The Reds picked up a draw today in Mansfield after a crazy game in which Crawley fell behind, but also led 3-1.
The hosts started brightly and with just under three minutes played they had the lead. Ryan Sweeny turning in from a corner, the centre back stuck out a leg to poke past Glenn Morris, giving the Reds a mountain to climb early on.
Mansfield almost doubled their lead just minutes later, Harry Charsley found Jordan Bowery inside the Reds penalty area as the number nine fired at Glenn Morris who was on hand to parry away to safety.
The Reds began to settle into the game as they started putting some nice sequences together, Dannie Bulman may have put the Reds level, not for the courageous block of Mal Benning. The veteran midfielders shot looked destined to fly past Marek Stech.
Glenn Morris was then quickly forced back into action, George Lapsile had only the keeper to beat after linking up with Charsley, Glenn somehow was able to get down and avert the shot which fell to the feet of Charsley but Morris was quick to his feet to make a double save.
Morris was again called into action after Tunnicliffe was clearly fouled by two Mansfield men while jumping for a header, Christopher Sarginson waved play on as Glenn was forced to save from Lapslie again.
David Sesay looked lively on the right flank as he won the Reds a freekick in a dangerous crossing position, Powell’s cross diverted behind for a corner. The corner was only half-cleared as the ball fell back to Powell whose resulting shot flashed across the face of goal.
The Reds came flying out of the blocks in the second half immediately winning a corner courtesy of David Sesay. After Dallison’s header was blocked the ball fell to the feet of Dannie Bulman, a lunging effort from Bulman was excellently blocked and cleared for another corner.
The Reds electric start was rewarded just four minutes into the second half, Max Watters was introduced at the interval as he made an instant impact. Nadesan lofted a ball over the Mansfield defence which allowed Watters a clear run at goal. Watters took a hold of the ball and slotted under an on-rushing Stech to level the scoring.
Just moments later the Reds found themselves ahead, once again a corner was only half-cleared by the Mansfield defence, the ball fell to Tom Dallison who scooped a volley past a helpless Stech to put Crawley ahead. An incredible opening ten minutes of the second half.
Crawley did not stop there and unbelievably found themselves with a two-goal advantage as Max Watters netted his second of the game. Hessenthaler launched a ball forward which cleared both Mansfield defenders and fell kindly at the feet of Max Watters. Stech was caught in two minds on whether to come out or stay put in his box, Watters cleverly sensed this as the striker proceeded to curl over the goalkeeper to give the Reds a two-goal cushion.
The Reds almost had a fourth after a brilliant counter-attack, Nichols played a delightful side-footed volley to the wing where Watters lied in wait, Nadesan had made a surging run through the middle and had a clear sight of goal but Kellan Gordon intercepted at the last moment.
Less than a minute later the hosts pulled one back, Lapslie cushioned a volley into the top corner after the ball bounced free in the Reds penalty area, cutting the Reds advantage by half with 17 minutes to play.
The hosts looked inspired as they began to put real pressure on the Reds defence, on several occasions David Sesay and the rest of the Reds defence were required to but their bodies on the line to block or clear a cross.
Jordan Tunnicliffe was on hand to clear a cross which was destined to find Bowery at the back post. The resulting corner was cleared to the edge of the Crawley penalty area where Andy Cook lied in wait as he thumped an effort towards goal which drifted just wide of the post.
Three minutes into the additional added time the hosts equalised through Andy Cook. A long ball fell loose around 25 yards from goal as Cook looped an effort towards goal it took an unfortunate nick on the way through which put it past the reach of Glenn Morris.
A breathtaking encounter in Mansfield ended in a draw as the Reds saw out the final three minutes of extra-time to claim a point on the road after victory was snatched at the death.
Reds XI: Morris; Sesay, Tunnicliffe, Craig, Dallison, Tsaroulla (Watters 46’); Bulman (Matthews 74’), Hessenthaler, Powell; Nadesan (Frost 74’), Nichols (McNerney 90+2’)