Bulman makes the most of Wombles' wobbles

AFC Wimbledon 2 Crawley Town 5: Brown bemused by Wimbledon's 'shocking' gift of goals to bitter rivals

Kingsmeadow

Crawley Town share more than a nickname with Manchester United. Like those other Red Devils, they are a team that rivals love to hate, their irascible Glaswegian managerattracts more than his share of controversy, and they seem to get all the breaks going, whether they need them or not. Also like United, of course, they usually win.

So it was at Kingsmeadow yesterday. The cuddly Wombles, the fan-owned neutrals' favourite, had a full house for their latest instalment of a burgeoning rivalry against the bad guys who are accused of having spent their way into the League thanks to mysterious Far Eastern investors. The Crawley manager, Steve Evans, was sent to the stands at the interval, and his team benefited from an own goal, a penalty and a goalkeeping error.

Crawley remain at the summit of League Two and on course for a second successive promotion after their sixth victory in a row. Although Evans denied he revelled in the jeers of the crowd, he acknowledged he had relished watching his team beat AFC Wimbledon after a series of grudge matches as the teams fought for promotion from the Blue Square Bet premier league last season.

"We lost here last year and there were street parties in Kingston for two weeks," he said. "They built it up that they would rather beat us than anyone else but we have got some strong characters in our dressing room."

Wimbledon began the match in the top six but dropped three places after losing back-to-back League games for the first time this season. Terry Brown, the manager, bemoaned "a shocking defensive display", three goals conceded from right-wing corners taken by Andy Drury. "They didn't have to work hard to score," he said. "It would have taken an exceptional team to come back from that."

The home crowd were dismayed to see their side go behind after three minutes as Drury's unthreatening corner was sliced horribly into his own net by Chris Bush, under no pressure and much to the defender's evident distress. Five minutes later it got worse. Drury's second corner was much better and deeper, and Crawley's Jamaica defender Claude Davis met it with a plunging header that sent the ball high past Seb Brown's right hand.

Wimbledon regrouped and halved the arrears after 10 minutes. Danny Minshull seemed to have missed his chance to shoot when he was challenged by Sergio Torres, but won the ball back and made good use of his second attempt, his cross-shot going in off the unfortunate Davis. Jack Midson completed Wimbledon's comeback when he cut in from the right, evaded couple of challenges on the edge of the penalty area and shot low past Scott Shearer with his left foot.

As the teams came off at half-time, Evans was sent off after haranguing the referee and watched the second half from a seat in front of the press box. He must have been worried when Matt Tubbs missed a hat-trick of headers, but Wimbledon handed the advantage back to his team. Again Drury slung over a corner and it was handled by Callum McNaughton, Tubbs smashing in the penalty for his eighth League goal of the season.

Crawley's fourth was another untidy effort, Brown failing to gather a bouncing ball under challenge and Dannie Bulman prodding it into the empty net. Bulman later headed his second from a cross by Scott Neilson. Evans strode on to the field at the end to shake the referee's hand before a solitary concession to his hosts. "We were poor in the first half," he said. "Maybe we felt it was job done. You can't think that against AFC."

AFC Wimbledon (4-1-3-2) Brown; Hatton, McNaughton, Stewart, Bush; Moore; Porter, Minshull (Kiernan, 75), Wellard; Jolley (Ademano, 89), Midson.

Crawley Town (4-3-1-2): Shearer; Hunt (Akpan, 51), Davis, McFadzean, Howell; Simpson, Bulman, Torres (Neilson, 51); Drury; Tubbs, Barnett (Akinde, 26).

Referee Andy Madley.

Man of the match Bulman (Crawley).

Match rating 7/10.

News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions