It was a fantastic spectacle at The People’s Pension Stadium in a game where the Reds made eleven changes from the 6-5 win over Torquay United.
Brian Galach scored both the goals in a fantastic overall performance from the Polish striker.
Crawley started the brighter of the two sides, Ricardo German used his strength brilliantly to hold off an Ipswich defender and turn towards goal. German was tussling all the way to the goal where he eventually got his shot off but the pressure from the Ipswich defence was enough to put the striker off.
The Reds continued pressuring the Tractor Boys and soon found themselves ahead in the 17th minute. Tarryn Allarakhia held the ball well in midfield before playing a neat one-two with Sam Ashford. Ashford found himself with plenty of room on the left-wing which allowed him to pick out Brian Galach with a pinpoint cross, the Polish striker cleverly directed his header beyond David Cornell in the Ipswich net.
Galach almost had the opportunity to grab a second just minutes later. Sam Ashford again the provider as he played a neat through ball to Galach but the pass had a little too much power as Cornell was able to come out and clear the danger.
Crawley continued to press the visitors and should have been 2-0 up just before the half-hour. A breakaway counter-attack saw Allarakhia fed through by Nathan Ferguson, Allarakhia unselfishly attempted to play the extra ball to German when the winger had a clear shot on goal himself. Tarryn’s pass lacked accuracy and rolled out for a goal kick.
The Reds continued to dominate the first half of play with the visitors failing to record a shot on target. Crawley continued to look dangerous on the counter-attack as a sensible period of play saw it stay 1-0 until half time.
The Reds made one change at the interval, Zaid Al-Hussaini replaced Ricardo German which saw Sam Ashford move upfront and Al-Hussaini take his place on the wing.
The visitors came out to the second half with renewed spirit as the looked to cause Crawley some trouble in the opening stages.
A flurry of corners inside the opening five minutes came to no avail as the Reds defence cleared with relative ease each time. Tom Dallison was then on hand to clear a dangerous cross from Keanen Bennetts who looked lively on the left side.
Despite the visitor’s early pressure, the Reds doubled their lead in the 55th minute. Nathan Ferguson set Brian Galach through on goal as the striker took the ball in his stride and upon entering the Ipswich penalty area, fired a delightful strike into the far corner, well past the reach of Cornell.
Nicholas Tsaroulla almost made an instant impact on his Reds debut after coming on, the young Cypriot used great technique to beat his man and fire at goal but his shot was well blocked by an Ipswich defender.
The visitors had a strong claim for a penalty just over ten minutes from time. Bennetts again looked dangerous on the left and as he delivered a cross into the box the ball appeared to strike the arm of Manny Adebowale but the referee Sam Purkiss saw no wrongdoing and signalled for a corner.
Crawley held on to claim all three points in the final group game of the Papa John’s Trophy, despite three points the Reds bow out of the competition.
Reds: Nelson, Dallison, Adebowale, McNerney ©, Sesay; Ferguson (Burnett 62’), Khaleel, Allarakhia (Tsaroulla 54’) Ashford; Galach, German (Al-Hussaini 46’).