Crawley exited the Emirates FA Cup this afternoon following a home defeat against Accrington Stanley. Shaun Whalley scored a hat trick, and Ethan Hamilton scored a wonder goal as the League One side progressed to the second round. Jake Hessenthaler was the lone goalscorer for Crawley.
It was a disastrous start for Crawley as Shaun Whalley put the visitors ahead within the first minute. Walley capitalised on a loose ball inside the box as Ellery Balcombe had palmed away an initial effort from Tommy Leigh. The ball fell kindly for Whalley, who had the easy task of finding the virtually empty net. The Crawley players were vastly unhappy with the referee as Leigh appeared to have been in an offside position.
Accrington’s lead didn’t last long as Jake Hessenthaler levelled the score in the 17th minute. The assist for this goal was provided by an Accrington player in a bizarre fashion. A Jack Powell corner was floated toward the far post and was headed back into the danger zone by an Accrington defender. Jake Hessenthaler said thank you very much and nodded the ball home at the far post.
Accrington were back ahead just moments later, and it was Whalley again. A simple ball was floated into the box and cleared two Crawley defenders to land perfectly on the head of Whalley, who glanced the ball home.
It was a really dull first half, and to make matters worse, Accrington extended their lead with a minute of normal time to go. A short corner routine was finished off excellently by Ethan Hamilton, who hit a belting effort with his left foot, which flew into the top corner.
Crawley had it all to do in the second half.
It was a much brighter start to the second half for the Reds, as Jayden Davis had an effort cleared off of the line by Mitch Clark. Davis made a lovely turn inside the box and whipped an effort towards goal. Clark was alert to head clear.
Despite the start, Accrington scored their fourth, and it was Whalley with his hat trick. Accrington’s number seven looked to be offside, but the linesman on the far side kept his flag down, and Whalley raced through on goal. Balcombe came rushing out but could not prevent the Accrington man from scoring his third of the afternoon.
Crawley had held the majority of the ball after Accrington’s fourth goal but were struggling to get a firm grip on the game and carve out any clear-cut chances.
Unfortunately, there was very little that Crawley could do as Accrington held on to their three-goal lead. Crawley exit the Emirates FA Cup in the first round but have a third-round Carabao Cup clash against Burnely to look forward to on Tuesday night.
REDS XI: Balcombe, Johnson (Oteh 46’), Craig, Ransom, Francomb, Davis (Chukwuemeka 80’), Powell (Lynch 46’), Fellows, Hessenthaler, Nadesan (Telford 57’), Nichols
Attendance: 2770 (149 away)