Tubbs rescues a point for Crawley

Matt Tubbs levels for Crawley tonight. Picture by Liz Finlayson

Matt Tubbs levels for Crawley tonight. Picture by Liz Finlayson

First published in Sport
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Matt Tubbs went from villain to hero as Crawley extended their unbeaten run in League One to seven games following a 1-1 draw at home to Stevenage.

Reds were fortunate to only be only one goal down at half-time as Stevenage spurned a host of chances before Bira Dembele headed them into the lead.

Crawley took the initiative after the interval but Tubbs missed a penalty and also wasted another golden chance before rescuing a point in injury time.

It was the striker’s sixth goal in as many games since joining on loan from Bournemouth and meant Reds climbed a place to 13th in the table.

Boss John Gregory made four changes to the side which beat Peterborough 1-0 on Saturday and there was a distinctly disjointed look to their performance in the first half.

The only positive to take from the opening 45 minutes was that they only trailed to a solitary goal from Bira Dembele with Stevenage wasting a host of other good chances.

Francios Zoko spurned the first of them after nine minutes when he shot straight at Paul Jones after being set up by Michael Doughty’s cut-back.

A mistake by Kyle McFadzean let Lucas Akins in after 19 minutes but his powerful drive cannoned off the legs of Jones and deflected wide of the post.

It was only a brief reprieve though as Stevenage took the lead from the resulting corner. Jimmy Smith whipped the ball in and Dembele got above his marker to glance the header home.

Luke Freeman fizzed a shot just wide from 20 yards while Akins had another great opportunity when he was played through by Doughty only for Sadler to get back well to block his shot.

Gregory brought on Dannie Bulman and Jamie Proctor at half-time for the ineffective Hiram Boateng and Josh Simpson and it had an instant effect as Reds took control.

Proctor shot just wide with Tubbs unable to get a decisive touch at the far post while Reds had two hopeful penalty shouts turned down.

It was third time lucky as Dembele fouled Proctor in the area but Tubbs drove the spot-kick straight down the middle and Day was able to kick it away with his legs.

An equaliser looked inevitable as Reds continued to pile on the pressure but both Proctor and Clarke scuffed efforts when well placed and then Tubbs fired over from ten yards.

Tubbs made amends in injury time when he raced on to a clever flick from Kyle McFadzean to fire past Day at his near post.

Reds almost won it at the death as Mat Sadler’s fierce drive from the edge of the box was saved by Day.

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