Crawley Town 1 Bristol City 2: Reds lose out to late winner

Crawleys Goalkeeper Lewis Price is beaten for Bristol City's winner late in the game (Pic by Joe & James Rigby) SUS-150703-212950002
Crawleys Goalkeeper Lewis Price is beaten for Bristol City's winner late in the game (Pic by Joe & James Rigby) SUS-150703-212950002

Crawley Town gave a superb display before narrowly losing to leaders Bristol City.

An exciting game was finally settled in the 82nd minute with a winner headed in for the visitors by Luke Ayling.

Sonny Bradley and Izale McLeod put the pressure on the Bristol City goal (Pic by Joe & James Rigby) SUS-150703-212821002

Sonny Bradley and Izale McLeod put the pressure on the Bristol City goal (Pic by Joe & James Rigby) SUS-150703-212821002

It looked like Reds were going to earn a brilliant draw to help their relegation battle when Anthony Wordsworth’s 60th minute goal made it 1-1.

After a goalless first half in which Crawley had the better chances to score, Bristol took the lead through Aden Flint three minutes after the start of the second half.

Dean Saunders made just one change to the side which narrowly lost 1-0 away to Bradford City with Ryan Dickson coming in for Gwion Edwards.

Goalkeeper Lewis Price denied both Bristol strikers Aaron Wilbraham and Kieran Agard but was the move was flagged offside.

Crawleys Goalkeeper Lewis Price is beaten for Bristol City's first goal (Pic by Joe & James Rigby) SUS-150703-212851002

Crawleys Goalkeeper Lewis Price is beaten for Bristol City's first goal (Pic by Joe & James Rigby) SUS-150703-212851002

League One Player of the Month Izale McLeod was named as captain following the departure of Joe Walsh on loan to MK Dons.

He fired well wide in Crawley’s first real chance on 23 minutes following a quiet start by Reds.

A cross by Dickson found Mathias Pogba but his volley hit a defender and was cleared.

Crawley had the ball in the net on 30 minutes when Lee Fowler’s superb free-kick was headed into the corner of the net by Richard Wood but the move was ruled offside.

Crawley Town's Anthony Wordsworth equalises against Bristol City (Pic by Joe & James Rigby) SUS-150703-212916002

Crawley Town's Anthony Wordsworth equalises against Bristol City (Pic by Joe & James Rigby) SUS-150703-212916002

Fowler looked increasingly influential in central midfield as the first half went on and moments before half-time and he had a long-range shot blocked by the City defence.

Bristol took the initiative at the start of the second half and forced Price to make a save from Luke Freeman’s shot after Wood had cleared of the line.

City then took the lead in the 48th minute when a quickly-taken throw-in found Freeman whose cross from the right was headed down by Flint to beat Price.

Pogba found space on the right outside the area but his shot flew miles over the crossbar.

Crawley Town's Anthony Wordsworth equalises against Bristol City (Pic by Joe & James Rigby) SUS-150703-212936002

Crawley Town's Anthony Wordsworth equalises against Bristol City (Pic by Joe & James Rigby) SUS-150703-212936002

But the Reds got back on to level terms on the hour with a great effort set up by Gavin Tomlin for Wordsworth to turn and shoot into the net.

A the other end Marlon Pack’s corner was tipped over the bar by Price.

Dickson then found Pogba with a cross but his volley went narrowly wide.

Pogba was then replaced by Dean Morgan, receiving massive applause from the appreciative home fans.

Bristol then regained the lead with eight minutes to go headed powerfully in by Ayling from Freeman’s corner.

REDS: Price; Wood, Ward, Bradley; Young (Edwards 87), Wordsworth, Fowler, Tomlin, Dickson; Pogba (Morgan 66); McLeod

Unused subs: Jensen, Smith, Anderson, Bawling, O’Connor

BRISTOL CITY: Fielding, Little, Williams, Flint, K Smith, Freeman (Saville 90), Wilbraham (Capt), Agard (Emmanuel-Thomas 80), Pack, Ayling, Bryan (Cunningham 90)

Unused subs: Elliott, Wagstaff, Tavernier, Richards

REFEREE: Andy D’Urso

ATTENDANCE: 3,333 (1,088 away)

MAN OF THE MATCH: Lee Fowler