Crawley suffered a 3-1 defeat to Colchester United in the Carabao Cup fourth round at the People’s Pension Stadium.

A long-range strike from captain Dannie Bulman put the Reds ahead. Colchester levelled the game up straight away thanks to a header from striker Luke Norris.

An unfortunate own goal from Michael Luyambula then put Colchester back ahead after Cohen Bramall ‘s free-kick came off the underside of the bar and hit the Reds keeper in the back of the head.

Substitute and an ex-Red Luke Gambin made sure of the win when he blasted home from ten yards.

Crawley took the lead in the 21st minute after the ball was played to Bulman and his strike from distance flew into the top corner.

Colchester pulled a goal back straight away after Frank Nouble’s cross from the left picked out Norris who headed home from close range.

The visitors then went close to taking to taking the lead minutes later after Ryan Jackson’s cross from the right was headed across goal by Nouble and he found Norris, but his flick with the outside of his boot came off the crossbar.

Nouble again caused the Reds problem after he picked up the ball on the left and played it to Bramall and from a tight angle his effort was well held by Luyambula.

Colchester nearly went ahead in the 50th minute, after Bramall went past two before firing an effort just wide of the post.

The visitors took the lead in the 52nd minute, after Jordan Tunnicliffe fouled Norris just outside the box.

From the free-kick, Bramall stepped up and his effort came off the crossbar and hit a diving Luyambula in the back of the head and went in.

The U’s then wasted a glorious opportunity to extend their lead after Kwame Poku played the ball to Courtney Senior on the edge of the box, but he blazed his effort well over the bar.

Crawley had a great chance with 20 minutes left to level the game, as Josh Doherty’s corner was met Tom Dallison, but his downward header was blocked on the line by Brandon Comley.

The visitors made it 3-1 after Nouble, Senior and Substitute Gambin combined with the latter blasting the ball into the net.

Comley then went close to making it four for Colchester, as his effort from distance was well saved by Luyambula.

The Reds manager, Gabrielle Cioffi said: "At the end they(Colchester) capitllised at the maximum with the chances they had. The first header in our box was a goal.

"We were naive to concede a goal just 30 seconds after you have scored and then the second one honestly killed us.

"Today was a shambles, we arrived here with a bit of fear. 

"I think at the end of the day they deserved to go through."

Crawley, 4-4-2: Luyambula, Sesay(Young,67), Dallison, Tunnicliffe, Doherty, Ferguson, Bulman(C), Allarakhia(Nadesan,83), Lubala, Grego-Cox, Bloomfield(Palmer,55). Subs- Morris, Young, Palmer, Nadesan, Nathaniel-George, Sendles-White, Camara.

Colchester, 4-2-3-1: Gerken, Jackson, Eastman, Prosser, Bramall, Stevenson, Comley, Senior(Lapslie,83), Poku(Gambin,74), Nouble, Norris(Harriott,61). Subs-Ross, Sowumni, Harriott, Gambin, Lapslie,Clampin, Brown.

Attendance: 5,612