Reds suffered an agonising home defeat against play-off chasing Forest Green Rovers.
A stunning strike from Dannie Bulman gave Reds the lead midway through the first half.
After Christian Doidge levelled before the break the hosts dominated the second period and went several times to going in front. A point was the least they deserved but they were denied even that when a defensive mistake gifted Doidge a second with two minutes left.
Head Coach Cioffi had made one change with George Francomb returning in place of Ashley Nathaniel-George. Filipe Morais and Reece Grego-Cox were detailed to play off Ollie Palmer in a 3-4-2-1 formation.
Both sides had good spells of possession in the opening quarter of the game and looked tidy on the ball. There was more traffic towards the visitors’ goal but neither keeper was tested.
After Doidge was booked for a trip on Panutche Camara, Reds went in front on 24 minutes thanks to a stunning strike from Bulman. With Rovers happy to concede space in front of their defence the skipper had time to hit a right-footed drive from 30 yards which flew past Lewis Ward into the top right-hand corner.
Three minutes later Reds wasted a great chance to double their lead. They cleared a free kick then Reece Grego-Cox won a sprint to the ball with Gavin Gunning and played it to the unmarked Lewis Young eight yards out with only Ward to beat. But Young elected to take a touch and the visitors cleared to Filipe Morais whose shot was blocked.
It proved a costly miss as Forest Green drew level on 33 minutes. Reece Brown threaded a lovely pass into Doidge’s path and he hurdled Tom Dallison’s challenge, rounded Glenn Morris and squeezed the ball home from a tight angle.
The goal was harsh on Reds given that they had been the better side. They tried to respond but Morais curled a shot a yard wide before Palmer headed straight at Ward from a cross by Camara from the right.
Kicking towards the away end in the second half, Crawley began positively and when space opened up for Palmer in the 52nd minute he took aim but couldn’t keep his shot from 22 yards on target.
The striker had an even better chance on 65 minutes after Camara won the ball in midfield, surged forward and found the striker in space on the left. Palmer opted for placement instead of power but his right-foot shot went a yard wide of the far post.
Dominic Poleon came on for Grego-Cox with 16 minutes to go and the substitute nearly made an instant impact. Set up by Palmer ten yards out his shot on the turn took a deflection and went wide. The hosts broke but Brown’s effort from 20 yards was always rising over the bar.
While Reds had to be alert to the threat of a counter, they continued to dominate and Ward was tested with six minutes to go by a low drive from Morais which he spilled and Palmer lost his footing as he tried to latch onto the loose ball.
With two minutes to go Reds fell behind. Morais left his pass back to Dallison short and Junior Mondal nipped in and provided a lovely cross for Doidge to nod past a helpless Morris at the far post and make it 2-1.
The home crowd were stunned as more points slipped away despite a good performance by Reds, who are six points clear of the bottom three ahead of a big game at Yeovil next Saturday.
Reds: Morris; Francomb, McNerney, Dallison, Maguire; Young, Bulman, Camara; Morais (Nathaniel George 90), Grego-Cox (Poleon 74). Unused subs: Mersin, Sesay, N'Gala, Galach.
Attendance: 2088 (204 away)
Pictured: Dannie Bulman celebrates after his brilliant goal put Reds in front