Reds moved up to 10th in League Two after a stirring home triumph against Yeovil Town at the Broadfield Stadium on Saturday.
Ollie Palmer put them ahead midway through the first half with his sixth goal of the season but Carl Dickinson’s goal just before the break was no more than Yeovil deserved.
But Reds were the better side in the second half. Nine minutes after coming off the bench Ashley Nathaniel-George made it 2-1 with a stunning effort from 25 yards and in stoppage time skipper Filipe Morais sealed victory with a powerful effort from 15 yards.
It was an entertaining game in which Yeovil played their full part but Reds are only outside the play-off places on goal difference now and clearly have momentum under Italian Head Coach Gabriele Cioffi.
Reds made four changes to the side beaten by Forest Green Rovers last time out. Injury ruled out Dannie Bulman, Mark Connolly and Joe McNerney served one-match bans and George Francomb dropped to the bench. In came fit-again Romain Vincelot, Mark Randall, Josh Payne and Luke Gambin, for his full League debut.
Yeovil arrived with the best away record in the division and they began the contest in confident manner.
Reds were fortunate not to concede in the opening ten minutes as Jordan Green and Dickinson fired into the side netting, Olufela Olomola saw a powerful shot kept out by Glenn Morris’s strong left hand and Green fired another chance over the bar.
The visitors were looking a threat every time they broke and Filipe Morais had to be alert in the 19th minute to block a shot from Olomola from just inside the box.
Crawley had enjoyed some decent spells without creating much but they went ahead with their first effort on target in the 26th minute.
Lewis Young produced an excellent cross from the right that found Gambin in the six-yard box and when his shot took a deflection it rolled obligingly for Palmer to fire home from close range.
After Gambin and Randall were booked Palmer nearly produced a repeat of his solo goal against Bury when he slalomed past three defenders but saw his shot deflected for a corner.
But on the balance of play Yeovil deserved something for their first-half efforts and it came in the 41st minute. The ball broke to Dickinson on the left-hand corner of the box and his low drive took a slight deflection and zipped past Morris into the corner.
Palmer responded with a curling effort that wasn’t far away but an entertaining half ended with Olomola’s close-range header ruled out for offside after Morris had made a good save to parry Green’s shot.
It had been a terrifically entertaining first half and both sides continued to trade chances after the break.
Morris kept out an angled effort from Yoann Arquin in the 53rd and four minutes later Palmer should have scored his second from Gambin’s precise pull-back but his side-footer from six yards went inches wide of the left-hand upright with the crowd in the Bruce Winfield Stand expecting the net to bulge.
Yeovil had another good chance in the 63rd minute. Joe Maguire gave the ball away, Yeovil switched it quickly to Olomola whose shot from 15 yards found the side netting.
Gabriele Cioffi has been urging his side in training to get more shots away from distance and his words were clearly heeded by Nathaniel-George who put his side back in front with a stunning strike of 68 minutes. After some patient build-up the ball was played to the sub 25 yards out and he hit a stunning drive past Baxter and into the bottom corner for his second goal in successive home games.
Gambin nearly made it three a minute later when Morais picked him out with an angled ball to the far post but Gambin ran out of room and could only find the side netting.
Reds had their tails up and Nathaniel-George tested Baxter again in the 72nd minute after Palmer played him in, but the keeper made a routine save.
Morris was called into action again with nine minutes to go when he held a shot from Olomola at his near post but Reds were a big threat on the break in the closing stages as Yeovil began to tire.
Camara burst into the box but his shot flew wide and in the 90th minute Palmer missed a great chance to score his second. Nathaniel-George was denied by a great Baxter save and when the ball ran loose Reds’ top scorer side-footed wide from 10 yards.
But there was still time for Reds to get a third. Palmer and Nathaniel-George linked up well after another counter-attack to set up Morais and the captain cut inside before firing low past Baxter.
Reds: Morris; Young, Vincelot, N’Gala, Maguire; Randall (Nathaniel-George 57), Payne, Morais, Camara, Gambin (Poleon 75); Palmer.
Attendance: 2142 (284 Yeovil fans)
Pictured: Ashley Nathaniel-George celebrates after making it 2-1 with a brilliant strike from outside the box. Photo: Telephoto Images