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Akpan strikes as Reds reign in the north again
Hope Akpan's fourth goal in seven games secured a fourth away win for Crawley at Hartlepool United.
The former Everton midfielder volleyed home after 15 minutes as Reds enjoyed more success in the north following wins at Preston, Doncaster and Carlisle.
Ritchie Barker's side had further chances to wrap up the points but were denied by some fine saves from former Albion goalkeeper Scott Flinders.
The result keeps Crawley fourth in League One ahead of their home game against MK Dons on Tuesday.
Hartlepool showed few signs of their poor form as they made a bright start, Ryan Noble firing over the bar from 25 yards.
But the visitors slowly came into the game and took the lead courtesy of a superb finish from Akpan in the 15th minute. A corner from Nicky Adams was only cleared to the edge of the area and Akpan struck the falling ball sweetly on the volley past Scott Flinders.
The goal seemed to suck all belief out of Hartlepool and Reds went close to doubling their lead three times in the next nine minutes.
Flinders had to be alert to turn away a shot from Jonathan Forte on the turn and then clawed out a 25-yard effort from Josh Simpson.
The former Albion goalkeeper was then relieved to see Mike Jones slice a shot high and wide from eight yards when he should have hit the target following a lovely pass from Simpson.
Reds did have the ball in the net again five minutes before half-time when Forte headed home a lovely cross from Jones at the far post but the linesman's flag went up.
Flinders then had to dive full stretch to fingertip a 25-yard effort from Jones around a post to keep the lead to just one at the interval.
Crawley goalkeeper Paul Jones was called into action for the first time ten minutes after the restart when he did well to keep out a fierce 25-yard free kick from Jonathan Franks.
Reds went straight up the other end and a cross from Adams went right across the face of goal with neither Forte or Gary Alexander able to get a decisive touch.
Paul Jones made another important stop in the 72nd minute to keep Crawley's lead intact. Nail Austin let fly from 35-yards and Jones reacted well to push it away as it came through a crowd of players.
Crawley lost Kyle McFadzean with ten minutes to go after he went down heavily in his own area and had to be replaced by Mark Connolly.
It added to a nervous finish for Reds as Hartlepool forced a couple of late corners but they held on for a deserved win.