Crawley fell to defeat at home for the first time in five games as Port Vale ran out 3-1 winners on the day. Tom Conlon opened the scoring before Nadesan equalised for the Reds on the stroke of half time. Second-half goals from Nathan Smith and David Worrall sealed the deal for the Valiants.
The visitors created the first clear cut chance of the game as Theo Robinson forced a great save from Glenn Morris. Emmanuel Oyeleke robbed Jack Powell in the middle before sliding in Robinson, who was one on one with Morris. Glenn was able to outstretch a hand to bat away Robinson’s effort.
David Sesay then fired just wide on his return to the starting eleven before Devante Rodney forced another save from Morris with his cross-cum-shot.
The visitors continued to look dangerous and did take the lead through Tom Conlon. The Reds failed to clear a Vale cross beyond the edge of the area as Conlon sent a venomous first-time strike beyond the reach of Morris to give the visitors a 1-0 advantage.
The Reds looked to respond instantly as James Tilley and Sesay linked up well on the left-wing. Tilley’s eventual delivery was cleared at the first attempt before Francomb volleyed just wide on the rebound.
Crawley began to grow into the fixture as Tilley then went close following a Francomb cross. George linked up well with Maguire-Drew before sweeping a ball into the Vale penalty area, Tilley rose highest but failed to direct his header goalwards.
The Reds continued to show promise going forward and found an equaliser on the 44th minute through Ashley Nadesan. Jack Powell picked the ball up wide on the left wing before curling a cross into the box, Nadesan flicked on beyond the reach of Brown to level the scoring.
Crawley started the second half well, but it was the visitors who nearly regained the lead. David Worrall delivered towards the far post where Robinson lied in wait. Robinson somehow directed a header goalwards which lobbed Glenn Morris but thankfully met with the crossbar and not the back of the net.
Just moments later Vale did have the lead as Nathan Smith smashed home from a corner. Very similar fashion to the first goal as Crawley failed to clear their lines from a set-piece, Jack Powell missed his clearance as Smith came in to smash into the bottom corner.
Things almost went from bad to worse for Crawley as substitute Nicholas Tsaroulla was forced to clear off of the line. Another Vale corner was launched into the box as Leon Legge rose highest and nodded towards the far post, Tsaroulla smashing away.
It did get worse for the Reds as Worrall tapped into an empty net after McNerney and Morris failed to clear on the edge of the area. Morris reached the edge of his area in the search to claim as McNerney headed over the on-rushing goalkeeper, Worrall was quick to swoop in and tap home.
Crawley were unable to fight back and succumbed to their second league defeat in as many games. The Reds make the long trip to Carlisle on Tuesday night before travelling to Scunthorpe on Good Friday.
REDS XI: Morris, Francomb, McNerney, Craig, Sesay (Matthews 70’), Powell, Hessenthaler, Maguire-Drew (Allarakhia 66’), Tilley (Tsaroulla 69’), Nadesan, Nichols