Crawley Green denied by last-gasp Arlesey equaliser

Crawley keeper is called into action. Picture: Guy Wills EMN-190511-092003002
Crawley keeper is called into action. Picture: Guy Wills EMN-190511-092003002

Crawley Green might have welcomed VAR as Arlesey claimed a controversial stoppage-time equaliser on Saturday.

With the clock on 96 minutes, the ball appeared to skid off the wet surface and hit Fabian Brown-Johnson on the arm before he turned and shot past George Rose.

Arlesey captain Aarron Browne after putting the home side ahead. Picture: Guy Wills EMN-190511-092015002

Arlesey captain Aarron Browne after putting the home side ahead. Picture: Guy Wills EMN-190511-092015002

The hosts started well on a typical autumnal afternoon and went ahead after 11 minutes with Aarron Browne’s free-kick from the edge of the box, following Mark Bunker’s foul.

Five minutes later Crawley were looking for further punishment than the yellow card shown to James Hatch after taking out Rose.

The visitors began to exert some pressure with McGovern controlling the midfield.

Gomis’ poor backpass gave Sam Holmes a clear run on goal, but Robbie Ponting saved, and Aaron Morgan lobbed the rebound just over the bar.

Arlesey striker James Hatch is denied once more by Rose. Picture: Guy Wills EMN-190511-092027002

Arlesey striker James Hatch is denied once more by Rose. Picture: Guy Wills EMN-190511-092027002

Only a last-ditch tackle from Gomis denied Holmes when put through again, and minutes later the Crawley striker forced Ponting into another save.

The pressure was rewarded in the 34th minute when Billy Lobjoit collected Sam Pemberton’s cross on the edge of the penalty area and shot left-footed past Ponting.

Arlesey responded soon after with Rose denying Hatch.

The hosts again started brightly after the break with Rose saving from Hatch.

Crawley had wasted one good chance before taking the lead with 16 minutes left when Pemberton released Lobjoit to beat the advancing Ponting.

Rose saved twice in a minute from Arlesey sub Charlie Black, and James Younger shot just wide before the game’s last-gasp drama.

Crawley were at Edgware Town on Tuesday night in the Division One Cup and host Harefield United on Saturday in the SSML Premier (ko 3pm).