Simpson blow as Reds held in bruising encounter

The Argus: Josh Simpson goes off injured. Picture by Liz Finlayson Josh Simpson goes off injured. Picture by Liz Finlayson

Captain Josh Simpson suffered a potentially serious ankle injury as Crawley were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Doncaster Rovers in front of the Sky cameras.

In a bruising encounter, Simpson gave Reds the lead in the 25th minute with an emphatic finish from the edge of the area.

But Simpson limped off just before half-time and Doncaster equalised almost immediately through James Husband.

Reds pressed for a winner in the second half but the closest they came was a header from Jamie Proctor which went wide.

Crawley boss Richie Barker made just one change to the side which lost 2-1 at Scunthorpe in their last game, Dannie Bulman replacing Mike Jones in midfield.

The game got off to a low key start and the crowd had to wait until the 22nd minute for the first effort on goal, Billy Clarke firing over from the edge of the area.

Reds began to look more threatening on the break and it was from one of a number of bursts from Nicky Adams down the left that they took the lead in the 25th minute. Adams’ low cross was cleared by a defender but it came out to Simpson on the edge of the box who hit it first time past Gary Woods.

Doncaster had a great chance to level almost immediately when David Cotterill slid in James Coppinger but he appeared to slip at the crucial moment and his cross-shot shaved the outside of the far post.

Reds suffered a cruel double towards the end of the half as Simpson limped off in the 42nd minute, with Sergio Torres coming on to replace him.

Simpson was not even halfway down the tunnel when Husband brought Doncaster level. The youngster snuck in at the far post to get on the end of a deep cross from Cotterill and send a stooping header past Paul Jones.

Despite the set-back, Reds responded well in the second half as they pressed for a winner.

Mustapha Dumbuya had a shot saved by Woods while Proctor headed narrowly wide at the far post from a Billy Clarke cross.

Clarke poked a shot wide of the far post after wriggling clear of his marker and then curled an effort over the bar.

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