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Match Reports

U's Beaten At Crawley

2019 begins with defeat for McGreal and Co.

1 January 2019

Colchester United have lost 2-0 at Crawley Town in a frustrating start to 20

There were no goals in first half, but the hosts had Joe McNerney sent off for a reckless challenge on Harry Pell.

A stunning goal on the hour gave Crawley the lead, as Luke Gambin drilled a left foot effort into the bottom corner.

That lead was doubled in the last minute when Gambin scored his and Crawley's second with a free kick low to Gilmartin's left.

The free kick came from Frankie Kent fouling Dominic Poleon, resulting in the U's defender receiving a second yellow card, and the subsequent red - meaning he will miss the game against Notts County.

From the opening whistle, the U’s looked determined to get the ball forward and it only took them two minutes to have the first shot on goal.

The usually deepest midfielder Tom Lapslie drove forward and hit his effort from twenty five yards out, but it was easily saved by Glenn Morris.

To their credit, the home side were also looking to be positive and six minutes later had their first effort as Camara shot wide.

The U’s were starting to control things though, and Sammie Szmodics was next to threaten, although his header was straight at Morris.

Luke Norris then had a shot blocked after good work by Harry Pell, and then came closest to scoring a first half opener on twenty five minutes.

Ryan Jackson threw it short for Frank Nouble, got the return and whipped his cross into the box – Norris’ header came back off the crossbar and was cleared.

Three minutes later, his free kick was deflected for a corner and then came the main talking point of the first forty five minutes.

Pell got to the ball quickest in the midfield, and Joe McNerney’s lunging challenge was deemed to be reckless and he received a red card.

The U’s had the lion’s share of possession for the remaining fifteen minutes of the half, but the only real opening came when Szmodics’ shot was blocked before the rebound from Pell was saved.

Courtney Senior replaced an injured Luke Prosser, as the U’s looked to attack the ten men of Crawley.

Nouble headered wide from a Jackson cross early in the half, but it was the hosts that went ahead on the hour.

Gambin ran on the diagonal from a central area to the left, and then hit a stunning shot across Gilmartin and into the bottom corner.

Brennan Dickenson and Mikael Mandron were introduced as the U’s looked for an equaliser but the only efforts the visitors had were both off target.

Senior and Nouble were the players failing to at least test Morris, and the day got worse in the final minute of the game.

Frankie Kent held back Camara, and as well as a free kick, the U’s defender got a second yellow and the subsequent red card.

Gambin hit the resultant free-kick low into the bottom corner to double the lead and give Crawley a 2-0 win.


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