It was an upsetting defeat for Scott Lindsey’s men against Sutton United today at Gander Green Lane. Omar Bugiel struck a brace with the goals being scored minutes either side of the half-time break.
Lee Angol added a third shortly after Joel Lynch was dismissed for a second bookable offence.
The opening 15 minutes of the game were relatively quiet with a few half chances for the hosts, as Crawley stood strong and defended well for the opening phases of the game.
Lynch was a standout for the Reds early on, making some important interceptions to stop a tally of dangerous Sutton attacks. David Ajiboye and Matthew Dennis were deployed to get forward with electric pace and that they did.
It wasn’t until the 39th minute that the home side took the lead. Ajiboye crossed into the middle and found Bugiel who was left unmarked to head firmly past Addai.
Nadesan had Crawley’s first attempt on target minutes later after being played through by Telford. The number ten’s strike was straight into the gloves of the impressive Jack Rose.
Less than a minute into the second-half, Sutton doubled their lead, as Bugiel got his second. The Lebanese international was alert to scorpion flick a loose ball in the box past Addai and into the net after a poor defensive sequence from Crawley.
Addai denied Bugiel a hat-trick after 57 minutes, tipping a firm and low effort wide and out for a corner.
Substitute James Tilley showed lots of energy on his return from injury, and it was his hard work that led to a phenomenal double save from Rose who stopped close range efforts from both Telford and Mazeed.
Crawley went close again when Kellan Gordon picked out Nadesan in the middle who rose like a salmon only to head onto the roof of the net.
Lindsey’s men pushed to find a goal but the struggles were made even more difficult when Lynch was shown a second yellow card after lashing out. Reds were reduced to ten.
With a minute of normal time to play, substitute Lee Angol escaped the offside trap to head through on goal, slotting calmly past Addai and celebrating with the Sutton supporters in the terrace behind.
Crawley remain in the relegation zone with fellow strugglers Harrogate Town to face on Saturday at Broadfield Stadium.
Reds XI: Addai, Gordon, Lynch, Johnson (Fellows), Mason (Mazeed); Conroy, Mutch (Tilley), Powell (Roles), Oteh, Telford, Nadesan.
Attendance: 3253 (496 away)