Crawley Town gain tough 1-1 draw at Oldham

Crawley Town V Gillingham in Johnstone Paint Trophy (Pic by Jon & Joe Rigby) SUS-141113-125036002
Crawley Town V Gillingham in Johnstone Paint Trophy (Pic by Jon & Joe Rigby) SUS-141113-125036002
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Gwion Edwards earned Crawley Town a hard fought 1-1 away draw against an in-form side despite a traumatic week at the club.

Reds put five players on the transfer list on Thursday following some inconsistent displays in both league and two cups.

And it looked likely to end up with a defeat when Oldham who went into the game with only one defeat in their last 15 matches took the lead in the seventh minute through Dan Johnson.

However Edwards signalled the great fightback with a stunning goal to go 1-1 three minutes before half-time.

John Gregory made just two changes to the side which lost to Gillingham in the JPT on Tuesday night with transfer listed Conor Henderson recalled along with Dean Leacock who was back from suspension.

Izale McLeod was out with a one-match ban and Lanre Oyebanjo had a thigh injury. Josh Simpson and Matt Harrold, both transfer listed, did not make the squad through injury.

Gavin Tomlin played as a lone striker with Gwion Edwards behind him in a 3-5-1-1 formation.

Crawley showed promise as Edwards netted in the opening exchanges but Dean Leacock was offside and the goal was disallowed.

Oldham took the lead in only the seventh minute when Dan Johnson who was making his debut on loan from Aston Villa made a brilliant run to beat several defenders before placing his shot to Jamie Ashdown’s right.

Johnson showed his pace and quality again with another dramatic run and squared to the middle which was cleared by new club captain Joe Walsh.

Crawley fought back during the first half and although did not create many chances managed to equalise just before half-time.

Jimmy Smith intercepted an Oldham pass and laid on to Gwion Edwards who scored from 25 yards with a fantastic finish.

Oldham looked the stronger side at the start of the second half as former Crawley midfielder Mike Jones hit two shots in quick succession, the first from 25 yards was saved by Jamie Ashdown while the second was deflected wide.

A cross from the left was missed by Dan Philliskirk as the home side pressed forward in search of a second goal.

Conor Henderson lost the ball too easily and was immediately taken off and replaced by Lewis Young as Reds switched to a 4-4-1-1 formation.

Crawley were under continued pressure and Bobson Bawling did well to keep out a good chance by Philliskirk which could have easily gone in.

Edwards did some great work down the left and at the other as he supplied Bawling for a long-range shot which was held by keeper Rachubka.

Oldham bombarded Crawley’s area for long periods, notching up 12 corners and Crawley did well to keep them out to gain a tough point away from home against the ninth placed team.

REDS: Ashdown, Dickson, Henderson (Young 61), Leacock, Bradley, Edwards, Smith, Walsh, Keane, Bawling, Tomlin

Unused subs: Jensen, Banya, O’Connor, Richefond, Isaacs

OLDHAM: Rachubka, Mills, Dieng, Kelly (Poleon 79), Johnson (Dayton 79), Jones, Philliskirk, Forte (Tidser 46), J.Wilson, Ibehre, B.Wilson

Unused subs: Etheridge, Winchester, Turner, Lockwood

Referee: Mark Heywood

ATTENDANCE: 3,924 (83 away