Red card costs Crawley dear in Athletic defeat

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SSML Premier Division: Crawley Green 1 Tring Athletic 3

Ten-man Crawley Green suffered a 3-1 defeat to Tring Athletic at the weekend after the controversial dismissal of Joe Bradbury midway through the second half.

The red card came with Green trailing 2-1, but a man down, Crawley couldn’t mount a response, as Tring scored again to ensure victory.

In the first half, Athletic saw an early Adam Scotcher header go over, before Crawley had the better of the opening 20 minutes.

A dip in form has seen Green find the net just 22 times in 21 games and despite those problems in front of goal, they began brightly, Charlie Clayton’s fine volley going over, while Aaron Browne’s effort was beaten away by keeper Jack Hopwood, with his follow up landing on the roof of the net.

The hosts did take the lead on 12 minutes though when Ryan Sturges was penalised for handball in the area and Browne stepping up to smash the spot-kick home.

Stuart Strange saw an effort cleared by Sam Joliffe, but the goal appeared to spark Tring into life as they were awarded a penalty on 22 minutes after Scotcher’s challenge on Luke Fonseca, with Joliffe beating Bull to level the scores.

Clayton was close again for Crawley, sending one effort just over then going even closer by striking the woodwork with a super shot.

Seconds after that near miss, Tring broke away to make it 2-1 as Jack Sunderland latched on to a quickly taken free kick which caught the home defence napping and fired an angled shot past Bull.

Tring went close to extending their lead but Luke Dunstan headed straight at Bull, while Sturges’ effort which cannoned off the bar.

In the second half, Tring were denied by the woodwork once more as Joliffe’s free kick struck the post, but with 18 minutes to go, Bradbury received his marching orders for a challenge that was deemed to have been with his studs high by the referee.

Tring then took control as Sunderland was denied by a brilliant save from Bull, although the hosts came close to an equaliser, Clayton’s shot excellently stopped by Hopwood.

However, on 77 minutes, Athletic sealed the win, as Dunstan pulled the ball back for George Carberry to score.

Crawley valiantly tried to respond and Clayton forced a couple of great saves from Hopwood, who then prevented Ashton Grant bagging a late consolation.

Green are now 13th in the table and host Edgware Town on Wednesday evening, before visiting Colney Heath this weekend.