Scott Lindsey's side were defeated at high-flying Stockport County this evening. A first-half wonder strike from Jack Powell was quickly cancelled out by Stockport striker Kyle Wootton in the 12th minute. Crawley's injury woes continued as both Teddy Jenks and Ben Gladwin were forced off with injury, the latter coming moments before Wootton scored the winning goal at Edgeley Park.
The Red Devils created the first chance of the match as Teddy Jenks won his side a free-kick in a hazardous area after he made an alert interception from a Stockport pass. Jack Powell stood over the ball and planted a world-class effort into the top corner. Ben Hinchliffe in the Stockport goal did not stand a chance at reaching the ball, which nestled into the back of the net.
Unfortunately, Crawley's lead lasted only a matter of minutes. The Stockport attack capitalised on a defensive mishap from the Reds, which resulted in Isaac Olaofe squaring the ball to Kyle Wootton, who had the simple task of placing the ball into the back of the net to level the game up in the 12th minute.
Corey Addai was called into action shortly after to deny Olaofe from point-blank range. A rogue deflection from a clearance saw the ball fall back at the feet of the Stockport man, and he had only Addai to beat. Corey was alert to the danger and was quick off his line to smother the effort.
Unfortunately for Crawley, Jenks, who was having a superb game, was forced off with an injury just before the half-time break. The midfielder signalled to the Crawley bench that he was in a significant amount of pain after he won a vital 50/50 challenge to deny Stockport a clear goalscoring opportunity. Aramide Oteh was introduced to the action, which resulted in captain Ben Gladwin shifting further back to cover the position that Jenks was in and allowing Oteh to play the number 10 role.
It was a decent game at Edgeley Park, but the half-time whistle soon sounded to draw the first-half action to a close. Crawley had chances to take the lead, as did the home side, so 1-1 felt like a fair scoreline at the break.
Crawley's injury woes continued at the start of the second half, as Ben Gladwin was forced off in the 48th minute. Dion Conroy shifted up to an unfamiliar midfield position to allow Harry Ransom to slot in at centre-back.
Things went from bad to worse for Crawley moments later as Stockport took the lead at Edgeley Park. A ball was whipped into the Reds' penalty area, where Wootton beat Addai to the ball to score his and his side's second goal of the evening.
The Reds almost found a way back into the game through Kellan Gordon a few moments later. Gordon made the chance out of nothing as he shifted his body onto his weaker left foot to make space for a shot. Hinchliffe may have got a touch on the effort that struck the post.
The game hit a lull at around 70 minutes as the home side looked comfortable in possession while Scott Lindsey's side were waiting for the right opportunity to try and catch the home side out on the break, although time was running out.
Unfortunately, time did run out for Crawley, and Scott Lindsey's side succumbed to a 2-1 away defeat at Edgeley Park. A trip to table-topping Leyton Orient was to follow for Crawley on Saturday, who now sat joint 23rd in the table.