Crawley welcomed top of the league Ashford to Hazelwick this weekend, in what was billed to be a very open and attacking game. The game started well for Crawley when in the second minute Steve Innes chased the Ashford defender down whose mistake then let Innes slip the ball to Fuller who in turn found Banton in the area with just a defender and keeper to beat, Banton kept his composure to elude the defender and slip the ball past the keeper into the net. Ashford recovered from this early set back to pile the pressure onto the Crawley defence who were doing their best to keep them at bay but two quick goals just before half time saw an unlucky Crawley go into the break 2-1 down.
Ashford started the second half strongly and looked to increase their lead, they eventually broke down the Crawley defence and again scored quickly after to suddenly lead 4-1 and put Crawley up against it to gain anything from the match. The setback seemed to inspire Crawley and after some good work down the right from James Ortyl and Seb Watson the ball was fired across with two Crawley players waiting to put the ball in, which Dan Evans did with a sweet half volley finish into the top corner. After the goal it was all Crawley and some excellent attacking play went without the finishing it deserved.
With 15 minutes to go tactical change was implemented and Crawley went with their three experienced and trusted strikers up top, this changed caused Ashford no end of problems and good pressure from Watson, Innes and Fuller led to mistakes from the Ashford back line. After one of these mistakes led to Innes receiving the ball on the right he skilfully sent the defender one way then the other before taking on a second defender and leaving him chasing him with the only option to foul and concede a short corner from which Kieran Fuller dispatched into the goal leaving the keeper no chance. Back in the game Crawley went searching for the equaliser and with five minutes to play the ball was played to Innes again who made his way past a defender into the area only to be fouled again just as he was going to finish leading to a short corner, Fuller, confident form his previous finish stepped up and dispatched a rocket into the top right hand corner of the goal, 4-4.
Crawley conceded a last minute short corner to keep the nervous fans on their toes but some brave defending managed to keep the ball out and Crawley came away with a well earned draw against good side.
Luke Murphy, Mark Brightwell, Rob Haimes, James Ortyl, Alex Coote, Reece Banton, Kieran Fuller, Seb Watson, Steve Innes, James Innes, Dan Evans, Jonny Reigate, Tom Jarvis, Mikey Campbell
Scorers : Reece Banton, Dan Evans, Kieran Fuller x2
MOTM: Steve Innes