Crawley 3 Orient 2: Reds in amazing comeback to gain first home win

Crawley Town V Accrington Stanley (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150927-230154008
Crawley Town V Accrington Stanley (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150927-230154008

Crawley Town made a surprise fightback after going behind to clinch their first home win of the season.

The visitors took an early lead after only eight minuites through Jay Simpson and he nearly made it 2-0 when put a great chance wide with only the keeper to beat.

As the amazing spell continued, Reds were awarded a penalty and Orient’s Alan Dunne was sent-off for a foul on Murphy.”

But Reds turned it around brilliantly with goals by Roarie Deacon, Mitch Hancox and Simon Walton from the penalty spot to take an unexpected 3-1 lead into half-time.

Orient took the lead in the eighth minute when Ollie Palmer headed against the post, the ball was parried by Callum Preston but only as far as Jay Simpson who scored from short-range.

The visitors should have been 2-0 up after 20 minutes when Simpson was through with only ‘keeper Preston to beat but he put his shot wide.

Crawley made three changes to the side which lost to Southend on tuesday night in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, with Rhys Murphy, Matt Harrold and Lewis Young starting.

Luke Rooney and Lee Barnard dropped to the bench while Liam Donnelly was awat on international duty for Northern Ireland Under-21s.

The game saw a first League start for Crawley goalkeeper Callum Preston as regular No1 Freddie Woodman was away on international duty for England Under-19s.

The game took a sudden turnaround when having not scored at home for six home games in a row, they managed to score three goals in the space of 18 minutes.

Roarie Deacon made it 1-1 on 27 minutes when he raced in and scored off the post.

Simpson got the ball in the net for Orient moments later from a Palmer header, but it was ruled to be offside.

Mitch Hancox gave Reds the lead on 38 minutes when he came in from the right to meet a half-cleared corner and blasted the ball into the bottom right corner.

As the amazing spell continued, Reds were awarded a penalty and Orient’s Alan Dunne was sent-off for a foul on Murphy.

Crawley made it 3-1 from the ensuing spot-kick put away by Simon Walton who struck to the right while keeper Alex Cisak moved the other way.

Sammy Moore almost set-up a goal at the other end but Palmer failed to connect with the header.

Just before the break Hancox set up a cross for Matt Harrold in a dangerous position but he lifted the ball over the bar.

The second half was never going to produce as much action as the first with Crawley in the driving seat and playing against ten men.

Murphy then made ground with a run down the right before crossing to Harrold who got a solid header on target, forcing a good save from Cisak.

Preston denied a good attempt by Bradley Pritchard with a fine save.

Orient got back into the game to make it 3-2 with nine minutes to go when substitute Marquis took advantage of a slip by Sonny Bradley and crossed for Simpson who then netted into the bottom corner.

Reds brought on Jon Ashton for Joe McNerney, then Gavin Tomlin came on for his first touches in a league game, while Shamir Fenelon replaced Deacon and Murphy for the last few minutes.

Reds then had to see-out an agonising six minutes of injury-time before they could be sure of a well-earned home victory.

In the dying moments Fenelon showed his pace to brake clear and fired powerfully on target only to be denied by a fine save by Cisak.

REDS: Preston, Walton, McNerney (Ashton 64), Bradley, Edwards, Smith, Young, Harrold, Deacon (Tomlin 69), Hancox, Murphy (Fenelon 81)

SUBS: Scales, Barnard, Rooney, Jenkins

ORIENT: Cisak, Clohessy, Essam, Dunne, Cox (Turgott 60), Palmer (Marquis 46), Payne (Kashket 87), Moore, Pritchard, Chicksen, Simpson.

UNUSED SUBS: Shaw, James, Grainger, Moncur

REFEREE: Kevin Wright (Cambridgeshire)

ATTENDANCE: 2,515 (away 826)

MAN OF THE MATCH: Gwion Edwards

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