Crawley Town 2-0 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Tuesday, 10th Nov 2020 20:58
A goal in each half from Brian Galach saw Crawley to a 2-0 victory over a very young Blues side at the Broadfield Stadium and ended Town’s Papa John’s Trophy campaign at the group stage. Galach headed the opener in the 17th minute and added the second on 55 to win the tie for the Reds and drop the Blues to the bottom of Group B.
Town boss Paul Lambert named the expected youthful team with Dylan Crowe and Levi Andoh making their Town debuts and Tommy Smith, Allan Viral, Zanda Siziba and Ross Crane their full Blues bows.
David Cornell, the most senior player in the side, skippered from between the sticks with former England U16, U17 and U18 international Crowe, 19, at right-back, Smith, 18, at left-back and Andoh and Corrie Ndaba, both 20, the centre-halves.
In midfield, Liam Gibbs, 17, was joined by Viral, 18, and 17-year-old Siziba, while Tyreece Simpson, 18, played down the centre of the attack with on-loan Borussia Mönchengladbach wideman Keanan Bennetts on the left and Crane, signed from Bury Town in the summer, on the right.
Among the six subs was East Bergholt High School pupil Jack Manly, a forward aged 16 years and 22 days.
As was the case in the previous game against Gillingham, the Blues face a £5,000 fine for contravening the competition’s selection rules.
Crawley changed all 11 of their players following their 6-5 FA Cup win at Torquay on Sunday and named only four substitutes but still more senior than the Blues’ team.
The home side struck the first shot of the game in the sixth minute, Ricardo German turning away from Ndaba, who had a good hold of his shirt, and taking the ball towards the edge of the box before scuffing his effort wide.
Crawley, who had had the better of the opening minutes, took the lead in the 17th minute through Galach. Sam Ashford whipped in a cross from the left and the diminutive striker headed into the ground and then the roof of the net from six yards.
The Town youngsters were trying to play their football but all too often a perhaps sometimes overambitious pass would go astray or would be cut out by a Crawley boot when getting into the final third.
The Red Devils might have done better in the 26th minute when Tarryn Allarakhia overhit a threaded pass straight to Cornell.
Chances continued to be a rare occurrence at both ends with Town maintaining their passing football but without being able to create an opportunity.
On 42 Crane brought the ball in from the right and fed Viral who had broken into the area but the French midfielder’s attempted turn sent the ball through to home keeper Stuart Nelson.
That was the nearest the Blues got to threatening a leveller before the half-time whistle was blown by referee Sam Purkiss.
Town had passed the ball around tidily at the back but had been unable to create anything of note against their more senior opponents.
Equally, Crawley had carved out few chances of their own with the goal the game’s one outstanding opportunity.
Crawley swapped German for Zaid Al-Hussaini ahead of the second half, then three minutes after restart Crane cut in fron the right and hit a shot which deflected well wide.
A minute later Bennetts, who had been quiet in the first half, dribbled in from the left and won a corner.
Town, who won a third corner of the half moments later, were starting the half looking more incisive. However, on 52 Crawley broke quickly and Nathan Ferguson shot well over.
And three minutes later it was 2-0 with Galach again the scorer. The Polish frontman was sent away into the area on the left by Ferguson and hit a well-struck shot across Cornell and into the corner of the net.
Crawley switched Allarakhia for debutant Nicholas Tsaroulla as Town prepared for the restart with qualification for the next stage of the competition now looking a big ask for the young Blues.
Six minutes later they swapped Ferguson, who had picked up a knock, for Henry Burnett, who was also making his debut.
The Reds were full of confidence having extended their lead and in the 65th minute sub Tsaroulla cut in from the left and hit a shot which deflected over the bar.
Town introduced two more debutants in the 68th minute with Zak Brown replacing Crane, while Manly at 16 years and 22 days became the club’s second youngest player, after Connor Wickham, for Viral.
Crawley continued to have chances. Tsaroulla cut inside and found David Sesay whose attempt was blocked with the ball subsequently deflecting behind.
Sub Brown hit Town’s first shot on goal from the edge of the box in the 75th minute from a Bennetts cross from the left but failed to cause Nelson any problems. Three minutes later, Ashford shot wide at the other end.
Town claimed a penalty in the 77th minute when a Bennetts cross struck Manny Adebowale’s arm but referee Purkiss waved away the appeals. Town have seen less convincing shouts go against them in recent weeks.
Six minutes later, Brown shot just wide and as the ball passed the post Bennetts and Rafiq Khaleel squared up off the ball and both were yellow-carded.
Khaleel will count himself lucky not to have picked up a second booking moments later when he jumped into the back of Siziba with the ball bouncing, catching him with his studs for the second time. Referee Purkiss let him off with a talking to.
Siziba won’t have been too disappointed to see Khaleel depart moments later having suffered an injury, leaving Crawley with 10 men for injury time in which neither side threatened to add to the goals.
The young Blues never looked like being able to find a way through Crawley, who looked comfortable throughout, although again will feel a refereeing decision went against them when they weren't awarded a penalty in the second half.
At the same time, the game was never in any danger of being turned into a one-sided contest with the Town youngsters seeing plenty of the ball and making a bright start to the second period.
The second goal all but killed the game, however, the youngsters never gave up the fight and will benefit from the experience.
Arsenal U21s having beat Gillingham 4-2 on penalties in the evening’s other game following a 1-1 draw to top the group. Gillingham were second with Crawley third and Town, who lost two of their three games, bottom.
The Blues are next in action a week on Saturday when they face Shrewsbury at Portman Road in League One.
Crawley: Nelson, McNerney, Adebowale, Sesay, Ferguson (Burnett 62), Allarakhia (Tsaroulla 56), Khaleel, Ashford, Galach, German (Al-Hussaini 46). Unused: Kowalczyk.
Town: Cornell, Crowe, Andoh, Ndaba, Smith, Viral (Manly 68), Gibbs, Siziba, Bennetts, Simpson, Crane (Brown 68). Unused: Holy, Armin, Healy, Chirewa. Sam Purkiss (London).
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