Despite making a good mark on the game, a 2-1 defeat at Weston Road means Crawley Town’s Bristol Street Motors Trophy run is over.
Crawley Town came flying out of the gates as they faced off against League One high-flyers Peterborough United looking to secure a spot in the EFL Trophy quarter-final. The Reds made their intentions clear as they pressed high to win possession and play their game.
A thrilling three-goal first half, where both teams tried to play attacking football, picked up when Crawley took the lead despite being underdogs on the night.
After 23 minutes of neither team making a clear-cut opportunity for themselves, Nick Tsaroulla gave Crawley the lead with a left-footed strike from outside the Peterborough area after Klaidi Lolos teed him up with a tidy back-heel.
Unfortunately for Crawley, this goal woke up Posh winger Mason-Clark, and just five minutes later he slotted in Harrison Burrows to create Peterborough’s first real opportunity. The defender’s shot deflected from the leg of Tsaroulla and looped over Corey Addai in the Crawley net.
Mason-Clark continued to cause issues, and this time the former Barnet winger capitalised on a misplaced pass from the Crawley defence which made it all too easy for Mason-Clark to gather the ball and finish with aplomb.
After half time, Crawley continued their efforts to win the ball high up the pitch and cause problems for Peterborough. They did just that, Lolos and Campbell found themselves in good shooting positions early on in the first half, but both failed to convert.
Posh began to introduce some of their more regular starters throughout the second half, While it did peg Crawley back slightly, they still caused issues for the home side who sit 2nd in League One.
In the 77th minute Romoney Critchlow struck the bar from a half-volley in the box and Peterborough put sustained pressure on Crawley. The Reds managed to fare the storm and still they searched for an equaliser to help their quarter-final chances.
It looked like it might finally come for Crawley when Jack Roles found space in the box in the 90th minute, but Jed Steer managed to get down in time to save his low effort destined for the corner.
Substitute Joel Randall looked like he was going to wrap the game up for Posh in the 93rd minute, Mason-Clark pulled the ball back to him in the middle of the 18-yard box. Somehow the Peterborough man sent his shot wide.
Despite missing out on a place in the quarter-final against Wimbledon, Scott Lindsey’s team can travel back home with their heads high after proving they can go blow-for-blow with one of the top teams in the division above.
REDS XI: ADDAI, KELLY, MAGUIRE, LOLOS, ORSI, MUKENA, ADEYEMO (Khaleel, 74’), TSAROULLA (Roles, 74’), WILLIAMS (Ransom, 30’), CAMPBELL (Darcy, 68’), WRIGHT
BY JOE SOUTHAN