Crawley Town rewarded their 257 travelling faithful with an early Christmas present during the festive period, writes Nick Park.

Reds secured a 2-1 victory against Colchester United away and what a cracker it was.

Crawley have struggled away from Broadfield Stadium but boss Scott Lindsey said: “It was a professional performance from the lads today.”

It might have been a different story had Colchester’s Samson Tovide connected, sliding in, from Joe Taylor’s delivery.

Tovide was involved in another replica incident as well.

Or when Arthur Read’s free-kick, from a distance, trickled over the upright and skimmed the netting.

Crawley eventually pounced in the 41st minute.

The dynamic Liam Kelly combined with Will Wright.

Kelly threaded a through ball to Wright, who surged down the right.

On his second attempted cross after the initial attempt was blocked, Kelly latched on to it and struck a low effort, making it 1-0.

He had an earlier chance in a similar position in the box that flew into Row Z behind the goal.

The Broadfield contingent extended their lead when Nick Tsaroulla was impeded in the danger zone.

The referee had no alternative, pointing to the spot for a penalty.

Danilo Orsi finished proceedings by firing it straight down the middle, igniting further celebrations.

Colchester did respond and notched a goal in stoppage time.

Their goalkeeper Owen Goodman sent a high ball towards their forward line.

Taylor latched on to it before flicking it over Luca Ashby-Hammond.

Crawley managed to hold on, performing heroics.

Lindsey said: “The win was the thing we really focused on coming here today.

“The away form is something that we’ve addressed and something that we wanted to put right.

“The players were brilliant, really focused.

“You could feel it from Thursday onwards and at the training ground on Friday.

“There was a real focus on everything they did.

“You could tell that the players had the bit between their teeth and that’s why I wanted the game on.”