Crawley Town held to 0-0 draw by Bristol Rovers in FA Cup

Michael Dunford and John Gregory
Michael Dunford and John Gregory

Crawley Town’s new manager John Gregory began his reign with a 0-0 draw at Bristol Rovers.

The Reds could again not find their scoring boots despite having the better of the game.

They are still in the draw for the Third Round but must first fight out a replay at Broadfield Stadium next Tuesday week.

A minute’s applause was held to mark the death of Nelson Mandella and all players from both teams wore black armbands.

Gregory was forced to make a late change to make due to an injury to Josh Simpson during the warm-up. He was replaced in central midfield by Andy Drury.

He made one other change with Gary Alexander being preferred up front to Jamie Proctor, who was on the bench.

Crawley finished the first half looking the better side but there were few serious chances from either team.

The game was slow to get going as a spectacle and the only two chances from either team in the first half hour both came from Crawley’s Nicky Adams.

He put an early shot wide and then sent a good cross over from the right for Gary Alexander who could not get power on his header which flew tamely toward the hands of Rovers’ keeper Steve Mildenhall.

Rovers’ only genuine chance of the half came for Oliver Norburn who struck low from outside the area straight at Paul Jones who saved.

Crawley finished the half strongest as Adams found Mark Connelly from one of a succession of seven corners but he thumped his shot directly at keeper Steven Mildenhall.

Rovers had the better chances in the second half as Michel Smith forced a save from Paul Jones from a breakaway attack then Norburn lifted a shot over the bar.

The Gas had their best chance on the hour when Norburn hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced out before the ball was cleared by Mark Connolly.

Dannie Bulman saw a half volley saved and Adams got another cross into the box only for no-one to be on the end of it.

Norburn fired a cracking shot from 30 yards which Jones turned around with a diving save.

Finally in the last minute Gary Alexander tracked back to clear off the line with a header as the Reds held on to force a replay.

REDS: P.Jones, Connolly, McFadzean, Walsh, Sadler, Adams, Bulman, Simpson, Clarke, Sinclair, Alexander

Subs: Maddison, Hurst, Torres, Drury, Proctor, Smith

ATTENDANCE: 4,623 (323 away)