Crawley Town 3 Crewe Alexandra 0 - Inspired Morris sees Crawley seal comfortable victory
A fantastic performance from Reds 'keeper Glenn Morris ensured that Crawley Town picked up a 3-0 home win over Crewe Alexandra in League Two.
Crawley went ahead through a Josh Payne penalty before Crewe pinned the hosts, dominating possession and creating a hatful of chances throughout the game. However, Joe McNerney's header on 81 minutes and Dannie Bulman's late strike ensured the Reds picked up a first win in seven in all competitions.
The visitors had the first chance of the afternoon as Morris was forced into a good save to deny Shaun Miller's angled effort.
Cioffi's side took the lead on 15 minutes. A poor header from the Crewe defender trying to find Alex 'keeper Ben Garratt was chased down by Dom Poleon, and Garratt was slow to react, bringing down the Reds frontman for a penalty. Josh Payne stepped up and coolly put Crawley ahead.
SEE ALSO Watch manager Gabriele Cioffi react to Crawley's 3-0 win over Crewe Alexandra | Watch defender Joe McNerney react to Crawley Town's 3-0 victory over Crewe Alexandra | Crawley Town 3 Crewe Alexandra 0 - Player ratings
Four minutes later, Morris made the first of a series of superb saves. After a corner the ball fell to Charlie Kirk and his curling effort was palmed away by the Reds stopper.
On 21 minutes, Callum Ainley was brought down by Joe Maguire, resulting in a booking for the Crawley defender. The free kick came in and Morris made a terrific save low-down to deny a Crewe player and keep the hosts 1-0 up.
Morris then made a stunning save from point-blank range from Kirk on 32 minutes and was on hand to acrobatically keep out Jordan Jones' long range effort.
The visitors had one more chance seven minutes before the break as the Crawley defence was carved open too easily but Miller's volley was skewed just wide.
Just seconds after the second half restart, Luke Gambin's attempt from outside the box shot whistled over the bar.
Morris then got down low on 51 minutes to prevent a Crewe player from poking home, and moments later there were Crawley appeals for a penalty as Ashley Nathaniel-George was brought down in the box but the referee waved play on.
A brief lull in the action was broken on 66 minutes as a ball over the top of the Reds defence went over the head of Joe McNerney but Morris rushed out to deny Miller one-on-one to clear.
Crawley responded with a ball over the top their own. Garratt came charging out of his goal and was forced to head the ball away, but the ball hit Poleon only for it to go out for a goal kick.
The Red Devils had their first meaningful chance on 75 minutes. Payne found Gambin out on the right, and his rasping drive was parried out by Garratt for a corner. The subsequent corner was cleared only as far as Payne but his shot from outside of the box went high, wide, and handsome.
Against the run-of-play, the Reds doubled their advantage on 81 minutes. Panutche Camara's drive from outside the box was deflected off a Crewe defender for a corner. Maguire whipped in the corner and McNerney rose highest to make it 2-0 to Crawley Town.
The hosts thought they had a third but Poleon's tap-in, after Garratt had parried out Camara's attempt, was rightfully ruled out for offside with two minutes to go.
Captain Dannie Bulman then finally added a third deep into second half stoppage time to put the icing on the cake. Sub Lewis Young picked out Bulman and he finished well in the six-yard box to seal the win.
Crewe gave absolutely everything but came up against an inspired Glenn Morris, who once again showed how valuable he is to Gabriele Cioffi and Crawley Town.
Crawley: Morris, Maguire, McNerney, N’Gala, Francomb, Nathaniel-George (Grego-Cox 67'), Bulman, Payne, Gambin (Young 90'), Poleon (Allarakhia 90'), Camara. Unused: Doherty, Mersin, Sesay
Crewe: Garratt, Ng, Kirk (Finney 89'), Wintle, Pickering, Whelan, Jones, Nolan, Ainley (Nicholls 77'), Miller, Bowey (Porter 77'). Unused: Raynes,Richards, Hunt, O’Connor
Attendance: 1,734 (141 away support)
Man of the Match - Glenn Morris