Belford heroics deny Crawley

PA Sport
Cameron Belford

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Cameron Belford

Cameron Belford had a home debut to remember as his penalty save earned 10-man Southend a 0-0 draw against promotion rivals Crawley Town.

The goalkeeper, on loan from Bury, blocked Billy Clarke's low spot-kick down the middle with his legs and then scrambled to collect the loose ball after 61 minutes.

Crawley striker Clarke had earned the penalty after Belford parried a Josh Simpson shot and the forward's follow-up was handled on the goal-line by Southend skipper Chris Barker, who was sent off.

Things got worse for Blues as substitute striker Liam Dickinson was carried off on a stretcher after 80 minutes following a 50-50 tackle with Town left-back Warren Cummings.

But despite playing six minutes of stoppage time, Crawley were unable to get their first win in six matches.

The visitors had the only shots on target in the first half, with Sergio Torres, Dannie Bulman and Scott Davies testing Belford.

Steve Evans' team started the second half brightly with Belford parrying a Clarke effort before David Martin had a tame shot for Southend.

The game sprung into life on the hour mark but Southend held firm to maintain their third place in the table, with Crawley remaining sixth.

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