Howler from Jones condemns Crawley to sixth consecutive defeat

Dannie Bulman tackles Alan Judge

Dannie Bulman tackles Alan Judge

First published in Sport
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Crawley Town’s relegation fears grew as they suffered a sixth consecutive defeat in League One at Brentford.

A terrible mistake from goalkeeper Paul Jones gifted Jonathan Douglas the only goal of the game early in the second half.

It was the second costly error from Jones in the last three games after he was at fault for Port Vale’s winner last Tuesday.

Although Jones will shoulder the blame the result was no less than Brentford deserved as they completely dominated the game.

The result means Reds remain three points above the drop zone ahead of their trip to MK Dons on Saturday while Brentford strengthened their hold on second place.

Crawley’s hopes of ending their losing streak were boosted by the return of top scorer Matt Tubbs.

Tubbs has missed the last three games with a hamstring strain but comes in at the expense of Rory Fallon at Griffin Park.

The return of the seven-goal striker is one of three changes from the side which went down 2-1 at home to Crewe on Saturday.

Dannie Bulman comes straight back into midfield after serving a one-match ban at the expense of Sergio Torres while Paul Connolly replaces Mark Connolly at right-back.

Jamie Proctor has to settle for a place on the bench again despite scoring a sensational goal when he came on against Crewe while Andy Drury is not even among the substitutes as he continues his recover from illness.

Brentford make one change to the team which beat Notts County 3-1 on Saturday to keep their automatic promotion challenge on course. George Saville replaces Toumani Diagouraga in midfield while Stuart Dallas keeps his place up front with Italy under-21 striker Marcello Trotta remaining on the bench.

Brentford were looking for a fifth consecutive home win and totally dominated the first half as Crawley were happy to sit deep and defend.

Clayton Donaldson had three opportunities to give the hosts the lead inside the opening 20 minutes, twice missing the target when well placed and then shooting tamely at Paul Jones following a slip by Joe Walsh.

Although Brentford were camped inside the Crawley half the Reds defence was holding firm meaning the home side were restricted to long-range efforts.

Alan Judge fired a shot wide from 25 yards while Paul Jones was able to gather Alan McCormack’s strike at the second attempt.

The game followed the same pattern after the interval and Crawley’s resistance finally cracked in the 57th minute.

Judge picked out Douglas with a cross from the left but his header should have been saved only for Paul Jones to spill the ball over the line.

Gregory brought on Jamie Proctor and Sergio Torres in an attempt to get back in the game but a second Brentford goal looked far more likely.

Douglas fizzed a shot over the bar and in the closing stages Stuart Dallas had an effort blocked on the line by Mat Sadler when he looked certain to score.

Brentford (4-3-3): Button; McCormack, Craig, Tarkowski, Bidwell; Douglas, Saville (Reeves, 68), Forshaw (Diagouraga, 87); Dallas, Donaldson, Judge (Trotta, 72). Subs not used: Bonham, O’Connor, Dean, Grigg.

Crawley (4-4-2): P Jones; P Connolly, McFadzean, Walsh, Sadler; Simpson, Dicker, Bulman 6 (Torres, 68), M Jones; Clarke 5 (Proctor, 59), Tubbs. Subs not used: Maddison, M Connolly, Monakana, Edwards, Fallon.

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