Crawley held after Clayton misses late penalty

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SSML Premier Division: Crawley Green 1 Biggleswade United 1

Crawley Green’s Charlie Clayton missed an 85th minute penalty as the hosts were held to a draw by Biggleswade United on Wednesday evening.

Home keeper Dean Bull spent nine seasons at United and his presence between the posts certainly had an effect on the visitors finishing.

The game flowed from end to end early on as Carles Balbao had an early shot saved by Dean Bull, while Green responded with efforts from Liam Toomey and Dean Dummett that were both blocked.

United then started to dominate with their quick passing game and after 21 minutes should have taken the lead as Kevin Iwusu broke clear and pulled the ball back to Josh Sturniolo who shot straight at Bull when it seemed easier to score.

Shortly after Nick Elliot went clear but hesitated in front of Bull and Kevin McManus got back to clear, while Iwusu fired wide before Elliot had another effort blocked by McManus.

United then forced three corners which were all cleared and Sergio Urbano fired over from a Sturniolo cross, as it was no surprise when United took the lead after 39 minutes through Elliot’s free header.

Aarron Browne had Crawley’s first effort on target after 42 minutes which was easily saved by Robbie Ponting in the United goal.

Just before half time Sturniolo has another effort saved by Bull as it finished 1-0 to visitors at the break.

At the start of the second half, Liam Toomey missed an early chance to put the Maroons level following a defensive mistake, while United replied immediately but Urbano shot wide after being set up by Elliot.

Another trio of corners were cleared by the Crawley defence before Elliot had another shot saved by Bull.

On the hour Crawley made a double substitution as the introduction of Reece Green and Sam Halfpenny changed the game and after 63 minutes Crawley duly equalised when Liam Toomey’s shot was parried into the net by Ponting.

Back came United with a long range effort from Kane Farrell which cannoned off the bar, while Urbano’s shot flew just wide of Bull’s left hand post.

Elliot then set up Urbano who shot straight at Bull before Charlie Joy was off target.

However, in the 85th minute, Green cut in from the left and was fouled in the box and as Clayton stepped up only to see his attempt saved by Ponting.

In added time, Biggleswade could have stolen victory when Sturniolo went through, only to shoot straight at Bull.