Mur­phy’s on fire as Red Devils march on

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Char­lie Payne

BRIS­TOL Rovers man­ager Dar­rell Clarke ad­mit­ted a slow start cost his side as they slumped to a rare away de­feat at in-form Craw­ley.

Rhys Mur­phy’s quick­fire early dou­ble – scor­ing twice in a minute – set Craw­ley on course for a club record­e­qualling fourth suc­ces­sive Foot­ball League win.

Matty Tay­lor’s penalty three min­utes from time came too late for Rovers to sal­vage a draw.

Clarke said: “A few crazy min­utes cost us, big style.We weren’t good enough for the first 15 min­utes and it’s cost us.Two goals in a minute from, for me, bad de­fend­ing, and then we were on the back foot.

“The boys had a right good go af­ter that, but they camped in their half.

“We’ve come away from home with a team that’s got a bit of con­fi­dence, their game man­age­ment was ob­vi­ously very good.

“The ref­eree helped them along with that with the amount of time he kept chat­ting to play­ers, and in the end we huffed and we puffed but we couldn’t get back in the game.”

Craw­ley took the lead af­ter only nine min­utes when Mur­phy poked home and, just a minute later, a long ball was headed straight into his path, to fire a sublime strike into the top right cor­ner past the help­less Lee Ni­cholls.

Rovers then took the ini­tia­tive, but couldn’t make their pres­sure pay as Craw­ley cleared two ef­forts from cor­ners off the line.

El­lis Har­ri­son’s low header early in the sec­ond half forced a save from vet­eran home goal­keeper Darryl Fla­ha­van.

Craw­ley re­mained dan­ger­ous and Mur­phy’s mazy run could have ended in his third, but for a su­perb chal­lenge by Tom Parkes.

The visi­tors seemed out of luck as Billy Bodin’s drive hit the post, but their per­sis­tence came good as the tricky Bodin was felled in the box by Mitch Han­cox.

Tay­lor dis­patched the re­sult­ing penalty to set up a grand­stand fin­ish but the hosts held firm.

Craw­ley boss Mark Yates said: “We knew it was go­ing to be tough.We started bril­liantly, the best start we’ve had. “We played some good foot­ball in some really good ar­eas and did what we do best.We cre­ated quite a few chances and thor­oughly de­served the half-time lead, play­ing against the wind.

“Credit to them, they showed what they’re about in the sec­ond half, but it’s a 90-minute game and that’s all I’m both­ered about.We showed in 90 min­utes that we de­served our win.

“The sec­ond half wasn’t as pretty and wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be, but we’re 2-0 up and the op­po­si­tion have noth­ing to lose, and I thought we stood firm.”

STAR MAN SONNY BRADLEY

Craw­ley

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