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Crawley Town star misses out on top award

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Crawley Town forward Reece Grego-Cox missed out on taking home the Republic of Ireland Men’s Under-21s Player of the Year Award at the ‘3’ FAI International Awards ceremony in Dublin on Sunday.

The Reds’ striker was nominated alongside Portsmouth winger Ronan Curtis, the winner of the award, and Liverpool defender Corey Whelan.

The 22-year-old has made eleven appearances for the Irish under-21s since debuting in 2015 and scored all four of his international goals in the Republic’s failed attempt to qualify for the 2019 UEFA European Under-21 Championships.

The former Woking player, who is now ineligible to represent the under-21s, is now aiming to cement his place in Gabriele Cioffi’s team and catch the eye of Ireland senior manager Mick McCarthy.

Grego-Cox has made 25 appearances in all competitions for the Red Devils this season but has yet to score for the club.

Speaking to crawleytownfc.com Grego-Cox said: “I really enjoyed playing for Ireland and it definitely improved me as a player. It was nice to get nominated for the award, a proud moment for me and my family.

“Now I want to kick on at Crawley and hopefully I can force my way into the full squad soon.”

SEE ALSO The major football rule changes that will affect Crawley Town next season | Taste of the Terrace: Crawley Town’s coaching staff must restore confidence after shocking defensive lapses | Crawley Town verdict: Management and players should take long look at themselves after appalling performance

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Taste of the Terrace: Bore draw as Crawley Town fail to capitalise on achieving League Two safety

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Crawley Town failed to capitalise on achieving League Two safety with an insipid display against bottom club Notts County.

The lack of leadership and direction was again apparent and it left the 2,800 crowd bored and frustrated.

One supporter was adamant he would not renew his season ticket if there was not a change of manager and he has my sympathies.

Gabriele Cioffi baffled the supporters once again by rewarding two-goal Good Friday hero Reece Grego-Cox with a place on the bench whilst the calming influence of the absent George Francomb on the Reds’ defence was quickly exploited.

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Craig Mackail-Smith headed County in front after just eight minutes with the defence all at sea although they managed to steady the ship.

The match was squared up by Ashley Nathaniel-George who tracked across the edge of the box from the left before unleashing a shot that caught loanee ‘keeper Ryan Schofield unawares.

The goal should have fired Crawley into greater attacking action but they lacked drive and invention. Panutche Camara did his best but his team-mates seemed wary of following his lead and the further the game progressed the more boring it became.

On 54 minutes Ben Barclay cleaned out Dannie Bulman with a dangerous lunge and was immediately red carded but Reds did not profit from their man advantage.

One might have imagined the Magpies would go gung ho, given their perilous position, but they seemed happy to settle for a draw. Much good that will do them.

Two wins in a week in the West Country had ensured us another League Two season. St James’s Park is turning into a favoured ground and Reds sparkled in the hot spring sunshine.

The most remarkable thing about this Good Friday trip was Crawley’s virtually 100 per cent scoring record. They had just three shots and scored with each of them.

Their fourth only came six minutes into added-time when the cruellest misfortune saw Grego-Cox denied a hat-trick after striking the inside of a post.

Following a rather turgid opening, Reds took the lead on 27 minutes through the persistence of Filipe Morais before Grego-Cox shocked the Grecians only five minutes later with a sharp finish from Lewis Young’s cross.

Exeter stirred themselves and for around half an hour either side of the interval threw the proverbial kitchen sink at us.

Glenn Morris remained alert and the defence showed great resilience. Luckily the home side struggled to get their shots on target.

Ryan Bowman pulled a goal back for them in the second half but Reds struck back quickly. Camara and Morais combined to set up Grego-Cox who had time and space to drive his second goal past Christy Pym.

It was a famous victory that deserved to tempt a big crowd to Broadfield on Easter Monday in the hope of seeing the Reds dispatch Notts County into the National League.

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Crawley Town boss: 'We were a bit flat against Notts County'

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Crawley Town head coach Gabriele Cioffi admitted his side were not at their best against Notts County on Easter Monday after a couple of tough weeks under pressure to avoid relegation.

He also revealed that two late injuries to Matty Willock and George Francomb forced him to change his plans in the run-up to the game.

The Reds boss said: “You have to look at the positives and they are that the boys stepped on the pitch doing everything we prepared, with the right mindset challenging a tough opponent who came here to get a point.

