McNerney.

After a quiet start to the second half the game came to life after Dermot Drummy made a double substitution.

He brought on Josh Yorwerth for Josh Payne and new signing Adi Yussuf for Billy Clifford.

Immediately the changes seemed to bear fruit as Reds went close a few times.

Smith supplied a free-kick for McNerney’s header was turned around by the keeper, who then punched over the top a fine free-kick by Jimmy Smith.

McNerney then went one better by heading in a 67th minute equaliser from close-range after Collins hit the crossbar.

Drummy brought on Matt Harrold for Boldewijn, both players receiving a warm round of applause from the fans.

Mersin made a brilliant block to keep out an attempt by Bira Dembele.

Jason Banton went so close to scoring a winner with a curling shot which flew just inchead over the crossbar.

REDS: Mersin, Young, Payne (Yorwerth 56), Davey, Boldewijn (Harrold 77), Smith, Banton, Blackman, Clifford (Yussuf 56), Collins, McNerney

UNUSED SUBS: Beeney, Arthur, Connolly, Bawling

BEES: Vickers, Johnson, Dembele, Nelson, Watson (Vilhete 56), Weston, Akinde, Togwell, Taylor, Akpa, Akpro (Batt 77) Nicholls (Muggleton 77)

UNUSED SUBS: Stephens, N’Gala Champion Tomlinson

REFEREE: Lee Probert

Man of the Match: Jimmy Smith

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