CRAWLEY TOWN 2, EASTBOURNE BOROUGH 3
Goals from Gyliano van Velzen and Ricardo German weren’t enough as Reds exited the Sussex Senior Cup against National League South Eastbourne Borough at Horsham's Camping World Stadium.
German’s goal made it 3-2 with 18 minutes to go and Reds pushed forward in the closing stages in search of an equaliser but it wouldn’t come.
Reece Grego-Cox and Joe McNerney both returned after injury in a strong Crawley line-up but they started poorly and Eastbourne punished them in the seventh minute. Reds conceded possession poorly and Jack Skinner ran clear and although his lob came off the bar, it fell for former Hull City striker to tap the ball into an empty net.
Jones had to be alert to clear under pressure after McNerney’s back pass fell just short but Reds gradually began to play with some rhythm and they levelled in the 26th minute. David Sesay’s shot was too powerful for Borough keeper Franco Ravizzoli and he spilled it into the path of van Velzen who made it 1-1 from close in.
Crawley almost took the lead just before the break when Jamie Sendles-White rose highest from a corner but Ravizzoli did excellently to get down low and make an important save.
Eastbourne came flying out of the blocks after the break and had a two-goal cushion ten minutes into the second half. Luer grabbed his second of the game after a delightful through ball by Kane Wills meant he was one on one with Jones and despite Jones getting what seemed a strong enough hand to his shot, the ball trickled into the bottom corner.
Borough’s third came in the 55th minute when Jones failed to deal with a cross and Jack Skinner nodded home to make it 3-1.
Reds struggled to get back into the tie but were given a lifeline when Ravizzoli was beaten to the ball by German who was pulled down as he tried to round the keeper. German’s penalty was saved, but he reacted quickest to score from the rebound.
The goal seemed to inspire Reds who looked certain to get a late equaliser. Mason Bloomfield had a late chance but his header from van Velzen’s excellent cross and the home side pushed strongly but Eastbourne defended well to book their place in the semi-finals.
Reds: Jones, Dacres-Cogley (Allarakhia 45), McNerney (Tunnicliffe 45), Sendles-White, Sesay, Francomb, van Velzen, Powell, Nathaniel-George, Grego-Cox (Bloomfield 62), German.