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26 September 2017 Venue Checkatrade.com Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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PREVIEW | Exiles head down to West Sussex to take on Crawley Town

25 September 2017

A first Tuesday night away fixture in League 2 sees the Exiles travel to Sussex to take on Crawley Town. The Red Devils finished just three places and three points above County last season, causing Dermot Drummy to lose his position as manager at the end of the season. They have started things off better this campaign, however, accumulating 10 points already this season.

Here, you can find all the facts and statistics ahead of this League 2 encounter.

Last six league games

Crawley Town rose three places to 17th in League 2 following their 2-1 victory at Barnet at the weekend. That was their first win in four league games, meaning they have taken 10 points from their last six league outings.

And they also won six games ago, in what could be, even at this early stage, one of the shock results of the whole season.

The Red Devils stunned Swindon Town by securing a 3-0 away victory at the County Ground, following an own goal and strikes from Jimmy Smith and Jordan Roberts.

They made it back-to-back wins with their only home success thus far this season, 2-0 against Yeovil Town, Roberts scoring in each half to continue his impressive start to the campaign.

But then their season looked again to be faltering somewhat as they went three games without success. A solitary goal from Smith wasn’t enough for the Red Devils as they went down 3-1 to Colchester, before Ibrahim Meite’s first professional goal got them a point at Stevenage.

Another defeat soon followed, this time 1-0 at home to league leaders Notts County, before the win at Barnet on Saturday. A double from Smith saw them take all three points at the Hive, with the striker currently the club’s top scorer thus far with four goals.

 

Team-news

The Red Devils have a near perfect bill of health ahead of our encounter, with only striker Thomas Verheydt expected to be unavailable.

The Dutchman has had a setback on the road to recovery from the knee-injury sustained earlier this season, with the forward returning to his homeland for further treatment last week.

Defender Mark Connolly made a return from his own injury problem to start at the weekend, in one of three changes to the starting team.

That saw Crawley set up in a 3-4-3 formation with former Exile Mark Randall being used as a second-half substitute.

 

Team vs Barnet (3-4-3):

Reds: Morris (GK), Connolly, Yorwerth, Lelan, Young, Evina, Tajbakhsh (Randall 74), Smith (C), Boldewijn, Meite (Camara 82), Roberts.

 

One to Watch

Name: Enzio Boldewijn

Age: 24

Position: Winger

Goals this season: 1

Previous clubs: FC Utrecht, Den Bosch, Almere City

Boldewijn is one of three Dutchmen currently on the books of Crawley Town.

He has been with the club since July 2016, making his debut on the opening day of last season. He scored his first goal for the club three days later in the EFL Cup defeat to Wolves, in one of six goals during the campaign.

He has one goal already this term, that coming in the opening day defeat to Port Vale. The 24-year old got his first assist at the weekend, setting up Jimmy Smith’s winner as he looks to make an impact in his first spell in English football.  

Boldewijn joined Crawley following three years at his hometown club Almere City. In all competitions, the winger made just shy of 100 appearances, netting 16 goals in the process.

Prior to his spell with Almere, the winger started his career at FC Utrecht. But he only lasted a season with the club, making 11 appearances and producing no goals, before being loaned out to Den Bosch.

He didn’t fare too much better with them either, scoring only once in 31 games, before kickstarting his career at Almere and now Crawley Town.

According to SKY BET, Boldewijn is priced as the fifth likeliest player to score for Crawley in our encounter. That sees him at 17/2 to score the opener, or 3/1 to score at any time.

 

Manager – Harry Kewell

Kewell took the reins at Crawley Town this summer, after previous manager Dermot Drummy left the club at the end of the season.

It is the first professional managerial position of his career, having previously coached with Watford U21’s.

In taking the job at Crawley, he became the first Australian to manage a professional English side, and swiftly moved to appoint ex-County manager Warren Feeney as his assistant, to help with the adjustment into management.

Ahead of our encounter, Kewell has taken charge of 11 games so far, winning just three of those matches at a win rate of 27.3%. They have lost a further seven, four of which have come at home, with one draw.

Before turning to management, Kewell had a hugely successful playing career, citing Leeds United and Liverpool amongst his clubs.

He made a combined 380 appearances with Leeds and Liverpool, winning four major competitions whilst at Anfield.

Kewell started for Liverpool in their stunning Champions League comeback win in Istanbul in 2005, winning the Super Cup the following August.

He also won the Community Shield and FA Cup in the 2005/06 season.

 

Stadium – Checkatrade.com Stadium

Built in 1997, the Checkatrade.com stadium has been home to Crawley Town ever since, having previously spent 48 years at Town Mead.

The current capacity of the stadium is 6,134, with away supporters being housed in the North Stand, where up to 1,600 Exiles fans could be accommodated.

107 County fans made the trip to West Sussex last season, while 81 made the trip for our encounter in the Johnstone Paint Trophy during the 2013/14 season. A huge support of 467 was present for our visit to Crawley in 2010.

 

Previous meetings

The two clubs have met on eight previous occasions, with the first coming in the 2010/11 season when both clubs were in the Conference.

And it was the Exiles who won the first ever encounter between the two sides, as goals from Danny Rose, Craig Reid and Darryl Knights gave the Exiles a 3-2 away victory on 16th October 2010.

However, the Red Devils made up for the defeat with their own victory just a week later in an FA Cup meeting. A 1-0 victory for the visitors ended County’s 18-month unbeaten streak at Spytty Park, with the result spring-boarding Crawley’s run to the fifth round of the competition, eventually losing to the other Red Devils Manchester United 1-0 at Old Trafford.

Another 1-0 victory for Crawley at Spytty Park later in the season saw them cruise to the Conference Title.

Then, since County’s promotion, the sides have met on five other occasions.

The first of those games came in the Johnstone Paint Trophy when the Exiles fought back from 2-0 down to secure a 3-2 away win.

In 2015/16, Crawley secured a double over County. The Exiles failed to score in either of the meetings, suffering a 3-0 defeat at Rodney Parade before a 2-0 loss away.

Last season, Crawley made it three wins in a row against the Exiles with a 3-1 victory. County exacted revenge back at Rodney Parade, as Mickey Demetriou’s stunning 25-yard effort gave Mike Flynn his first home win in charge of the club.

 

Officials

Referee: Craig Hicks

Assistant Referee 1: Stuart Butler

Assistant Referee 2: Declan Ford

Fourth Official: Samuel Lewis

Hicks is currently in his first season as a Football League referee, having been promoted from the National League over the summer.

So far this season, Hicks has refereed eight games, the last of which came on 16th September as Accrington Stanley beat Chesterfield 2-1. That saw Hicks dismiss Chesterfield’s Bradley Barry for a second bookable offence, as-well as giving out a further seven yellow cards, taking his overall tally for the season to 26 yellow cards and one red card.

Last season, Hicks officiated 27 games in the National League. He gave out four or more yellow cards on seven occasions, with a total of 70 yellow cards and six red cards for the campaign.

This game will be the first time that Hicks has refereed a match involving County.

 

Other League 2 fixtures that day (All 7:45pm kick-offs)

Cambridge United vs Forest Green Rovers

Carlisle United vs Stevenage

Cheltenham Town vs Mansfield Town

Chesterfield vs Yeovil Town

Exeter City vs Notts County

Grimsby Town vs Colchester City

Lincoln City vs Barnet

Morecambe vs Luton Town

Port Vale vs Accrington Stanley

Swindon Town vs Coventry City

Wycombe Wanderers vs Crewe Alexandra

 

Can’t make the match?

You can follow along on social media using @NCAFCLive on Twitter, or via the club’s official Facebook and Instagram pages.

Don’t forget – if you reside outside of the UK, you can watch the game live by subscribing to County’s iFollow service. Commentary by Tim Thraves can also be found at the Match Centre.

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Match Reports

REPORT| Demetriou at the double as County win at Crawley

26 September 2017

A stunning pair of headers from Mickey Demetriou ensured County made it back-to-back wins in League 2 with a 2-1 success at Crawley Town.

But it was in-fact the home-side who took the lead on 30 minutes, with their own header, a looping one from Mark Connolly that left Joe Day with no chance.

Demetriou got the equaliser just 10 minutes later, heading home from all of four yards after a Sean Rigg corner.

And it was a carbon copy for the second, which arrived on 51 minutes. Both times home keeper Glenn Morris may look back and think he could have punched the deliveries, as County secured a second away league victory this season.

Mike Flynn elected to name an unchanged team from the 1-0 victory over Grimsby Town on Saturday.

That meant the Exiles kept to the 4-3-3 formation used last time out, although there was still the option to revert to other tactics as seen during that Grimsby game.

Crawley Town manager Harry Kewell also named the same team that started in their 2-1 win at Barnet on Saturday.

It appeared that they would use the 3-4-3 formation elected last time out, with Ibrahim Meite the main man up-front. The decision to keep the same team also meant that ex-Exile Mark Randall began on the bench, in what would be his first appearance against his former employers.

And it was County’s Frank Nouble to have the first sighting of goal within the opening five minutes. Captain Joss Labadie did superbly to dispossess Arjan Tajbakhsh about 40 yards out. His pass to Amond went straight to Nouble, who could have potentially crossed, only to decide to go himself and hit the side-netting.

The home side’s first real opportunity came in the 10th minute. But Josh Lelan’s free-kick was a simple one for Joe Day to read and hold.

And the home-side probably should have opened the scoring with the first real sight at goal in the game. The ball fell to an unmarked Ibrahim Meite in the area after a defensive mix-up from County, only for the striker, on loan from Cardiff City, to somehow fire it wide.

The slow start to the game in terms of chances could be attributed to the pressing of both sides. Within three seconds of any player receiving the ball, an opponent was surrounding him and errors were being made as a consequence.

