Stevenage 1 Crawley 1: Meite shines as Reds come back to earn fine away draw

Ibrahim Meite. Picture by PW Sporting Photography SUS-170830-145403001
Ibrahim Meite. Picture by PW Sporting Photography SUS-170830-145403001

New signing Ibrahim Meite scored on his first league start to earn Crawley Town an away point at Stevenage.

At the end of an evenly-matched but quiet first half Stevenage went ahead in the 45th minute through Danny Newton.

But Reds responded immediately as soon as the second half began when Ibrahim Meite scored his first goal for the club.

Harry Kewell made three changes to the side which lost 3-1 against Colchester with a trio Josh Doherty, Dennon Lewis and Cardiff City loanee Meite making their first league starts.

Dean Cox, Mark Randall and Panutche Camara were on the bench.

Meite partnered Enzio Boldewijn up front and Lewis played right wing and Doherty on the left wing as Kewell returned to a 4-4-2 formation.

Jordan Roberts missed his second successive game with an injury picked up against Yeovil.

Stevenage made two changes with Ben Kennedy and Kevin Toner replacing Chris Whelpdale and Luke Wilkinson.

Glenn Morris pulled off the first save of the evening to comfortably deny Jonathan Smith.

Lewis combined with Doherty who could not get his shot on target while at the other end Stevenage’s Ben Kennedy drove low and wide from just outside the area.

After Dennon Lewis went down and caused a long delay for treatment, Stevenage had another chance as Kennedy crossed for Harry Beautyman who headed straight at Morris, who made an easy save.

Stevenage took the lead in injury-time at the end of the first half when Newton burst past two Reds defenders and blasted in off the post from 20 yards.

Reds made a change at half-time when Mark Randall came on for Lewis.

Crawley were certainly quickest out of the blocks when they emerged from the break as Meite scored his first goal in professional football from the edge of the area with an excellent finish.

Reds then made their second change as Josh Payne replaced Doherty.

Meite staked his claim to keep his place in the side with another brilliant effort, his pace got him into space and powered another shot on target from well outside the box, this time forcing Fryer to make a good save.

He looked threatening again when put through by Payne, but the ball ran out for a corner when Boldewijn was in a better position.

Then Randall had two shots which were both blocked.

Reds kept up the pressure going for the three points as Dannie Bulman had a shot from a difficult position which went wide.

In the final minute Young set-up Meite for another attempt and the ball was saved by Fryer.

There was still time for Stevenage’s Alex Samuel to be denied by Morris at the other end before the final whistle blew.

REDS: Morris, Young, Doherty (Payne 59), Boldewijn, Jimmy Smith (capt), Yorwerth, Evina, Bulman, Lelan, Lewis (Randall 46), Meite

Unused subs: Mersin, Connolly, Cox, Tajbakhsh, Camara

STEVENAGE: Fryer, Jonathan Smith, Martin, Franks (Vancooten 51), Beautyman (Samuel 61), Kennedy, Pett, Newton (Whelpdale 72), Toner, Godden, Henry (capt)

Unused subs: Day, Conlon, McKee, Gray

REFEREE: Andy Haines

ATTENDANCE: 1,922 (82 away)