Crawley Town 4 Morecambe 0

By Footymad Previewer
Last updated : 07 October 2006
Striker Scott Rendell scored his first senior hat-trick and Tony Scully came off the bench to complete the rout, after the visitors had defender Chris Blackburn sent off for a professional foul.

Rendell, on a three-month loan from Reading, was full of confidence going into the game following his match-winning penalty at Kidderminster last week.

Though there was little surprise when he put the Reds in front after just 13 minutes with a confident finish after a terrible piece of defending.

Blackburn made a mess of an attempted headed clearance from Jamie Lovegrove's long throw, sending the ball high in the air, and Rendell made no mistake with a volley from eight yards which squirmed through the legs of keeper Steven Drench.

The goal came five minutes after Morecambe had wasted a golden opportunity to go ahead. Striker David McNiven was found unmarked by Craig Stanley's cross, but he scuffed his effort and Dave Woozley headed off the line.

The home side almost doubled their lead before the half hour with two long-range efforts in quick succession.

Dannie Bulman first tested Drench with a low 20-yard strike. Then Michael Bostwick fired straight at the keeper with a similar drive after doing well to create space for himself outside the box.

Morecambe, who arrived on the back of two straight victories, were struggling going forward and should have done better with an opening on 32 minutes.

Stanley was released down the right after a mistake by youngster Lovegrove, but he mis-hit his cross straight to the covering Woozley with McNiven unmarked at the back post.

Rendell grabbed his second a minute before half-time following another error from Blackburn. The pony-tailed defender dallied on the ball following a long punt upfield and was dispossessed by the young forward, who showed great composure to blast an angled shot past Drench.

Ben Strevens, making his first start for three games following an ankle injury, should have added a third three minutes after the break. He was found all alone in yards of space by Rendell and nodded straight at Drench with the rest of the goal gaping.

However, the home fans only had another 60 seconds to wait for another goal as Rendell completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot. It was given after Gary Mills had burst into the box and was dragged down by Blackburn, who was shown a straight red card.

Crawley were in control from then on and had two further chances to heap more misery on the visitors around the hour mark.

Lee Blackburn had a goalbound curler blocked bravely by defender Ged Brannan, then Bulman hit a spectacular volley wide following good work by Scully.

Stanley almost gave the Shrimps a glimmer of hope on 57 minutes when his powerful shot rebounded off the left-hand post.

The midfielder went close again soon after with a scuffed close-range volley which ran harmlessly to home keeper Ben Hamer.

Scully, who had gone close with a shot from outside the box, scored the fourth in the dying seconds with a neat header at the back post from Blackburn's right-wing cross.

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