An offside flag came to County’s saviour on 20 minutes, as Mark Connolly’s cross looked like it could cause County a problem, although Meite was adjudged offside in the build-up.

A speculative effort from Rigg gave the County defence a bit of a rest-bite as the possession was all in the County half, although his 50-yard effort sailed well out of the Checkatrade.com Stadium.

An injury to Mark O’Brien caused a temporary halt to proceedings on 28 minutes, but the tenacious defender was okay to return to the action after a small break on the side-lines.

It would be fair to say that the writing was on the wall for County and the home-side did take the lead on the half-hour.

It was the product of an inviting delivery from Boldewijn, which saw Mark Connolly rise highest and power a looping header over Joe Day, who could do nothing to prevent the opener.

Demetriou had a chance to immediately respond for the Exiles, although didn’t catch his header cleanly from the edge-of-the-area, and home goalkeeper Glenn Morris saw it safely past his far-post.

And the home-side had a big chance to double their lead on 36 minutes. Lewis Young was in acres of space on the right-hand side and perhaps could have shot himself, although he elected to cross to Jordan Roberts who couldn’t connect in the six-yard area.

But the Exiles made sure that the home-side would rue that missed opportunity, as Mickey Demetriou headed home an equaliser on 40 minutes. It came from a Sean Rigg corner, which Morris arguably could have punched, but his hesitancy left Demetriou with the simplest of tasks to head home from four yards.

And if anything, County themselves could have been ahead before half-time, clearly taking encouragement from the goal.

The best chance of the remaining five minutes fell the way of Sean Rigg. He was tussling with Lelan in the area, got the shot away but blazed it high and wide.

But before that, Willmott came agonisingly close with a speculative 30-yard effort. Morris thought for all the world that he had it covered, and was probably fortunate to see it ricochet back off the post.

At the end of two additional minutes, Tozer curled over from outside the area in what brought about the end to the half.

It probably was a fair reflection of the first-half, in which both sides had their spells of dominance.

The Exiles decided to make a change at the interval, Mark O’Brien, who was only recently returning from an injury lay-off made way as Dan Butler came on in his place.

And County could have taken the lead within 60 seconds of the restart.

Frank Nouble waltzed his way into the area to force a shot on the angle, which Morris did well to turn wide of the near post.

Butler was booked within three minutes of coming on, for what was a culmination of the foul-count in the first-half, in the first yellow card given out by referee Craig Hicks in the game.

The Exiles were clearly starting the second-half as they finished the first and took a deserved lead on 51 minutes.

And it was the same combination that brought about the second goal as Demetriou got his second. And again it could be argued that Morris could have punched it clear, but Demetriou rose highest to head home from four yards.

It was no more than the Exiles deserved for their positive start to the second-half, Crawley looking somewhat off the pace as the game approached the hour-mark.

Labadie was booked during the celebrations of the second goal as the Exiles scored in-front of their 75 fans, the second booking of the night.

Scot Bennett replaced Pipe in the second County substitution on 62 minutes, as the full-back looked to be carrying a knock, as the Exiles continued to be in the ascendency.  

That forced Kewell into an attacking change, as midfielder Josh Payne came on for Lewis Young, who committed a foul within 30 seconds of coming on.

A looping header from Amond almost extended the County advantage on 67 minutes, and they could have been punished for it just two minutes later.

A 30-yard free-kick from Payne went off the post for a goal-kick, in what was arguably Crawley’s opening chance of the second-half.

Panutche Camara came on for the home-side to provide more attacking substance, Meite making way, as Kewell was clearly displeased with the paradigm of the game as it approached the final 15 minutes.

The first yellow card for the home side came on 77 minutes, Tajbakhsh the offender, for preventing a swift County counter-attack.

Tozer swiftly followed him into the referee’s notebook as it gave Payne another chance to test Joe Day. But this one sailed well wide as Day didn’t even move.

The final substitution for the home side saw Randall reunite with the Exiles, the midfielder making 25 appearances for the club last season.

Amond headed over shortly after for County, Jordan Roberts booked for dissent for the home side as the game approached the final five minutes.   

The indication of four additional minutes saw Dolan come on for the final County substitution, Amond coming off as Flynn wanted to sure things up in the midfield.

Yorwerth hit the post with 60 seconds to go as the home-side threw everything at the Exiles, only for County to hold on and secure a deserved victory.

County: Day, Pipe (Bennett 65’), Demetriou, O’Brien (Butler 45’), White, Labadie (C), Tozer, Rigg, Amond (Dolan 90+1), Nouble

Subs not used: Bittner, Reynolds, McCoulsky, Quigley

 

Crawley Town: Morris, Young (Payne 67’), Connolly, Boldewijn, Smith (C), Roberts, Yorwerth, Evina, Tajbakhsh (Randall 81’), Lelan, Meite

Subs not used: Doherty, Mersin, Bulman, Sanoh, Camara

 

Referee: Craig Hicks

Attendance: 1,455 (75 away)

Next up for County: Luton Town (29th September) AWAY

 

Photo used is not from the match in the report.

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