Crawley 2, Ilkeston 1: Reds captain Peter Fear is backing caretaker manager Francis Vines to become the permanent successor to Billy Smith.

The former Wimbledon and Oxford United midfielder has thrown his weight behind Vines after seeing Crawley pick up their second successive win against struggling Ilkeston Town at Broadfield Stadium on Saturday.

Reds dominated the first half and carved out a succession of chances against second-bottom Ilkeston who have yet to win away from home this season.

Fear was influential and set up the opening goal when he curled in a pinpoint free kick for Warren Bagnall to power home a 13th-minute header.

Nic McDonnell sealed victory six minutes later when he headed in from close range after visiting keeper Matt Nurse had parried a shot from Bagnall.

The result takes Crawley to ninth in the Dr Martens Premier League and gives Vines his second win since taking over temporarily from Smith who resigned 12 days ago after a run of seven league games without a win.

Crawley have advertised the vacancy in the national press and will draw up a shortlist after the deadline for applications closes on Friday.

But Fear believes he has seen enough from the last two games to give his vote to Vines and his assistant Victor Bettinelli.

He said: "Francis and Victor have come in and done a good job. They've changed it around at training which freshens things up a little bit and it has given it a bit of a boost.

"I think Francis and Trevor are working hard to try and help out the club so if we can keep winning then they will have a good case to say give us the job.

"When you see people working hard then you want to give them their chance, so why not give them their chance."

Margate manager Chris Kinnear is one of the favourites for the job, with former Kingstonian and Woking boss Geoff Chapple also a candidate.

Locally, Horsham's John Maggs looks likely to be in the hat, but Fear has warned the Crawley directors to be careful in their selection.

"Sometimes big names come in and they don't do the job properly," he said. "They may be able to attract players, but are they going to get the right players?

"Francis and Victor are thinking 24 hours a day how to improve the club and they know the players and have their respect which also helps.

"If they get it there will be no qualms from me whatsoever, but we will just have to wait and see."

The home side's first half domination was a refreshing boost to the Reds supporters who had not seen their team win a home league game since October 5.

After the break, however, the visitors belied their lowly position and got back into the game on 60 minutes when James Impey was given a free header from a corner by Tony Hemmings.

Reds were the team most relieved to hear the final whistle as Ilkeston threw everyone forward in the final stages.

Bettinelli was frustrated at how the game finished. "We have done a few things in the first half which has pleased me, we just need to keep that up over 90 minutes", he said.

"I was pleased with the result but not really the performance, but it's two wins now and we would have settled for this when we took the job."

Bettinelli says he wants the job alongside Vines permanently, but the former Crystal Palace goalkeeping coach says there needs to be changes if that happens.

He said: "We can only do what we do on a Saturday and hopefully get the results. The two wins puts us in a strong position, but at the end of the day the board will look at the results after five or six games and think, have they done a good job? So only time will tell.

"The players are a game lot and they have ability but the attitude of some of them has got to change. Some of them have been released by pro clubs and I think they need to get the attitude right.

"In training, they have to put everything in and play every game like it's their last. I think that's what gets you out of this league because most of the teams are at the same level it's just the attitude that takes over."

Hastings United slumped to a 2-1 defeat at home to Cambridge City to increase their relegation fears in the Dr Martens premier.

A goal 11 minutes from time sealed their fate and they have now picked up only four points out a possible 27.

Coach Mike Flanagan said: "I thought we deserved a point. If you look at the efforts they had on goal, Kingy (keeper Dave King) had very little to do but unfortunately we are not defending as well as we were earlier in the year. It was our mistake that gave them their second goal."

Both sides had chances early on with Ellis Remy and Tony Burt going close for the home side and Danny Bloomfield firing just wide for the visitors.

City took the lead six minutes before half time when Adie Hayes directed a powerful, stooping header beyond King.

Hastings equalised soon after half time through Remy who jinked and dummied an opening before letting fly with a rasping drive which thundered into the roof of the net off the keeper.

Landry Zahana-Oni twice came within inches of giving Hastings the lead but his attempted chip was clawed out and a thunderous volley grazed the top of the crossbar.

City regained the lead after poor defending right across the box allowed Bloomfield to get a shot away which curled inside the far post.

Hastings; miserable day was completed four minutes from time when midfielder Paul Ruddy was sent-off after receiving his second booking.