Green extend lead after beating Ampthill

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SSML Division One: Crawley Green 3 Ampthill Town 2

Crawley Green were victorious in their first league game for almost a month as they defeated Ampthill Town last Wednesday.

The visitors had moved in front after just 25 seconds as from the kick-off, Ampthill made ground down the right and when Dean Bull couldn’t hold on to the cross, Danny Butler was there to finish.

Crawley replied with an effort from Aaron Browne which was saved by Joe O’Donnell, before he then punched clear from a Stuart Strange cross, while Bull was back in action, denying Mike Draycott’s header from a Ross Airson free kick.

However, after 18 minutes Crawley were level as Strange raced clear of the visitors’ defence to plant the ball firmly past the advancing O’Donnell

Three minutes later Crawley took the lead as another quick break set Browne free and his cross was turned into his own net by Glen Cooksley.

Ampthill’s Mike Draycott then had an effort go wide of Bull’s right hand post before Crawley controversially made it 3-1 after 28 minutes.

Once again Browne was put through and he managed to chip in the ball before he was wiped out by the advancing O’Donnell.

Town looked to have cleared the ball off the line but the assistant immediately flagged for a goal and despite the visitors protests, it was allowed to stand.

Ampthill tried to mount a response before the break as Brad Clark and Butler went close, but Green remained 3-1 in front.

Spurred on a by a sense on injustice, the visitors completely dominated the opening of the second half.

Butler and Cooksley both had efforts saved by Bull and Town had a strong shout for a penalty when Fraser Maidment took a tumble.

Crawley looked to have killed the game off in the 70th minute as Liam Toomey dribbled into the box but his shot cannoned off the post and into the arms of O’Donnell.

A minute later Town were back in the game when Butler broke away and although his shot was blocked by Bull, it fell kindly for the striker to make it 3-2.

The hosts rallied in the closing stages though and O’Donnell made an acrobatic stop from a Browne free kick, before saving another effort saved by O’Donnell.

However, in the closing stages Crawley were content to run down the clock to finish 3-2 winners.

Crawley’s game against Hillingdon Borough was called off on Saturday, while they are away to Baldock Town tomorrow night.