A day of celebration for Horsham, as they officially opened their new Camping World Community Stadium, ended in a deserved victory over a lacklustre Reds.
Gaby Cioffi’s side could have no complaints about the result with Horsham’s superior finishing proving decisive, much to the delight of their fans in a crowd of 1,080. Crawley's performance lacked urgency.
The Head Coach’s starting XI was pretty strong, although only Reece Grego-Cox and Michael Luyambula were in action from the team which lost to Brighton & Hove Albion on Friday night. There were six trialists on show, four of whom came off the bench in the second half.
Ollie Palmer and Filipe Morais went closest for Reds in the opening third, but it was pretty even in terms of possession and Horsham took the lead in the 34th minute. Chris Smith was played onside by our triallist right-back and he finished nicely.
Two minutes later, though, Crawley equalised when Grego-Cox found space on the edge of the box and fired into the top left-hand corner.
Twice early in the second half Horsham keeper Josh James saved superbly to deny Morais but it was the home side who regained the lead in the 53rd minute when our triallist central defender pulled back Zack Newton and Kieran Lavery made no mistake from the resultant penalty.
Palmer nearly levelled just past the hour when his shot took a deflection off Jones and was then cleared off the line by Charlie Harris but Horsham made it 3-1 midway through the second half when Lavery was allowed too much space on the corner of the box and finished superbly into the top right-hand corner.
As Cioffi rang the changes the tempo of the game slowed down considerably in the closing stages. Reds created two more decent openings but both were squandered by Triallist (s). A disappointing performance by Crawley but this was Horsham’s day.
Reds: Luyambula, Triallist, Tunnicliffe (Triallist 60), Doherty; Payne, Francomb, Grego-Cox, Morais (Powell 68), Allarakhia (Galach 45), Palmer (Triallist 66).
Picture: Reece Grego-Cox scores our goal in the first half. Photo by James Boardman