Crawley were clapped off by their fans tonight - after missing out on a club record.

A counter-attack goal by Lee Holmes for high-flying Exeter cancelled out Filipe Morais’s superb opener and ensured Reds remain out of the top seven for now.

But there is a buzz about Gabriele Cioffi’s men and, though they had a scare near the end, they were arguably the better side over 90 minutes.

They played with the confidence you might expect from a team chasing a record sixth successive home Football League win, the fifth of which was by a 4-1 margin against play-off hopefuls Newport.

That confidence and eagerness to zip the ball about occasionally led to passes going astray or being picked off. But only occasionally.

They had most of the first-half territory, kept the tempo high, got Lewis Young forward dangerously down the right and enjoyed moments of promise in and around the Exeter penalty area.

But there was no end product to concern Grecians keeper Christy Pym in those opening first 45 minutes.

Panutche Camara semi-extended Pym, diving to his left, with a curler after a tremendous run early in the second half. But the keeper held it comfortably enough.

Former Crystal Palace defender Dean Moxey, who was troubled by the pace of Young when the Reds wing-back attempted to go outside him, slid in to prevent a low cross reaching Ollie Palmer right in front of goal.

But the breakthrough came on 61 minutes. Palmer carried the ball a long way, opted not to shoot and, of the rapidly increasing number of options arriving, selected Morais, who curled a beauty inside the far post from just outside the box.

That unleashed euphoria around three sides of the Broadfield Stadium.

And a close-range save by Glenn Morris from Jayden Stockley ensured it was not rapidly punctured.

Reds were good value for their lead and pushed busily for a second. Aaron Martin stretched to keep a superb Young cross away from the waiting Palmer in front of goal.

But, from the ensuing pressure, Exeter levelled. A ball was sent over the top and Holmes was clear to slip a neat finish past Morris.

It was a soft goal to concede – but one which changed the mood and momentum.

Lee Martin had an angled effort cleared off the line by the sliding Romain Vincelot heading into added time.

But, from the ensuing counter, Reds released Young down the right, his low cross was flapped away from Palmer by Pym and fell to Ashley Nathaniel-George, whose shot, - not cleanly struck – was saved.

Crawley: Morris; Connolly, Francomb, Vincelot; Young, Payne (Bulman 89), Morais, Maguire (Doherty 64); Gambin (Nathaniel-George 70), Camara; Palmer. Subs not used: Mersin, McNerney, Poleon,.

Goal: Morais 61.

Yellow card: Gambin (7) foul, Payne (81) foul.

Exeter: Pym; Sweeney, A.Martin, Croll, Moxey; Law, Taylor, L.Martin, Jay (Holmes 65), Tilson (Stockley 56); Forte (Abrahams). Subs not used: Hamon, O’Shea, Woodman.

Goal: Holmes 79.

Yellow card: Tilson (50) foul, Taylor (82) foul.

Ref: John Busby. Attendance: 2,095 (379 away)