The ArgusClarke on the spot to earn Crawley a point (From The Argus)

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Clarke on the spot to earn Crawley a point

The Argus: Clarke on the spot to earn Crawley a point Clarke on the spot to earn Crawley a point

Crawley had to settle for a point in a game of two penalties against Swindon Town in front of the Sky cameras.

Billy Clarke gave Reds the lead from the spot midway through the first half after Nicky Adams had been brought down in the area.

Substitute Adam Rooney equalised in the second half after Joe Walsh had needlessly nudged him in the back.

The visitors pushed for a winner but Rooney was denied a second goal by a brilliant save from Paul Jones.

The result saw Crawley drop to 14th in League One but they are within six points of the play-offs.

Swindon came out of the blocks with the confidence of a side that had gone the last games unbeaten.

The condition of the pitch made it difficult for the visitors to build up much rhythm but they did carve out two decent chances.

There were just four minutes on the clock when Aden Flint headed the ball down to James Collin from a corner but his hooked shot from eight yards was blocked by Jones.

Crawley were caught out by another deep ball to the far post in the 18th minute. This time Darren Ward nodded it back across goal but although Andy Williams met it powerfully with his head it was straight at Jones.

Reds had posed little threat up to that point but got their noses in front from the penalty spot midway through the half.

Nicky Adams found space on the left and ran at Alan McCormack who brought him down in the area. With regular penalty taker Gary Alexander having joined AFC Wimbledon on loan Clarke claimed the responsibility and smashed the ball straight down the middle.

Crawley came into the game more after taking the lead and could have doubled their advantage in first half injury time. Jamie Proctor broke the offside trap but was unable to place his shot past Wes Foderingham who did well to smother the effort.

Swindon boss Paolo di Canio waited just seven minutes after the restart to make a double substitution with Adam Rooney and Nathan Thompson entering the fray.

It was Rooney who made an instant impact as he won and then converted a penalty seven minutes after coming off the bench.

Joe Walsh gave the striker the slightest of nudges in the back to send Rooney tumbling on the edge of the box. Rooney then picked up the ball and slotted inside the left hand post from 12 yards.

Rooney must have thought he had scored again in the 66th minute when he met Alan McCormack’s left wing cross with a powerful header at the near post only to be denied by a sensational one-handed save from Jones.

Swindon continued to press for a winner and Andy Williams should have done better with a free header when he was found by a cross from Gary Roberts.

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