29 February 2020
Exeter City v Crawley Town
Exeter City fought back from a goal down to earn a point at home to Crawley Town.
By Simon Larkin
The Grecians, in heavy conditions, fell behind to Ashley Nadesan first half strike and toiled for the majority of the match before finding some rhythm in the final half hour an then equalising with nine minutes to go through Brennan Dickenson.
City manager Matt Taylor made three changes from last Saturday’s defeat to Northampton Town as Nicky Law, Jake Taylor and Dean Moxey came in for Tom Parkes, Archie Collins and Matt Jay.
The Grecians started the match brightly, but it was the visitors who had the first meaningful effort at goal when Reece Grego-Cox won the ball on halfway and burst forward before squaring a pass to Jordan Tunnincliffe. However, the Crawley Town midfielder’s shot was superbly blocked by Lewis Ward.
City then had a succession of chances as first Nicky Ajose was inches away from getting on the end of a Dickenson cross into the six-yard box and then Randell Williams curled a right-foot shot just wide after 22 minutes.
Ryan Bowman then sent a free header just wide, from a Williams’ cross, before Crawley Town broke the deadlock against the run of play.
It was a disappointing goal from a City point of view as Josh Doherty ghosted past the hosts midfield too easy and found Ashley Nadesan with a defence splitting pass and he lifted a shot over Ward.
The Grecians kept pressing though and were unfortunate not to draw level when Pierce Sweeney drilled a low shot against the base of the post from 30 yards out.
That pressure continued at the start of the second half as Sweeney crossed for Jake Taylor to send a header crashing against the woodwork. The City captain then sent another effort just over on 53 minutes.
There were then strong appeals for a penalty turned down as Randell Williams appeared to be hacked down in the box by David Sesay.
However, Crawley created their first dangerous moment of the second half when Ricky German rifled a shot at goal from eight-yards out but Ward blocked it superbly from close range.
It proved to be a vital save as with nine minutes to go City were back on terms. It was a great driving run and pass from Williams that found Brennan Dickenson in the box and he rifled a low left-foot shot into the bottom corner.
Two minutes later another good run into the box saw him set up Nicky Law but his effort was superbly saved by Glenn Morris.
Ryan Bowman then headed over in the first minute of injury time, but, in the end, City had to be content with a point.
Exeter City: Ward, Sweeney (Richardson, 60), Atangana, A Martin, Law, Williams, Bowman, Ajose (L Martin, 60), Moxey, Dickenson, Taylor. Subs not used: Thompson, Parkes, Jay, Fisher, Collins
Crawley Town: Morris, Doherty, Grego-Cox (German, 11), Nadesan (Powell, 67), Francomb, Sesay (Camara, 71), Tunnicliffe, Sendles-White, Bulman, Dacres-Cogley, Lubala. Subs not used: McGill, McNerney, Allarakhia.
Attendance: 5,404 (166, away)