Crawley Town 2 Mansfield Town 2: Reds stage resounding fightback to earn thrilling draw

Jordan Roberts scored Crawley Town's second goal against Mansfield Town
Jordan Roberts scored Crawley Town's second goal against Mansfield Town

Crawley Town finished the season with a thrilling 2-2 draw against play-off-chasing Mansfield Town.

The game provided plenty of goals and action while the crowd helped generate a superb atmosphere to round off a disappointing season with some excitement.

Among the visitors at the Checkatrade Stadium were the club's Turkish owner Ziya Eren and former Reds manager Steve Evans who is now in charge of Mansfield.

The Stags looked sharper out of the blocks and soon built themselves a 2-0 lead through goals by Danny Rose and Ben Whiteman.

Crawley recovered to 2-2 thanks to goals either side of half-time by Dean Cox and Jordan Roberts.

Reds striker Matt Harrold had been put in charge of the team for the final game of the season following the departure of former head coach Dermot Drummy on Thursday.

He named himself on the bench and made just one change from the side which lost 2-0 at Cambridge last Saturday as Jordan Roberts came in for Josh Payne.

Reds had the first taste of the action as James Collins combined with Enzio Boldewijn to set-up Dean Cox for a shot which was blocked by Mansfield's Mal Benning.

The Stags had a penalty appeal turned down after Mark Connolly brought down captain Krystian Pearce in the area.

Mansfield took the lead two minutes later when Joel Byrom supplied Rose who tucked the ball under keeper Glenn Morris from 14 yards.

Whiteman then went close with a header over the bar from eight yards.

The visitors soon extended their lead when Whiteman went on a run from the halfway line and struck a shot from 22 yards which went in off the post.

As Mansfield look to put the game to bed, Morris made a great save to deny Matt Green after good work by Alfie Potter.

Cox brought Crawley back into the game with a great finish, chesting down Andre Blackman's cross before volleying the ball into the net.

Crawley went close to drawing level when Enzio Boldewijn dribbled into the area and crossed but no-one could connect with the ball.

Reds equalised in incredible style as a short corner was played to Jordan Roberts and he fired a superb shot into the net with his left foot from over 20 yards.

Crawley's fans had been in good cheer throughout but really came into their own after Reds' second goal, creating a great atmosphere.

This seemed to spur their players on as Reds twice went close to taking the lead when James Collins put a ball across the goal, with no-one connecting.

Jimmy Smith then saw his header cleared off the line from Cox's fine cross.

James Collins nearly gave them the lead when he raced into the area and held off a challenge in the area from Rhys Bennett, shot but was denied by keeper Jake Kean.

In a thrilling final 20 minutes George Taft shot wide from close-range for the Stags and Crawley's James Collins fired agonisingly against the post.

Harrold brought himself on in injury-time to tremendous applause from the crowd, but there there was not enough time to grab what would have been a fairytale winner as the game ended all-square.

REDS: Morris, Young, Connolly (Yorwerth 69), Boldewijn, Smith (capt), Roberts, Blackman, J.Collins, McNerney, Djalo (Harrold 90), Cox (Clifford 88)
Unused subs: Mersin, Bawling, Tajbakhsh, Lelan

MANSFIELD: Kean, Bennett, Benning, Pearce (capt), Potter (Coulthirst 66), Green, White (Taft 69), MacDonald, Byrom, Whiteman, Rose (Hamilton 74)
Unused subs: Jensen, Lee Collins, McGuire, Lewis Collins
REFEREE: Carl Boyeson
ATTENDANCE: 2,635 (387 away)
MAN OF THE MATCH: Jordan Roberts