Spartan South Midlands League
Tuesday 03 March 20
Crawley Green FC 3 v Harpenden Town FC 2
A stunning 72nd minute free kick from Phil Draycott secured the points for the Maroons
in an entertaining 3-2 win against local rivals Harpenden Town.
Crawley were quickly out of the blocks in the first half as they raced into a 2-0 lead after only 17 minutes. Sam Holmes had a long shot parried by Dan Martin in the Town goal after 10 minutes and Crawley took the lead from the following corner. Mark Bunker fired the ball into the near post and Danny Watson turned the ball in with a delightful finish to make it 1-0.
Shortly after Bunker had a good cross parried by Martin and the overworked keeper then punched clear from the ensuing corner. In the 17th minute the Maroons doubled their lead with a well worked goal.
Alex Marius knocked a ball to the far post which was neatly headed back by Watson for Chris Crook to make it 2-0. Holmes followed with a good run and shot which was saved by Martin.
After Crawley’s good start Town started to dominate with Nathan McGreevy providing a constant threat and after 35 minutes they were back in the game. A cross ball form right caused a scramble in the Crawley defence and the ball fell to McGreevy who drilled home to make it 2-1.
Crawley replied straight from the kick off with a Holmes shot which was again parried to safety by Martin. Minutes later McGreevy missed a sitter to draw the visitor’s level. In a carbon copy of his first goal a cross from the right found McGreevy unmarked in front of goal but he skied his shot over and it finished 2-1 at the break.
The second half was more end to end and Matt Standen had an early shot punched clear by Crawley’s Louie Lobjoit. Holmes shot wide for Crawley and James Todd then put an effort wide for the visitors.
Marius and Holmes combined well to set up Watson for a fierce drive which was well saved by Martin. After 72 minutes the Maroons restored their 2 goal advantage with a cracking strike from skipper Phil Draycott. Crawley were awarded a free kick on the right of the penalty area and Draycott curled a peach of s shot over the wall and into the top left hand corner of the net to make it 3-1.
After Holmes had another shot saved by Martin, Mark Bunker came to Crawley’s rescue when he cleared a shot off the line following a huge melee following a corner from the right. Harvey Scott and McGreevy both put efforts wide as Crawley were content to run down the clock.
In added time Town reduced the arrears when Sam Paton had shot which went in off the post to make it 3-2. It was a case of too little too late and Crawley ran worthy 3-2 winners.
Crawley have no game on Saturday and they are next in action when they travel to Wembley on 14 March 20.