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Match Reports

Report: Crawley 2-3 Wycombe

Read the report from the Stadium.

21 March 2018

Wycombe moved up to third place with a 3-2 win at Crawley Town.

Nathan Tyson gave the Chairboys the lead before Karlan Ahearne-Grant pulled the home side level just past the half-hour mark.

Adebayo Akinfenwa put the Chairboys back in front just before the half with his 18th of the season, before Sido Jombati gave Wanderers breathing space on 62 minutes.

Panutche Camara gave Crawley hope with a late strike but it proved a mere consolation as Wanderers secured back-to-back away wins.

Gareth Ainsworth made two changes to his starting XI at the Stadium, with Marcus Bean and Nathan Tyson coming in for the injured Nick Freeman and Craig Mackail-Smith who dropped to the bench.

Crawley came out the blocks quickest and fashioned a chance within the first minute of the match; Camara flicking the ball over the bar with the outside of his boot from a low cross out from left.

Ten minutes in and Wanderers went close via Bloomfield. Akinfenwa battled well to win possession 25-yards out from goal, found Bloomfield who moved on to his left foot and forced Glenn Morris to save low to his right, flicking it around the post.

It was Bloomfield again who nearly opened the scoring on the 17th minute after latching on to a loose ball. The midfielder charged at the Crawley defence before hitting just over the bar with his left foot.

Midway into the first-half and a dangerous free-kick from Joe Jacobson dropped out to Bean on the edge. The midfielder attempted to repeat his Carlisle heroics but saw his low drive deflect behind for a corner.

From the resulting set-piece, Wanderers took the lead and it was one straight off the training ground as Luke O’Nien pulled away to meet Jacobson’s corner unmarked around the back. He hit it on the full, back across goal and Tyson touched it in for his seventh of the season.

Crawley looked to hit back on the 29th minute as Camara drove one over after getting a yard down by the by-line.

Tafari Moore picked up a harsh yellow card a minute later as he and Josh Payne chased down a loose ball. Moore got there first but referee Graham Horwood wasn’t happy with the tackle and booked the full-back.

From the following free-kick the Reds were level as Ahearne-Grant received the ball on the edge, switched on to his right and fired low past Brown.

The Chairboys rolled up their sleeves and with their next chance they were back ahead and it was none other than Akinfenwa who delivered the goods on 38 minutes. Following a foul on Tyson, Jacobson whipped in the free-kick, it was half-cleared to Tyson who returned a cross over his head and Akinfenwa made no mistake with a header four yards out to put Wanderers 2-1 up.

Crawley were lucky to still have 11 men on the pitch in first half stoppage time as Payne seemed to go over the top of the ball to land a heavy challenge on O’Nien midway inside the Chairboys’ half. Horwood had time to think about it and after consulting with his assistant decided to book the midfielder.

Half-time: Crawley 1-2 Wycombe

Four minutes after the restart, Akinfenwa had his eye on a brace as Jacobson floated a ball into his direction from a free-kick near the halfway line. The Beast met it with a looping header but Morris was equal to the task to comfortably claim the ball.

After some solid defending from Jombati to cut out a low cross, Crawley sent the corner towards the six-yard box which Jimmy Smith headed over the bar on 51’. Smith was then shown a yellow card five minutes later as he attempted to turn a Lewis Young cross home with his hand, bringing out a superb stop from Brown who was not to know.

Another set-piece, another goal for the Chairboys and it was a first league goal this season for Jombati just past the hour-mark. JJ's free-kick left Bloomfield and Akinfenwa two-on-one at the back stick, Bayo drilled it across goal and Sido turned it home to give the visitors a two-goal cushion.

After the goal, Wycombe made their first switch as Bloomfield was replaced by Curtis Thompson and Crawley soon followed suit by bringing on Jordan Roberts in place of Payne.

Tyson looked sharp and hungry for another, and he so nearly got one on 71 minutes. Akinfenwa flicked it exquisitely around the corner, Tyson raced onto it but drilled agonisingly wide of the far-post.

O’Nien tried to get in on act with the spectacular with just over 10 minutes of normal time left to play. The ball sat up nicely for the midfielder 30-yards out and he struck it on the half-volley which forced Morris to scramble back and tip over.

Crawley were back in it with eight minutes of normal time remaining as Roberts stole a march down the left before crossing to Camara to steer home.

Bookings for late challenges came for both Jacobson and Mark Connolly in the closing stages as a minimum of five minutes were added on.

There was late drama in stoppage time though as Connolly quickly received his second yellow for a late challenge on O’Nien. After initially carrying on, the battling midfielder was unable to continue and was replaced by Mackail-Smith, who along with Gape, Thompson and Akinfenwa, would help run down the clock in the corner of Crawley's half with some astute hold-up play.

Wanderers fought tooth and nail to see the game through despite there being eight additional minutes played. The full-time whistle saw Gareth Ainsoworth's side end the Reds' six-game unbeaten run at home and more importantly put themselves back in the automatic promotion places ahead of a home fixture vs Port Vale at the weekend.

Attendance: 2,133 (496 Wycombe)

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