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Watch former Crawley Town forward score on Republic of Ireland debut



Former Crawley Town striker James Collins enjoyed a dream debut for the Republic of Ireland in their 3-1 friendly win over Bulgaria last (Tuesday) night.

The 28-year-old added the Republic’s third goal with four minutes of the game remaining. Fellow debutant Jack Byrne played a clever pass into Enda Stevens and the Sheffield United defender hit a wonderful first time cross into the area for Collins to poke home.

Earlier in the game Preston North End’s Alan Browne had prodded the Irish into the lead on 56 minutes after a mistake from Bulgaria keeper Hristo Ivanov.

The Bulgarians equalised from the penalty spot on 67 minutes. Sheffield United defender John Egan hauled Bozhidar Kraev down in the box and Ivelin Popov stepped up to fire home the spot kick.

The Republic of Ireland retook the lead with seven minutes to go. Ivanov misjudged a Byrne corner, allowing Burnley defender Kevin Long to head into an empty net.

Collins then completed the scoring for the Irish to wrap up a successful night in Dublin.

Former striker Collins made 51 appearances and scored 22 goals in all competitions for Crawley Town in the 2016/17 campaign before his move to Luton Town in the summer of 2017.

READ MORE Long-serving Crawley Town midfielder joins Yeovil Town on loan | ‘They are not giving up and determined to get something out of matches’ – Crawley Town opinion | Crawley Town dig deep against Macclesfield – opinion

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Crawley Town v Plymouth Argyle: Reds look to move into play-off places



After Saturday’s 1-0 triumph over Mansfield, Crawley face another one of the teams tipped for promotion at the start of the season in Plymouth Argyle.

The Pilgrims were relegated from League One last season and were tipped to bounce straight back up, but they haven’t had the start they would’ve expected. Argyle currently sit 11th in League Two, three places and three points below Crawley.

After a bright start to the season, winning their opening two games, Argyle have only won once since then with three defeats, two draws and one victory. That victory was a 3-0 win over Walsall but that was four games ago, having lost two of their last three games.

This could be due to Plymouth’s poor away form, as they’ve lost three and won one of their four away games this season.

At home Argyle look a different team, as they have not been defeated at Home Park all season. Hopefully for Crawley their poor away form will continue and the Reds can make it four wins out of five on home soil.

This could be a big game for Crawley, as a win will guarantee the Reds move in to at least a play-off place, and depending on other results an automatic promotion spot.

However, if the result goes the other way Argyle will leapfrog Crawley. It’s a big game for both sides, who will both be looking to get themselves into promotion contention this season.

READ MORE Panutche Camara had his best game yet in titanic battle – Crawley Town opinion | ‘I always dreamt this day would come again’ – New Crawley Town defender makes first football league appearance in three years | Crawley Town head coach Cioffi: ‘It is not the moment to look at the table’
Plymouth already have a lot of players who have gained promotion from League Two, as recently as last season. Lots of players and staff from Bury have moved to Argyle, in a bid to secure another promotion.

Manager Ryan Lowe was the man who got Bury promoted last season, and due to his move to Plymouth, a lot of former Bury players have followed him, as they look to get Plymouth back to League One at the first time of asking.

This shows that Crawley will be up for a tough game and will have to be at their best to pick up a win, despite Plymouth’s poor form.

Their could be a selection headache for Gabriele Cioffi, depending on whether players are fit to play. Tom Dallison missed Saturday’s game through injury but Jamie Sendles-White filled in and put in an excellent performance, on his home debut. Ashley Nadesan is another player who has been injured and if he is back fit, will be pushing for a starting position.

New signings Gyliano Van Velzen and Denzeil Boadu have also been working on their fitness since joining the club and might be able to play a part in Tuesday’s game against Plymouth.

It will be another tough test for Crawley, who will have to put in a good performance to pick up all three points.

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Panutche Camara had his best game yet in titanic battle – Crawley Town opinion



Don’t get the idea that a 1-0 win means a boring game as this one certainly wasn’t.

That’s three matches in a row that have been akin to a war of attrition and by the time you read this I fully expect to have seen another tough battle with the midweek visit of Plymouth Argyle.

Crawley have now taken ten points out of the last twelve and climbed to eighth place but they have had to work very hard for them. They deserve ten out of ten for their work ethic and with the teamwork proving absolutely solid it is just a question of fine tuning in front of goal and then somebody will take a hammering from us.

In such a rumbustious end to end encounter there was a risk that individual performances might be over-shadowed. Our Dulwich Hamlet connection prevented that. I thought Panutche Camara had his best game yet. Mansfield Town couldn’t guess what he was going to do next and half the time Panutche probably didn’t know himself.

