CLASH IS ONE FOR THE DEFENSIVE PURISTS
ASKED how the game at the Broadfield Stadium might pan out, Crawley boss Harry Kewell’s forecast contained the words ‘aggressive’ and ‘entertaining’.
Neither feature turned out to be pertinent as the contest was intriguing but not packed full of goal attempts at both ends.
The reason was not the aggression of both teams but their wonderfully-sound central-defensive work. Referee John Busby only had to reach for his yellow card once.
For Crawley, Josh Yorwerth and Josh Lelan were more than an equal measure for the attack which had taken County to second place in the table.
Meanwhile, the calmness of Shaun Brisley and Richard Duffy easily explained why, in the space of their last four matches, the visitors have gone over six hours without conceding a goal.
That pattern could have been broken after Brisley limped off injured but County remained secure and needed a rare mistake to break through.