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Match Reports

REPORT | Exiles held to draw against 10-man Crawley Town

26 December 2020

An own-goal from Mickey Demetriou cancelled out Ryan Haynes' opener as Newport County AFC were held to a 1-1 draw against 10-man Crawley Town

Haynes gave the visitors a dream start when he smashed the ball beyond Glenn Morris before the visitors created opportunities to extend their advantage.

Crawley, who failed to register a shot on target in West Sussex, were then presented with a late Christmas gift after Demetriou headed into his own net to draw them level.

The home side were reduced to 10 men in the second half after Tarryn Allarakhia was shown a red card for a challenge on Liam Shephard, but County failed to take advantage of the extra man and were forced to settle for a share of the spoils.

Matty Dolan and Tristan Abrahams were brought into the starting line-up in place of Robbie Willmott and Jamie Proctor as Michael Flynn made two changes from the Exiles' defeat against Oldham Athletic last weekend.

Flynn would have hoped for a response from County's last outing against the Latics, and that's exactly what he got as the Exiles came flying out of the traps and went ahead with less than five minutes on the clock. After getting the ball beyond Jack Powell with a neat touch, Twine advanced forward before playing the ball out to Haynes, who drifted inside and fired the ball into the far corner with his weaker foot.

Scot Bennett carved out another opportunity for the visitors to double their lead when his long pass forward found Abrahams, but the striker was only able to curl his effort straight at Crawley goalkeeper Morris.

County enjoyed the better of the chances inside the opening 30 minutes and went close again after Abrahams turned provider and combined with the goalscorer Haynes, whose effort smacked the side netting.

Flynn's men looked the most likely to find the second goal but they were hit with a sucker-punch 13 minutes before the end of the first half as Demetriou looked to nod Powell's hopeful ball forward back to Nick Townsend, only to see his header roll beyond the goalkeeper and into an empty net.

County were then dealt another blow on the stroke of half-time when they were forced into a change in between the sticks after Townsend hobbled off and was replaced by Tom King, who came on for his first league appearance of the campaign.

The Exiles were presented with the chance to go on and restore their lead after the break as Crawley were reduced to 10 men when Allarakhia was shown a red card following a rash challenge on Shephard.

It prompted the home side to sit back in a bid to keep the scorline level, while Flynn sent on Padraig Amond, Willmott and Proctor as County looked to breakdown Crawley's defensive line.

They almost managed to restore their lead with three minutes remaining when Haynes, in similar fashion to his opening goal, cut inside on his weaker foot, but failed to curl his effort on target as County were forced to settle for a point.

Newport County AFC: Nick Townsend (Tom King 45+1'), Ryan Haynes, Mickey Demetriou, Matty Dolan, Brandon Cooper, Liam Shephard, Scot Bennett (Robbie Willmott 74'), Josh Sheehan (C), Lewis Collins (Padraig Amond 74'), Scott Twine, Tristan Abrahams (Jamie Proctor 62').

Subs not used: David Longe-King, Ashley Baker, Jamie Devitt.


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