McLeod sinks ten-man Swindon as Crawley make it three in a row

Izale McLeod celebrates his goal

Izale McLeod celebrates his goal

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Izale McLeod scored for the third consecutive game as Crawley continued their perfect start to the season with a 1-0 win over ten-man Swindon at the Checkatrade.com Stadium.

McLeod converted from the penalty spot after he had been brought down in the box by Nathan Thompson in the second half.

Thompson was also shown a red card and although Swindon continued to push for the equaliser their dominance deserved they were unable to find a way past Brian Jensen.

The result was harsh on Swindon but a third successive 1-0 was a reward for Crawley’s perseverance and the ability of McLeod to punish any mistakes.

Both teams had won their opening two games of the season but it was Swindon who dominated a completely one-sided first half.

Reds were unable to get to grips with Swindon’s 3-5-2 formation as Connor Henderson and Jimmy Smith were completely overrun in midfield.

The only surprise was that the Robins were unable to take advantage of their clear superiority as the teams went in level at the break.

Once again Reds had goalkeeper Brian Jensen to thank as he palmed away a well-struck 25-yard effort form Louis Thompson and then blocked Ben Gladwin’s near-post header.

Gladwin also fired just over the bar from the edge of the area and had another effort deflected narrowly wide as the Robins piled on the pressure.

Crawley were penned inside their own half for long periods but when they did manage to break they created two excellent chances.

Wes Foderingham got down well to push away a shot from the unmarked Gavin Tomlin on the edge of the box and then Izale McLeod put a free header over the bar from Ryan Dickson’s cross with Foderinham in no man’s land.

The game seemed to be following a similar pattern in the second half when Jensen had to react quickly to keep out an effort from Massimo Luongo.

That proved pivotal as Swindon immediately found themselves a goal and a man down.

Jensen’s long clearance put McLeod clear and although Thompson did well to get back to make a challenge referee James Linnington deemed he did so unfairly.

Once he had made the decision Linnington had no choice but to send Thompson off and McLeod compounded the punishment by confidently firing home from the penalty spot.

Swindon continued to dominate despite being down to ten men but were unable to create any clear cut opportunities to equalise.

And as they committed men forward it left gaps at the back with Gwion Edwards within a whisker of wrapping up the points when he smashed a shot against the underside of the bar.

Crawley (4-4-2): Jensen; Oyebanjo, Leacock, Walsh, Bradley; Edwards, Henderson, Smith, Dickson; McLeod, Tomlin.

Swindon (3-5-2): Foderingham; N Thompson, Branco, Turnbull; Byrne, Kasim, Luongo, Gladwin, Barthram; L Thompson, Smith M. Subs: Belford, Lelan, Marshall, Randall, Waldon, Barker, Williams.

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