Crawley claimed a brilliant three points at The People’s Pension Stadium this afternoon with a 3-1 victory over Swindon Town. Kwesi Appiah put Crawley ahead with his second in as many games. Josh Davison equalised for the visitors in the 50th minute as Swindon looked to take control of the tie. The Reds stood firm, and late goals from Tom Nichols and Isaac Hutchinson sealed the deal for Crawley.
The visitors started the game on the front foot, and Wales international Jonny Williams almost gave his side the lead inside the opening five minutes. The Robins’ top goalscorer Harry McKirdy fired a ball into the box for Jack Payne to control. The Swindon winger did so brilliantly as he chested the ball down to Willaims, who dragged his effort wide of the target.
Crawley began to slowly build into the game and forced a great save from Jojo Wollacott in the 25th minute. Jack Payne fired a ball over the top of the Swindon defence for Ashley Nadesan to latch on to. The striker took the ball down well and fired a shot at goal, but Wollacott reacted well and palmed away to safety.
Crawley’s persistence soon paid off as Kwesi Appiah found the net just moments later. The striker scored his second in as many games with a pin-point header from inside the box. James Tilley delivered an inch-perfect ball into the danger area, which landed straight on the head of Appiah, who nodded beyond a helpless Wollacott.
Crawley took control for the remainder of the half and began the search for a second goal to calm the nerves. The half-time whistle soon came, leaving Swindon with it all to do in the second half.
Swindon got off to the perfect start in the second half as Josh Davison equalised for the Robins in the 50th minute. A simple pass reached the striker, who wasted no time slotting the ball beyond Morris in front of a strong away following.
Swindon began to really turn up the pressure and forced two courageous pieces of defending from the Crawley back line. George Francomb flew in with a brilliant challenge to divert a Davison strike over the bar before Ludwig Francillette spectacularly cleared the ball off of the line.
Despite some serious pressure from the visitors, Crawley re-took the lead courtesy of Tom Nichols. Isaac Hutchinson linked up brilliantly with Appiah on the edge of the box, allowing the midfielder space for a shot. Hutchinson struck his shot well as a slight deflection forced Wollacott into a fine save to tip on to the crossbar, but Nichols was there to nod into an empty net and restore the Reds’ lead.
Archie Davies replaced James Tilley in the 72nd minute, and within the first five minutes of him coming on, the full-back made two major contributions to the game. Davies had a pivotal part to play in Crawley’s second goal, and then kept the scores level with an amazing goal-line clearance.
Just as Swindon looked to be mounting on some serious attacks in search of an equaliser, Isaac Hutchinson sealed the deal for Crawley. The Reds turned defence into attack within a blink of an eye as Isaac Hutchinson drove forward with the ball. The substitute did not stop running and eventually found the back of the net with a low driven strike to score his first Crawley goal.
Crawley were brilliant all afternoon and deserved all three points at The People’s Pension Stadium.
REDS XI: Morris, Francomb, Francillette, Hessenthaler, Tilley (72’), Payne, Powell (Hutchinson 12’), Ferry, Nichols, Appiah, Nadesan (Marshall 82’)
Attendance: 2977 (1041 away)