Opening strike hopes washed away by Town
29 September 2010
After defeat by York on Saturday, Gary Mills' Lambs faced a long trip to Sussex to face big spending Crawley and had it not been for the TV enforced rejigging of the fixture list the home side would be top, but came into the game a point behind new leaders Fleetwood with Tamworth three points off the play off zone.
As it persistently rained at the soaked Broadfield Stadium Mills made one change to the weekend's side with Daniel Bradley replacing Ben Wilkson who took the space on the bench.
Approx 40 Lambs fans braved the long journey and the weather to take their place behind the goal as the rain continued to come down in sheets and even the newly painted centre line had all but disappeared by the time Tamworth kicked off the match.
The Lambs won a corner inside the second minute and Sheridan go on the end of the defensive header out but lifted his shot high over the target from outside the area.
Tubbs headed home in the fourth minute from a deep ball from the right wing but it was ruled out for offside.
For the first five to ten minutes, Crawley enjoyed much of the possession but Perry and Bradley found some space into the right corner only for the home side to mop up their forays and force Tamworth to start again on an increasingly slippy surface.
Ben Smith found Torres (Sergio!) with a driven pass to feet on 12 but his shot from 20 yards was well blocked, however Crawley pressed and won a corner in the next move which McFadzean headed towards goal and then Tubbs did similarly from Marshall's clearance which Atkins was grateful to easily take.
Atkins almost saw the a freekick from Howell spin off his gloves and into the net via a powerful but misdirected clearance under pressure on 17 which saw Bradley on hand to clear the danger as the ball dropped goalward and a minute later another freekick by the same player was diverted towards goal forcing Atkins to drop and save.
Tamworth won a freekick of their own on 20 which Bradley lined up from 30 yards but he struck the wall with his effort and the ref got a touch to give Thomas a cross from the left.
Another Bradley effort from distance in open play deflected high and out for a left sided corner on 22 but Kuioers collected it at the second attempt.
A missed shot by McFadzean was followed up by Ben Smith and his left footed effort took a deflection out for a corner which Mills headed to Atkins.
From the goalkick the ball skipped past everyone and Kuioers slipped but it was too quick for Perry to reach before it went out of play at the other end.
Torres turned and fired in a low right foot shot from 20 yards on 27 but missed the far post with his angled drive.
The Lambs fans were easily outsinging their counterparts on the terraces as Crawley won another corner on the right which was well cleared by McFadzean's miss hit shot and then a foul in the area allowed Tamworth to regain possession and on 31 Wylde got an unexpected snap shot at the keeper when the home defence failed to deal with a long ball into the box. Perry was the closest Lamb to the rebound but not as close as the home defence who put it out for a corner which came to nothing.
Ben Smith put a good low ball into the area from the right on 37 with Wylde slid to boot out for a corner, only for it to be wasted when a foul in the box was spotted by the referee from the flagkick.
Rodman then won a freekick on the right wing deep into the corner after being obstructed but Jay Smith saw his kick go into the arms of Kuioers.
A corner was won from another blocked long range effort from Bradley on 39 and so Jay Smith tried again but despite the best efforts of a number of Lambs players the keeper and the home defence put the ball back out. But when it came back into the area Wylde spun and fired into the far corner to open the night's scoring (1-0, 40 mins)
However, Tubbs immediately got his side back into the game with a close range finish after the Lambs defence failed to clear the danger in a move from the restart (1-1, 41 mins)
Play swung immediately to the other end and Wylde almost doubled his tally on 44 but Kuioers was equal to his far post header from a Jay Smith right sided freekick and two minutes added time was shown at the end of the half in which Bradley headed behind for a Crawley corner and Brodie, in his first real attacking action of the half headed well wide from in front of the near post as the half time whistle blew.
Sheridan replaced Wilkinson at the break and Crawley made a change too, as the home side got the game underway.
From the high up vantage point of the press area it looked like the rain had all but succeeded in washing away the white lines but it made no odds as when Howell's low ball was cleared, Torres put it back into the box and Ben Smith duly headed home from a central position into the near corner (1-2, 47 mins)
Brodie struck the post as the offside flag was raised on 50 after an incisive move by the home side and Thomas almost found Bradley at the other end via a left but he was to be replaced shortly afterwards, but not before Wilkinson was booked for a foul on the half way line seconds after a similar challenge against Perry had gone unpunished.
Mills was yellow carded for a foul on Perry on the hour and Jay Smith lined up the deadball on the right but it was easy for Kuioers to gather.
Play was stopped shortly afterwards with Perry down in the centre of the Crawley half and not moving but after the visit of the physio he was helped back to his feet and off the field.
Play restarted with a drop ball which Rodman gave back to the keeper and he launched it long, but the home side failed to take advantage after winning a throw on the left.
Tait lunged at Torres two footed and earned himself a booking for his efforts which sent the Crawley man tumbling. From the freekick Town won a corner which they took short and Perry headed Torres' cross away for Lake-Haskin to sprint down to the other end of the field with and win a corner.
A poor defensive stop by Wylde allowed Brodie to run through on goal on 68 and although he got a shot away, Atkins got just enough of a touch on it to push it around the post for a corner which was halted when the same player was adjudged to have fouled in the ensuing play.
Perry was brought to the floor on the half way line and a minor melee ensued and resulted in a booking for the Lambs striker and he was replaced by Mitchell before play resumed.
Thomas turned well to feed Rodman on 73 but the latter sent his shot from 20 yards over the bar and into the empty terrace directly behind the goal.
With Perry off the field and Mitchell at the back, Wylde swapped back for front flanked by Rodman and Thomas but it was the home side who scored next, when McAllister picked up the ball, sprinted down the right and crossed to the far post for Tubbs to notch his tenth of the season.
McAllister brought loud shouts for handball from the fans behind the goal against Marshall from a tidy chipped cross from the left of the box on 77 but the referee was having none of it as the rain continued unrelenting.
Tubbs left the field to a standing ovation by the Broadfield faithful on 85 who also received the home side's MOM award and three minutes added time was indicated at the end of the game which ended with no further incident and saw Town return to the top of the table.
Atkins, Tait, Marshall, Wylde, Smith, Perry (Mitchell 71), Rodman, Thomas, Sheridan (Wilkinson HT), Barrow, Bradley (Lake-Gaskin 55)
Subs: MacKenzie, Lyttle
Crawley Town Team:
Kuioers, Smith, Torres, Tubbs (Wright 85), Bulman, Wilson, Mills, Howell, Neilson, McFadzean (Hall HT), Brodie (McAllister 73)
Subs: Jordan, Masterton
Man of the Match: Chosen by the travelling Lambs fans: TBA
Referee: M Thompson (Middlesex)