“We were in control of the game, we had chances and what we can’t hide we were a bit flat.

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“It wasn’t one of our best performances: we had a couple of late injuries to George Francomb and Matty Willock and we had to make a change of plan.

“We had two stressful weeks and as a result we were a bit light in mental energy.”

Cioffi used a very attacking line-up which to counteract what he expected to be a strong defensive set-up by Notts County.

He said: “We played an attacking line-up as I thought they (Notts County) would leave five at the back and that’s exactly what happened.

“We had our chances and against Exeter we were more clinical but this time we weren’t.”

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Sunderland defender to miss key clash with Portsmouth, Wigan keen on Barnsley duo – League 1 and League 2 latest news

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Sunderland left-back Bryan Oviedo could be set to miss this weekend’s crucial clash with Portsmouth due to a groin injury.

The Costa Rican picked up the injury when assisting Max Power’s opener on Monday, though battled on to finish the game after Black Cats had used all three substitutions.

“It was his groin, a wee problem at half-time,” Ross told the Sunderland Echo.

“He aggravated it when he put the cross in in the lead up to the goal.”

Portsmouth have been dealt an injury blow of their own – with striker Omar Bogle tipped to miss the remainder of the campaign.

The Cardiff City loanee was absent from Kenny Jackett’s squad as they beat Coventry City 2-1 yesterday, and the Pompey boss admits he may not feature during the run-in.

That means former Black Cats forward James Vaughan could be called upon to the lead the line in the crunch promotion clash at the Stadium of Light.

You can read the full story HERE via the Portsmouth News.

Peterborough United boss Darren Ferguson believes Sunderland should have been reduced to NINE men after two ‘horrendous’ challenges.

Ferguson was left seething at the decision not to dismiss Bryan Oviedo after he escaped a second yellow for another foul on Marcus Maddison.

Instead, Coggins booked Maddison for diving, while later cautioning Luke O’Nien after a heavy challenge on Ivan Toney – one which Ferguson deemed as a straight red.

You can read what Ferguson told the Peterborough Telegraph HERE.

Wigan Athletic are keen on Barnsley duo Liam Lindsay and Ethan Pinnock, The Sun understands.

The Tykes’ centre-back pairing are attracting plenty of interest from elsewhere – forming the best defence in League One.

Recently, Lindsay has been linked with a move to Stoke City, Aston Villa, Leeds United and Celtic whereas Brentford seen a January bid rejected for Pinnock.

Ultimately, any potential move away from Oakwell could depend on whether Daniel Stendel leads the club back to the Championship this term.

Charlton Athletic have had their red card appeal for Chris Solly upheld by the FA – meaning he will now serve a four-match ban.

The Addicks captain was shown red for a challenge on Oxford United’s Jamie Mackie in the 2-1 defeat at the Kassam Stadium on Good Friday.

Lee Bowyer swiftly appealed it, however, it was not overturned after an FA Regulatory Commission met on Sunday.

It was Solly’s second red card of the campaign meaning an extra game was added to the ban and now rules the defender out until the second leg of the play-offs.

In League Two, Liverpool are tracking the progress of Exeter City starlet Ben Chrisene, according to reports.

The Grecians have a glowing reputation of producing raw talent with the likes Ollie Watkins and Ethan Ampadu earning moves to the Championship and Premier League, respectively.

And The Sun are tipping Chrisene, 15, to follow in similar fate after representing England under-15s in a recent clash with Belgium at St George’s Park.

Sheffield United have allowed midfielder Harvey Gilmour to join Tranmere Rovers on a permanent basis.

The 20-year-old, who progressed through the Blades’ youth ranks, has impressed at Tranmere this term, scoring three times in 23 appearances whilst on loan.

Gilmour didn’t make a competitive appearance for United, although he did feature in the second half of the pre-season friendly at Stocksbridge Park Steels last July.

The deal now becomes permanent with the Blades securing a significant sell on and other clauses.

Mansfield Town manager David Flitcroft has criticised the linesman – saying he guessed when ruling out a last-minute equaliser at Oldham Athletic.

Danny Rose thought he had levelled at 3-3 to earn a precious point that would have been enough to take the Stags into second place in the race for automatic promotion.

Rose reacted first to turn in the rebound after Jacob Mellis hit the post but the Stags’ celebrations were cut short by the linesman’s offside flag.

You can read the full story from the Mansfield Chad HERE.

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