For the first time since the club came into the Football League, we will go into an unseeded draw when the ties for the first round of this season’s Carabao Cup are drawn on Friday.
Although the first-round draw will still be regionalised, the EFL have also decided that games will be settled by penalties with no extra time.
Reds will be hoping the new format means a change of luck when representatives of sponsors Carabao join Dennis Wise, Steve McManaman and Louis Saha to make the draw in Vietnam at 10.45am on Friday.
This will be our 11th tie in the competition since becoming a League club in 2011 and we have only been drawn at home four times – and not at all since 2014.
The last time Reds played at home in the competition, sponsored back then by Capital One, was in August 2014 when an extra-time goal by Izale McLeod (pictured) secured a 1-0 win over Ipswich Town.
Reds were then drawn away to Ipswich’s East Anglian rivals Norwich City in the second round and lost 3-1 in front of a crowd of 14,414 which included over 300 Crawley fans.
Our first ever tie in the competition was a preliminary round game at home to old rivals AFC Wimbledon in July 2011. Sergio Torres, Hope Akpan and Matt Tubbs scored in a 3-2 home win before Reds went down 2-0 to Crystal Palace in the first round in front of a crowd of 8,901.
The following season we won a penalty shoot-out at Millwall after a 2-2 draw to secure a second-round tie at home to Bolton, who had just been relegated from the Premier League. An all-ticket crowd of 2,678 saw Billy Clarke and Nicky Ajose seal a 2-1 win which set up a third-round meeting, also at the Checkatrade, against Premier League Swansea.
Reds led 2-1 at one stage before going down 3-2 despite goals from Clarke and Josh Simpson.
The following season we went out 4-3 at Cheltenham despite leading 3-1 at one stage and since 2015 it’s been away ties in round one – and defeats – all the way: 2-0 at Peterborough in 2015, 2-1 at Wolves in 2016 – when Enzio Boldewijn scored against the Championship club – and 5-1 last season in our first ever meeting with Birmingham City when Panutche Camara scored our consolation goal at St Andrew's.
Friday’s draw could see us up against relegated Premier League club West Brom as well as a whole host of big names from the Championship. Fingers crossed for a home tie at least!