Crawley came up with one of their best performances of the season to get a crucial win when it mattered against Tranmere.
It was a cruel start for Crawley. Corey Addai suffered an untimely slip to give Tranmere the opener, before they pulled level through some individual brilliance from Aramide Oteh. Jack Powell was in the right place to get Crawley’s second goal in a thrilling first-half.
Early on Crawley suffered the worst of luck, when Corey Addai lost his footing with what seemed to be a routine back pass. Harvey Saunders stole the ball and passed into an empty net to give Tranmere the lead against the run of play.
Aramide Oteh did well to tackle the ball into the path of Dom Telford, who stayed on his feet despite a challenge from behind by Tom Davies, before his attempted chipped effort was saved by Mateusz Hewelt.
Crawley had kept their cool after going behind, and it eventually paid off when the ball pinballed around on the edge of the box before being picked up by Oteh. The winger darted into the box and sat down a defender, before blasting a fierce strike beyond Hewelt to pull the Reds level.
Addai did well to tip Saunders’ low drive past the post from a narrow angle, while Harry Ransom had a good chance on his left foot, but his strike was headed over brilliantly by Davies.
Moments later the Reds were in front when they were queueing up to head in a recycled corner. Ransom rose high at the back post, and his downwards header deflected off of Jack Powell and in from close range as Crawley turned around the first-half deficit.
Dion Conroy and Nick Tsaroulla had a defensive mixup, but Logan Chalmers couldn’t punish the mistake, poking the ball well over.
Powell sent in a brilliant corner which found Ashley Nadesan unmarked at the back post, but his header was well saved by Hewelt.
On the break a low Tranmere cross was adjudged to have caught the hand of Mazeed Ogungbo, with the linesman signalling for a penalty. Kane Hemmings stepped up, and was denied by a brilliant save as Addai made amends for his early error in the perfect way. It was the last action in what could be a critical win for Crawley late in the season.
Reds XI: Addai, Gordon, Conroy, Tilley, Powell, Nadesan, Ransom, Telford, Gladwin, Oteh, Tsaroulla
Attendance: 2812 (221 away)