Nathan Ferguson combined the role of enforcer with that of playmaker in remarkable fashion. He set up a number of openings and when he was sacrificed by Gabriele Cioffi to allow two up top it didn’t actually improve the Reds as an attacking unit.

Bez Lubala had another influential game and scored the winner thanks to a hefty deflection off Matt Preston. He had been unlucky earlier on when his penalty was brilliantly saved by Conrad Logan. Bez hit it hard, low and in the corner but still the Stags’ stopper managed to turn it past the post.

Ollie Palmer also battled hard and was particularly ill-served by the erratic refereeing of Scott Oldham. The striker found that Mansfield’s centre back Preston was a master of football’s dark arts but the official was blind to most of the offences. He also seemed to have taken a dislike to Josh Doherty who enjoyed another successful match, heading one shot off the line.

Glenn Morris was at his brilliant best and nobody came up short. Injuries led to the other substitutions and the manager may have a problem keeping happy a number of top players in the squad who presently can’t get a game. Hence we see the loan of Jimmy Smith to Yeovil Town to help him regain match fitness.

Mansfield were a decent side and better than Reds in having a go at goal. It was, however, one of those days when they couldn’t hit a barn door – from the inside!

A bonus for me on Saturday was meeting Eric Strange who is surely Crawley Town’s oldest and longest serving supporter. He has been watching the Reds since 1952 and certainly doesn’t look his 95 years. As a D-Day veteran of Sword Beach he obviously possesses the necessary fortitude to survive following our favourites over 67 seasons.

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‘I always dreamt this day would come again’ – New Crawley Town defender makes first football league appearance in three years



On September 17, 2016, Jamie Sendles-White’s football career was thrown into doubt after rupturing an anterior cruciate ligament during a League One match between Swindon and Bury.

Many dark days followed for the then-Swindon defender, who was ruled out of action for 12 months.

Having made just 15 appearances for The Robins, the centre-back wasn’t able to restore his place in the side, so had to move on. Following spells at Leyton Orient, Torquay United and St Albans City, Sendles-White is now looking to kick start his career at Crawley, where he has just made his first football league appearance in nearly three years in yesterday’s 1-0 win over Mansfield Town.

Speaking after the game, Sendles-White, 25, said: “I’ve spent the last couple of years rebuilding my career at Leyton Orient and Torquay. I’ve put in a lot of hard work to get me back into the league.

“That was always my aim and I’m finally able to say I’ve got here. I always dreamt that this day would come again.

“There were some hard days where I was in the gym on my own and having two/three operations. There were times I thought it would be hard to get back. I’ve put the work in and luckily enough I’m back in the league.

“The hard work doesn’t stop for me. I want to keep pushing on and keep getting some wins for Crawley. I don’t want to think too much about the injury. I try to look forward now.”

Have you read?: Crawley Town 1-0 Mansfield Town: Player ratings

Crawley Town head coach Cioffi: ‘It is not the moment to look at the table’

Sendles-White said yesterday’s victory was a ‘deserved three points’ for the Reds, with Bez Lubala’s second half strike proving the difference between the sides.

“We are delighted as a team, it was a tough game,” he said.

“It was a very good team performance. We defended very well and hit them on the counter.

“When we went 1-0 up, they had a go at us but we stayed strong and defended very well as a team. It was a hard earned three points.

“They had their chances but it was a testament to us that we kept going and created a lot of chances ourselves so.”

On his own performance and giving Gabrile Cioffi a defensive headache when Tom Dallison returns from injury, he added: “I was happy with it. I was rusty as I haven’t played for a while but I was very happy to be playing again. I felt solid and comfortable with Jordan [Tunnicliffe] next to me.

“As a manager that’s the decisions you want to be making. It’s a big and very competitive squad. We are all pushing each other everyday to get the best out of each other. We are reaping the awards now on the pitch.”

“I think fans watching the games are realising we have got a real team spirit there. There is a real togetherness. Hopefully they see that on the pitch and come in numbers again on Tuesday [at home against Plymouth Argyle].”

Victory takes the in-form Reds up to eighth in the table, and level on points with sixth-placed Cheltenham Town, who sit in the four play-off positions.

When asked how far Crawley can go this year, Sendles-White said: “We don’t get too carried away and make sure that we get to that 50 point mark. That’s our number one target at the minute.

“We need to keep putting on performances like that. Hopefully we can push on.

“We want to keep out feet on the ground. We’re focused on that 50 points so we are going to take it day by day and game by game and see what happens.”

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