Cooper’s men continue their great form

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Crawley Down Gatwick continued their rich vein of form with another three points against fellow midtable side Lancing at a breezy Haven Centre.

Two first half goals by Oli Leslie were added to with a third goal by Sam Cane early in the second half.

Lancing’s Lewis Finney pulled a goal back on the hour before Tom Gannon made it 4-1 to Down.

Manager Paul Cooper made just one change from the previous game with Josh Martin replacing Blair Cooney.

Cane set up Dan Sullivan to test Lancing keeper Tyler D’Cruz, then followed Oli Leslie to free Michael Belli but he too suffered a similar fate, just after a Sullivan charge down the right set-up Belli, whose shot sailed well over.

A Mike Spence cross found Lee Thomas in space, but his finish was also wide of the mark.

Josh Martin’s 30-yard solo dash was followed by a shot which clipped the bar.

Lancing’s Leon Dramis having a couple of efforts, one wide and one taken by Anvil keeper Andy Greaves.

A Thomas cross found Sullivan on the opposite flank, whose shot toppled onto the bar and went over.

Crawley Down were finally rewarded on the stroke of half-time when Leslie was hauled down in the box, a penalty was given and duly dispatched as only Leslie can.

Any late supporters back for the second half would have missed the Anvil second reply, as from the first attack Cane found space to let Leslie free who in turn was able to dance round the ‘keeper for his and the Anvils’ second goal.

On 53 minutes Lancing keeper D’Cruz, who had taken a couple of knocks during the game, was forced to retire.

Just after this the hard-working Cane got his just rewards taking up a pass from Martin to slot pass the substitute keeper and give the Anvils a three-goal cushion.

Credit to the Lancers, as instead of sitting back they now started to make in-roads against a now strangely hesitant Anvil defence, with several shots having to be hacked clear or Greaves having to scramble the odd shot away.

Lancing got their just rewards when another infringement in the box led to a penalty call which was duly put away by flankman Lewis Finney, to cut the deficit to just two goals. 3-1.

This gave the Lancers the impetus to drive forward even more with Dramis bringing out the best in Greaves with a couple of shots just drifting past the near upright.

But the Anvils would have the final word, when on 88 minutes Tom Gannon, who had just replaced Belli, was able to fire home goal number four, and with it three more precious points.

Crawley Down Gatwick: Greaves, Martin, Barton (Peauroux), Day, Pelling, Spence, Sullivan, Belli (Gannon), Cane, Leslie (Mici), Thomas

Attendance: 72

Man of the Match: Josh Martin