SSML Premier Division: Hadley 1 Crawley Green 2
A late penalty from Aarron Browne secured a hard fought 2-1 win for Crawley Green in a thrilling game at Hadley on Saturday.
There were chances galore early on as Hadley’s Nick Chrysanthou fired in a long range effort which cannoned off the bar, while Crawley responded when Ashton Grant and Henry Mungwira combined to set up Joe Bradbury whose shot was punched clear by home keeper Charlie Mann.
Hadley’s Sam Lyon then had a header from a corner cleared off the line and Chrysanthou followed up with a free kick which was cleared.
The breathless start continued when Grant thumped a drive against the bar and then Hadley’s Ibrahim Lukulay curled a shot narrowly wide.
It was 1-0 to Green on 12 minutes though as Francis Harkin won the ball for Dean Dummett to set up Mungwira who fired past Mann.
Hadley came back with efforts from Lukulay and Chrysanthou which were both blocked, while Mungwira thought he had doubled Crawley’s lead after 20 minutes but his effort was ruled out by the linesmans flag.
Chrysanthou had a free kick fly over before Dean Bull saved well from Zaine Gangadeen and Lyon headed wide from the corner.
Before the break Grant robbed Lyon only to put his shot over and then Bull made another fine save to keep out Chrysanthou.
In the second half, Lukulay had an early effort blocked by Reece Green and Crawley responded with a Grant free kick which was saved by Mann.
Hadley’s Heasham Benmansour was then kept out by Kevin McManus before Bull made another outstanding save to deny Chrysanthou.
After 67 minutes Hadley finally got back on level terms when Chrysanthou set up Tyronne Mulholland who beat Bull.
Ten minutes later Gangadeen cut in from the left but shot wide and after 83 minutes the game changed as Grant was fouled by Mann in the area and Browne slotted home the penalty.
From the restart, Hadley roared forward urged on by manager Micky Hazard and Tom Milton came close to equalising from a corner but his header flew wide.
In the closing stages Crawley were reduced to 10 men when Joe Bradbury received his marching orders for a second yellow, but the visiting defence, superbly marshalled by Kevin McManus stood firm.
Green host Wembley tomorrow night.