Crawley 1 Swindon 1: Reds miss out on all three points in front of huge home crowd

Crawley Town v Swindon Town. First goal. Pic Steve Robards SR1808783 SUS-180204-160610001
Crawley Town v Swindon Town. First goal. Pic Steve Robards SR1808783 SUS-180204-160610001

Crawley Town gave away the opportunity of ending their winless run with a home victory when Swindon scored a late equaliser to claim a 1-1 draw.

Captain fantastic Jimmy Smith gave Reds the lead with a brilliant volley from just inside the area.

Crawley Town v Swindon Town..  Pic Steve Robards SR1808719 SUS-180204-161853001

Crawley Town v Swindon Town.. Pic Steve Robards SR1808719 SUS-180204-161853001

They gave a good display and looked like they were going to take all three points until substitute Marc Richards equalised for Swindon with five minutes to go.

It was the biggest crowd at Crawley Town for years as the sports-loving folk of the area responded with their feet to the club’s creative Pay As You Can day where anyone can pay as little as £1 to buy a ticket for the League 2 match.

Harry Kewell made three changes to the team which lost at Cambridge United on Good Friday with Enzio Boldewijn, Panutche Camara and Aryan Tajbakhsh coming in while Jordan Roberts and Josh Payne were on the bench and Cedric Evina was not in the squad.

Swindon went on the front foot first with Josh Yorwerth heading the opening attack by Matty Taylor clear off the line.

Mark Randall then went on a promising run, avoiding a couple of challenges before shooting wide.

Swindon were then forced to make the first change of the day when Luke Norris went down with a painful looking injury and had to be stretchered off the field, to be replaced by Paul Mullin.

Reds took the lead in spectacular style in the 25th minute when Smith struck a volley sweetly from just inside the area on the right into the top left hand corner.

Crawley kept pressing before half-time as Mark Connolly’s headedv down to Karlan Ahearne-Grant whose shot was directly at ‘keeper Syuart Moore.

Ahearne-Grant then lifted a free-kick over the bar.

In the second half ‘keeper Glenn Morris was brought into action to a headed chance from Mullin.

Reds reponded with some good play by Enzio Boldewijn who won the ball and found Randall whose shot rattled the post.

Ahearne-Grant continued to pose a threat and forced the opposing keeper into action and lifted another effort over the bar.

Smith found sapce and struck another sweet shot which was well deflected for a corner.

Morris was called into action for a customary brilliant save to keep Reds’ lead in the closing stages to deny Ollie Banks.

Crawley suffered late heart break when Richards headed the visitors back on to level terms after Rreds failed to clear the ball from the area.

Crawley (4-3-3): Morris, Young, Connolly, Boldewijn, Smith (capt), Ahearne-Grant, Yorwerth, Tajbakhsh, Bulman (Payne 63), Randall (Roberts 77), Camara

Unused subs: Mersin, Djalo, Lelan, McNerney, Sanoh

Swindon Town: Moore, Purkiss, Hussey, Dunne (Richards 60), Norris (Mullin 13), Woolery, Knoyle, Banks, Anderson (McDermott 70), Taylor, Menayese

Unused subs: Henry, Lancashire, Eisnik, McGiven

Referee: Dean Whitestone

Attendance: 5,008 (1,377)

Man of the match: Jimmy Smith