Wrexham became the first side other than Crawley to win at the Broadfield Stadium since August 19, as they edged an end-to-end match 1-0 in surprisingly pleasant October weather.
It was a cagey start to the affair with chances for both sides, but Ronan Darcy was the only Crawley player to truly go close in the opening exchanges. He flashed his effort across goal, but unfortunately, it arrowed just wide of the target.
Elliott Lee then went agonisingly close to giving Wrexham the advantage, but he saw his effort roll inches past the left-hand post.
With just under a quarter of an hour gone, Ollie Palmer then gave Wrexham the lead with a cheeky flicked finish, which he took first-time and watched loop over Corey Addai’s head before it nestled into the back of the net.
Crawley almost replied instantly, but neither Danilo Orsi nor Adam Campbell could make the most of their opportunities, with the latter seeing his shot graze the crossbar.
Crawley Town captain, Ben Gladwin, went off injured with just under half an hour played and was replaced by striker Klaidi Lolos as the Reds searched for a way back into the game.
Danilo Orsi went close again and looked set to convert Will Wright’s great cross, but the striker saw his shot fly over the bar from close range.
Paul Mullin then had an excellent chance to double Wrexham’s lead, and but for an incredible, athletic double save by Addai in the Crawley net, he would have done just that. The Crawley ‘keeper first sprang to his left to deny the opposition captain, before picking himself up off the floor to do the exact same just seconds later, this time punching the ball clear too.
The second half got off to a fast start as Elliot Lee landed a heavy challenge on Crawley’s Lolos. The hosts enjoyed the better of the action and even had a couple of chances to level the scores prior to the clock hitting 50 minutes. Summer signing Adam Campbell went closest, but his guided effort dipped moments too late, going just over the bar and landing in front of the vociferous Crawley fans.
On the hour mark, Wrexham replaced Jacob Mendy with Andy Cannon, but the substitute lasted just six minutes on the field – the 27-year-old sent off for a horrible challenge on Campbell as Crawley looked to counter-attack.
Despite the man disadvantage, Wrexham remained competitive throughout the game and made it hard for Crawley to fashion anything of note. Will Wright went close to an equaliser with a free-kick, but unfortunately, it just wasn’t Crawley’s afternoon.
Attention in the camp now turns to Tuesday’s EFL Trophy clash with Sutton United before we return to league action with a fixture against Crewe Alexandra here in two weeks time.
REDS XI: Addai, Tsaroulla, Wright, Conroy, Maguire, Darcy (Gordon 90'), Williams, Henry, Campbell (Forster 78'), Gladwin (Lolos 29'), Orsi
Attendance: 5572 (1334 away)