The FA Cup is a competition the Reds have fond memories of after two forays into the fifth round in recent years, and our journey in the world’s greatest knockout competition starts gain on Saturday as we travel to face Southend United.
The Roots Hall clash will be the first between the two sides since 2015. The game should be a welcome distraction after the Reds recent dip in form, with the game a perfect opportunity to get things back on track.
Southend are currently 12th in Sky Bet League One after two consecutive defeats to Walsall and Barnsley. They have won two of their last five, while the Reds will need to put things right after 5-1 and 4-0 defeats in their last two games respectively.
HEAD TO HEAD
Southend and Crawley have only faced each other four times previously – twice in League Two and twice in the Checkatrade Trophy under its previous guise.
The first meeting between the clubs was only Crawley’s third game in the Football League, when the Reds ran out 3-0 winners at the Broadfield Stadium. Dean Howell gave the Reds the lead before a brace from Matt Tubbs made the score line more emphatic.
Just two weeks after that game, Liam Dickinson scored the only goal but was also sent off as Southend knocked Crawley out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Roots Hall.
The following March, the Reds travelled to their promotion rivals for a televised Monday night fixture in Essex, that saw Chris Barker sent off for the hosts, who were forced to play with nine men when they lost a player to injury after three substitutions. Crawley threw everything at their opponents but were forced to settle for a goalless draw.
That was our final meeting until 2015, when another JPT game took place, this time in Sussex. Myles Weston’s strike and a Joe Pigott double knocked Reds out once again as the visitors picked up a convincing 3-0 win.
FA CUP RECORD
Although Reds fans fondly remember successive appearances in the fifth round in 2011 and 2012 our FA Cup record since then is not good. Infact, our last win in the competition was the 2-1 success at Hednesford in 2013 - nearly five years ago. We lost to Bristol Rovers in the second round and since then have suffered first round exits to Yeovil Town, Luton Town, Bristol Rovers and Wigan Athletic.
Southend's recent FA Cup record is not much better with first round defeats in the last four seasons.
ONE TO WATCH
A Republic of Ireland international and all round prolific scorer, Simon Cox is Southend’s one to watch on Saturday. Cox joined Southend in the summer of 2016 and has missed just a handful of games in his three seasons with the club. Originally a Reading youngster, Cox was with his home town club until 2008, and re-signed for them in 2014, where he spent an additional two years and scored nine goals. He has hit seven goals for Southend this term and is likely to be well into double figures before the season is out.
TICKETS AND TRAVEL
The club have received an allocation of 200 tickets which are now on sale, however only a handful remain. You can buy on the day.
Prices - Adults £15; Concessions (Young Person (17-22), Student, Disabled Adult* and Over 60s) £10; Under-16s £5.
Tickets sales close from the club at 4pm on Friday 9th.
You can also purchase over the phone for collection by calling 01293 410000.
You may purchase on the day from Roots hall, but there will be a small price increase on all tickets, and they can only be bought using cash only.
GH Coaches are running away travel for supporters to Roots Hall and are now taking booking for a second coach. The cost is £20 (£15 for U15’s accompanied) and bookings can be made by calling 07771 792346. The coach departs the stadium at 11.30am.
Gary Smith will provide live audio coverage (UK users) coverage with video coverage (Overseas only) on iFollow Crawley from 2.55pm.
To subscribe to iFollow, click here.
Keep up to date on Twitter @crawleytown, search Crawley Town FC on Facebook and on Instagram it's @crawley_town_fc for all the action throughout the afternoon.