The Reds lost out on the final day of the season to a Bolton Wanderers side that secured promotion to League One with a 0-3 victory at The People’s Pension Stadium. Antoni Sarcevic and Dapo Afolayan scored within the opening 30 minutes before Captain George Francomb was shown red after a second bookable offence was recorded by the referee. Eoin Doyle then added a third early into the second half which sealed victory for the Wanderers. Lloyd Isgrove latched onto a loose ball to add a fourth as Davide Rodari later scored his first goal for the Reds to add a consolation.
Five minutes into the game Crawley sprung into action combining well in midfield with Francomb and Tsaroulla from the left as the ball was lofted over towards the area before being cleared away. Possession continued as the Reds aimed to play Bolton at their own game but the visitors countered quickly as arms were immediately raised for an offside that was not given before Antoni Sarcevic cut inside and fired past Morris to open the scoring.
Dapo Afolayan was allowed to drive forward with too much space as Glenn Morris spread himself to smother the effort before the ball ended up going out of touch for a goal-kick. Crawley then stormed forward with Davies who found Wright as the ball was spread out to Nick Tsaroulla whose cross was headed frantically behind for a corner.
Tsaroulla again picked up the ball before twisting and turning past his marker, feeding the ball over to Powell in the area who took a touch before firing over narrowly. But once again possession changed hands quickly and Gethin Jones picked out Afolayan who was in acres of space to tap in and double Bolton’s lead.
Moments later, George Francomb was shown a sudden red after a second bookable offence was recorded by the referee as the Captain slid in late to try and win back possession.
Only minutes after the half-time break, Wanderers hit three when club top goal scorer Eoin Doyle found the corner of the net with a composed, curling effort after looking relatively quiet in the first half, again it was great work from West Ham loanee Afolayan which led to the goal before Sarcevic could tee Doyle up.
Bolton continued to test the Reds defence but substitute Davide Rodari made a real impact up front for Crawley. Rodari looked to get in behind the white defence many times and on one occasion was brought down unfairly without the reward of a penalty kick.
Jack Powell’s loose pass towards Tony Craig on 78 minutes was intercepted sharply by Lloyd Isgrove who took another touch before adding his name to the scoresheet with a strike into the top corner from close range.
Later substitute Tyler Frost made a fantastic impact after fainting past both Santos and Baptiste and then teeing up Rodari who calmly finished to score his first goal for the Reds.
Crawley XI: Morris; McNerney (Rodari 46’), Craig, Tunnicliffe; Davies (Sesay 67’), Powell, Francomb, Hessenthaler; Tsaroulla; J. Wright, Nadesan (Frost 78’).
Referee: Bobby Madley