Reds were on the end of a sucker punch as Yeovil landed the knockout blow in the 90th minute to take all three points in the Lesgue One encounter at a muddy Broadfield.
To make matters worse it was an own goal from David Hunt which settled it when he tried to head over Jamie McAllister's corner but found the top corner instead, possibly after a push by Paddy Madden.
Town dropped to ninth as a result but this defeat was hard to take and if Reds had taken their chances they would have won comfortably.
Three times they were denied by goal-line clearances and Crawley also hit the woodwork twice but the ball would just not go in and instead of getting the point which was the least they deserved they ended up with nowt.
Richie Barker made four changes with Kyle McFadzean among those returning but the defender's night ended on 43 minutes when he went off still suffering from the effects of the virus which laid him low last weekend. It meant thereafter that the back four was comprised entirely of full-backs with Hunt on the right, Nathan Byrne on the left and Mat Sadler alongside the impressive Mark Connolly.
The least the quartet deserved was to a keep clean sheet but as the game wore on at the other end it looked increasingly as it would not be Reds' night.
The chances came thick and fast apart from a lull for 15 minutes at the start of the second half. Pick of the first-half opportunities came after five minutes when Billy Clarke got on the end of Nicky Adams' free kick but Dan Burn hacked it off the line. Yeovil keeper Marek Stech saved well from Clarke and Nicky Adams, Clarke and Billy Alexander had shots blocked and Josh Simpson dragged a good chance wide. At any time it looked as if the Yeovil defence would creak under the strain but they held firm and had a chance of two of their own on the break.
Inside three minutes the pacey Keanu Marsh-Brown sped into space and brought a good save out of Paul Jones who did even better to keep out James Hayter's header with his feet.
Yeovil were always a threat on the counter-attack but these became increasingly sporadic in the second half as Reds pummelled away in search of the goal their efforts deserved.
On 66 minutes Connolly's shot on the turn was cleared off the line by Luke Ayling and then Adams got through but the ball took a horrible bobble as he tried to shoot and his effort skewed wide.
The pitch cut up badly and Reds struggled to play their normal passing game as a result but they still stitched together some good moves and in the closing stages it looked only a matter of time before their pressure would pay off.
Ayling produced another goal-line clearance, this time from Simpson's drive, and then with ten to go Clarke's shot in the ground was headed goalwards by Alexander but agonisingly dropped onto the top of the bar.
The home fans buried their heads in their hands in disbelief but the night was to get a lot worse.
The consolation is that Reds will play far worse this season and win. A trip to another of the promoted sides Crewe on Saturday gives us the opportunity to bounce back.