Crawley won their third successive league game on the bounce courtesy of a James Tilley wonder-strike in the 91st minute. The game looked poised to end 0-0 until substitute James Tilley powered a shot past Marek Stech in the dying stages.
Both sides started the game well and created a chance a piece in the opening five minutes. Ashley Nadesan was sent through by Tom Nichols in typical fashion, James Perch managed to squeeze a foot in to intercept. Down the other end, Jamie Reid came close with an acrobatic effort, forcing a save from Glenn Morris.
Nichols almost gave the Reds the lead as he struck the bar following a corner. Powell’s floated delivery found Nichols on the penalty spot, the striker's effort looped onto the crossbar as Marek Stech was quick to claim the loose ball.
Jamie Reid then went close again for Mansfield, the striker inches away from putting his side ahead. Stephen Quinn delivered a pinpoint ball into the Reds penalty area, Reid rose above the Crawley defence and headed just wide.
Hesketh and Nichols linked up on the edge of the area, resulting in a half-chance for the striker. Hesketh worked his way through several defenders before laying back to Nichols as Stech was forced into a routine save from Tom’s looping effort.
Both sides looked content with the 0-0 scoreline at half-time, Jamie Reid had the best chance of the fairly eventless opening 45 minutes.
Crawley went agonisingly close to taking the lead through Nichols in the 57th minute. Jordan Maguire-Drew and Archie Davies linked up brilliantly on the wing as Davies drilled a low cross in towards Nichols, the striker’s powerful effort was palmed away by Stech.
The Reds were starting to get a firm grip on the second half as Nichols again came close after good work from Nadesan. Powell’s lofted ball found Nadesan, who nodded past his man and cut the ball back towards his strike partner, Nichols effort not troubling Stech on this occasion.
Mansfield earned themselves a free-kick right on the edge of the Crawley penalty area as they looked to steal the lead against the run of play. Tyrese Sinclair stood over the ball as he fired towards Morris’ goal, the Reds wall doing their job by blocking the effort.
Just as the game looked out of reach for both sides, James Tilley popped up with an absolute wonder goal to surely give the Reds all three points. The substitute shrugged off his man on the wing before firing a venomous half volley past Stech.
Crawley snatched all three points in a game that looked set to end 0-0, James Tilley’s late strike moving the Reds up the table to tenth position.
REDS XI: Morris, Francomb, McNerney, Tunnicliffe, Davies, Powell, Hessenthaler, Hesketh (Tilley 82’), Maguire-Drew (J.Wright 76’), Nadesan, Nichols