Crawley bounced back from defeat on Boxing Day to end 2013 with a 1-0 victory against Notts at the Checkatrade.com Stadium.
Reds dominated for long spells and finally made the breakthrough when Mark Connolly headed home from a Nicky Adams corner on 53 minutes.
Crawley were unlucky not to double their advantage late on, Jamie Proctor twice hitting the woodwork while visiting keeper Bartosz Bialkowski pulled off some great saves as Reds moved up to 13th in the table.
John Gregory made four changes from Boxing Day, handing a first league start of the season to Sergio Torres, who replaced the injured Dannie Bulman. Jamie Proctor started in place of the suspended Billy Clarke while Kyle McFadzean returned to the side following suspension for James Hurst. Emile Sinclair replaced Gary Alexander up front.
It was a positive start from the Reds who won two early corners, however it was the visitors who threatened with a corner of their own which was met at the back post by Alan Sheehan but Kyle McFadzean was on the line to clear away his header.
It was Reds who dominated the early stages. Proctor failed to connect with a Adams cross into the box before Adams had a good chance of his own which he overran when a shot was on.
The best chance of the match thus far fell to Sinclair when the striker was put through by Andy Drury but Bialkowski came racing out of his goal to save.
Whilst Reds threatened to break the deadlock, County once again had an opening of their own. Mark Fotheringham had time and space on the edge of the box but his half-volley was comfortably saved by Paul Jones.
Into the second half and County had the first opening of the half when Enoch Showumni was not too far off making connection with Jamal Campbell-Ryce’s low delivery into the box.
Reds settled into their stride and opened the just eight minutes into the second half, Adams’ corner was met by Connolly who powered a header into the bottom corner. The defender on the post was unable to keep out the Irishman’s effort for his first goal of the season.
Crawley went on the hunt for a second goal. Drury, who was captain in Bulman's absence, curled a shot just wide of the back post before Mike Jones also saw his effort from the edge of the box drift narrowly wide.
County rarely threatened an equaliser however Jones had to be alert to hold Ronan Murray’s low effort from the edge of the box.
Reds needed a second goal to kill off any fightback from the visitors and they nearly found it through Proctor but the keeper made a good save to keep out his effort that was destined for the top corner.
It was difficult to see how the visitors were going to get back into the match and they certainly didn’t help themselves when Alan Sheehan was dismissed for a second yellow card after he was penalised for deliberate handball having been booked earlier following a tussle with Sinclair.
It would be Bialkowski who would keep the scoreline at 1-0, first denying Proctor at his near post before making a super save to stop Mike Jones’s deflected effort finding the net.
It wasn’t just the visiting keeper who was stopping Crawley from doubling their advantage but also the woodwork. Proctor was the unlucky victim, first when he was denied by the crossbar before he struck the post with an effort from the right hand side.
Reds survived late pressure from County but never looked like losing this one as they ended 2013 as they started it - with a victory.