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Alexander double earns Reds win at Preston
Gary Alexander scored twice in the second half as Crawley climbed to fourth in League One following a 2-1 victory at Preston North End.
Alexander headed Reds into the lead nine minutes after interval and doubled the advantage four minutes later with a superb 25 yard strike.
Preston pulled a goal back in the last minute of normal time through Paul Huntingdon but Crawley held on to pick up their fourth win in six league matches this season.
The first half had been a fairly cagey affair with neither side really troubling the opposition goalkeeper.
Paul Jones had to make regulation saves from David Buchanan and Stuart Beavon while Beavon also poked a cross from Buchanan wide at full stretch.
Crawley did not have any efforts on targets but probably had the better of the chances with Nicky Adams rifling a shot into the side netting from 25 yards and Dannie Bulman putting a header wide from 12 yards.
Reds took the lead nine minutes after the interval when Adams wriggled away from Bailey Wright on the left and whipped over a cross which Alexander headed home at the far post.
That stunned the home fans and they were further rocked four minutes later when Alexander superbly turned Shane Cansdell-Sheriff 25 yards from goal and fired a brilliant shot past Thorsten Stuckmann.
Reds rarely looked troubled in defending their advantage until Preston pulled a goal back in the 89th minute. Substitute Joel Byrom swung over a deep free kick and Huntingdon snuck in at the far post to sidefoot home.