Smith was furious with the Reds' lack of fitness and commitment and singled out front pair Dennis Green and Francis Vines, declaring: "They showed no interest."

Smith read his side the riot act for 20 minutes after their lame display and vowed to make new signings this week.

He fumed: "The front two were disgusting. Vines and Green were a complete waste of time. They weren't prepared to work and if the ball was not within five yards of them they gave up the ghost.

"It's not fair on the other players if you end up with two or three having stinking games like that."

Smith will be boosted by the return of on-loan Brentford pair Gareth Graham and Richard Kennedy this week.

The Crawley boss, though, still believes the squad has to be strengthened if the club are to win their fight against relegation to the Dr Martens Eastern Division.


He said: "I've been getting away with murder for the last few weeks and this performance has taught me a lot and there's no doubt in my mind this team is not good enough to stay up as it is."

Wealdstone, FA Trophy and Conference winners in 1985, were much sharper and their passing and tackling was always one step ahead of their lacklustre hosts.

Crawley could have been in front in the opening two minutes, but Green struck a right-foot shot wide and Byron Glasgow, who had a good game, was unlucky to see two rasping efforts brilliantly foiled by goalkeeper Noel Imber.

Although the hosts enjoyed most of the territorial advantage in the opening 45 minutes,Wealdstone always looked potent going forward and it needed Jason Curtis to keep the scores level at half- time with a fine save from Paul McKay.

Wealdstone took control in the second half and forged ahead when Steve Bircham struck home from 20 yards after John Ugbah's goal-line clearance from Dave Tilbury's lob fell straight to him.

That lead was doubled on 63 minutes when Brian Jones beat three challenges in a strong solo run before blastingthe ball past Curtis from eight yards. Crawley rarely threatened to get back into the game, although Ugbah ought to have pulled back a consolation in injury time, but with an open goal in front of him the captain headed over.

There was a bizarre twist to the tie when a Wealdstone supporter ran the line in the second half.

Linesman Andrew Shepherd pulled a hamstring moments before half time and, with no fourth official, match referee Ian Gosling put an appeal over the tannoy for a qualified official to replace him.

Forward stepped 37-year-old gardener Paul Frivin, an avid Wealdstone supporter and Grade III Sunday morning referee, and the second half got under way 15 minutes late.

Frivin, who has been an official at parks level for 12 years, admitted: "Although nervous, once I got going it was enjoyable and was quite an experience."

Gosling complimented the inexperienced Frivin and the players of both sides for allowing him to do his job. The 32-year-old Ashford official said: "He did well. His signalling was clear. He kept up with play and gave a couple of good offsides."

Converted for the new archive on 30 June 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.