Crawley dumped out of FA Cup in injury time

First published in Sport by

Crawley Town conceded two goals in the final eight minutes as they were dumped out of the FA Cup by Bristol Rovers at the Stadium.

Reds lead through Jamie Proctor’s 14th minute header but they were unable to build on that advantage and paid the price late in the game.

Elliot Richards fired home a deserved equaliser in the 82nd minute and John Joe O’Toole set up a third round trip to Birmingham City next week when he tapped home the winner in injury time.

It was a big setback for Crawley who looked short of ideas and energy against a Rovers side who are struggling in the bottom half of League Two.

They also miss out on the £27,000 in prize money and fail to reach the third round of the FA Cup for the first time in four years.

Reds boss John Gregory stuck with the side which beat Notts County 1-0 at home in the league ten days ago which meant only a third start of the season for Sergio Torres in midfield.

Crawley made a positive start, forcing four quick corners inside the opening five minutes, but the closest they came was a long range effort from Mike Jones which was well off target.

Rovers were largely pinned inside their own half but when they did try to push forward it backfired as they conceded on the counter-attack.

Andy Drury put Nicky Adams away down the right and he was able to pick out Proctor at the far post whose header went in off goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall.

Reds were in total control but could have conceded a goal out of the blue on the half hour when a cross from Elliot Richards found David Clarkson unmarked at the far post only for his header to be saved low down by Paul Jones.

At the other end defender Tom Parkes was relieved when his attempted clearance from a Mike Jones cross sliced over his own bar.

Paul Jones was called into action again in the early stages of the second half as he tipped over a header from Richards.

Rovers were the better team a low quality second half but it looked like their efforts would be in vain as the clock ticked down and they failed to create any clear cut goalscoring opportunities.

However, they turned the game on its head with two goals in the final eight minutes as Crawley’s defence dropped deeper and deeper.

Richards volleyed home the equaliser after Paul Jones punch went straight to him on the edge of the area.

Tom Parkes thought he had put Rovers ahead when his overhead kick came back off the post with four minutes to go but the winner did arrive in time added on.

Reds were outnumbered down the left flank and although Paul Jones got down to save Chris Beardsley’s low shot, O’Toole was on hand to stab home the loose ball.


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