Crawley Town 4-1 Scunthorpe United - Late rally sees Reds win FA Cup tie in style

Reece Grego-Cox scored a brace as Crawley secured their place in the second round of the FA Cup for the first time since 2013. Photo: Steve Robards
Reece Grego-Cox scored a brace as Crawley secured their place in the second round of the FA Cup for the first time since 2013. Photo: Steve Robards

Crawley Town progressed into the second-round of the FA Cup for the first time since 2013 after a Reece Grego-Cox brace helped them to a 4-1 win over fellow League Two side Scunthorpe United.

After an underwhelming, scrappy first half hour, Crawley, who had failed to progress past the first round of the competition five years in a row, took control of the game and broke the deadlock thanks to Ashley Nadesan's first home goal for the club.

Scunthorpe, who barely had an effort on goal in the first-half, improved after the break and caused more problems for Reds' backline.

The visitors did find a leveller on the 79th minute mark, with Ryan Colclough turning in at the back post.

Crawley responded brilliantly, though, and Reece Grego-Cox superbly fired the hosts back in front from 25 yards out, just three minutes later.

Scunthorpe pushed to level the scoring once more, and were boosted by six minutes additional time, but it was Crawley who sealed the game when substitute Ashley Nathaniel-George finished coolly after a fine run by Panutche Camara.

Grego-Cox added the icing on the cake a minute later, by showing real composure to place the ball past Jake Eastwood after being found by Nathan Ferguson.

First home goal for Nadesan gives Crawley the edge in first-half

Head coach Cioffi made two changes to the side which was beaten 2-1 at Cambridge in the league last week, with Nadesan coming in for Nathaniel-George while David Sesay replaced the injured Josh Doherty. Former Red striker Jamie Proctor started for the Iron.

Scunthorpe, who sit just two points above the bottom of League Two, went into the game on the back of two consecutive draws, and having won just two of their previous ten games in all competitions.

Crawley, though, were also out of form going into the tie, having lost three games in a row and were without a win in five — if you're not counting the 5-0 win over East Preston in the Sussex Senior Cup on Monday night.

The first half an hour wasn't an easy watch, with neither side able to carve out many goal-scoring opportunities. Grego-Cox took a couple of tame shots on goal and full-back David Sesay went close after a mazy run.

Tom Dallison stood out in defence, with a couple of fine tackles to snuff out any threat from Scunthorpe and the visitors barely had a shot on goal in the first half. However, they did come close with their first chance on the 20th minute mark when Junior Brown's stinging effort, from the edge of the area, was well saved by Glenn Morris.

Crawley took control from then on and the returning Nadesan was the man to break the deadlock on the 35th minute, heading home from close range, after Nathan Ferguson drew a good save from Eastwood.

Crawley almost added a second within minutes of the opener, when Ferguson powered past his man, before firing inches wide. Sesay then went close for the second time in the game after his initial shot was spilled by Eastwood.

Reds rally to win in style

Scunthorpe improved in the second-half and went close just four minutes after the restart when former Crawley striker Proctor put a header over the bar.

The Iron were so nearly level on the 58th minute mark after a free-kick deflected off the wall into the path of Ryan Colclough but the wide man couldn't squeeze it past Morris.

Up the other end, Ferguson pulled his shot wide after great hold up play from Nadesan, who was then replaced by Nathaniel-George, as Gabriele Cioffi tried something different to get a second goal.

With Reds pushing for a game-clinching goal, Panutche Camara picked out Jordan Tunnicliffe, who controlled well and held off his man before Eastwood caught his volley.

Eastwood came to Scunthorpe's rescue again, three times in fact, brilliantly keeping out efforts by Nathaniel-George and Bez Lubala.

Crawley were made to pay for those missed chances, as the visitors found a leveller with ten minutes to go. Colclough was the man to score, turning in at the back post after a ball across the box from a free-kick.

Reds responded superbly and Grego-Cox rifled home a 25-yard effort into the corner to restore Crawley's lead just three minutes after conceding.

Scunthorpe almost levelled matters for the second time after Alex Gilliead was played clean through on goal. He looked destined to score but his rushed effort sailed way over the bar. It was a moment that proved to be derisive in a game of fine margins.

Crawley made the most of their good fortune, and benefited themselves from the six minutes injury time, by scoring twice in a late rally.

Nathaniel-George scored his customary goal off the bench to seal the game, after good work by Camara, before Grego-Cox grabbed his second to send Reds' fans wild — and many of Scunthorpe's out of the stadium.

Crawley Town: Morris, Young, Tunnicliffe, Dallison, Sesay, Bulman, Grego-Cox, Camara, Ferguson, Lubala, Nadesan (Nathaniel-George 70)

Unused subs: McNerney, Bloomfield, Allarakhia, Sendles-White, Boadu, Luyambula

Scunthorpe United: Eastwood, Perch, Butler, McArdle, Brown, Gilliead, Lund, Songo'o (Novak 65), Colclough, van Veen, Proctor (Eisa 76)

Unused subs: Watson, Clarke, Dales, Bedeau, McAtee

Attendance: 1,706 (192 away)