Goals from James Collins and Enzio Boldewijn saw Crawley Town end their three-game losing run at home to an in-form Luton Town this afternoon.
The Hatters came into the game in third place, but Collins’ third goal of the season proved enough to get Reds back on the way to winning ways.
The home side’s counter-attacking first half paid off as he nodded them ahead just before the break, while the Hatters, despite having plenty of territory had failed to test debutant Glenn Morris.
It was more of a solid defensive display for the hosts after the break, who, looked the more likely to extend their lead than concede.
Luton did have the ball in the net on the stroke of full-time, but it was ruled out and Enzio Boldewijn made the points safe at the other end late on.
Reds boss Dermot Drummy hinted last week that Morris maybe handed his chance in between the sticks and that rung true with Mitchell Beeney not included and Yusuf Mersin on the bench.
That was one of two changes as last-minute international clearance for Kaby Djalo arrived and he came in for the injured Josh Payne, while Andre Blackman replaced Chris Arthur at left-back.
On five minutes, a long Luton ball forwards towards Isacc Vassell was not dealt with by Joe McNerney, who got his back header wrong, but the striker fired wide.
Cameron McGeehan then took one down and tried his luck from range, before, at the other end, Billy Clifford slid Collins through one on one, but Christian Walton saved with his legs and blocked the follow-up.
On 20 minutes, a nice exchange between Lewis Young, Jason Banton and Clifford worked an opening for the latter, but it’s was a tame effort that was easily collected by Walton.
Mark Connolly was proving his worth at the back for Reds after Andre Blackman failed to clear a routine move, but the centre-back cleared away a ball across the box with Morris out of position.
With Reds looking shaky at the back, Josh McQuiod broke the defensive line and pulled across for an unmarked Jordan Cook, but he dragged a good chance wide on the half-hour mark.
The home side had played much of the first half on the counter-attack and it proved fruitful as they led two minutes before the break.
A Blackman ball put Boldewijn away on the right and he cut back for Young, with the full-back’s cross being glanced in at the near post by Collins.
In the second half, Vassell had a half-chance in the box, but failed to bring the ball under control, while Boldewijn’s run and shot flew over the bar.
The Hatters threw both Danny Hylton and Jack Marriott on up front to try and find away through, while Reds fans were delighted to see the return of the injured Jordan Roberts off the bench for the last 15 minutes.
With eight minutes left, McGeehan moved forwards, but his wayward effort flew over the roof of the away stand, populated by more than 1,000 travelling supporters.
Morris was on hand to make a good stop in the 85th minute as a ball was delivered again after a corner and a he pushed away a free header at the back post. He then again denied Jack Marriott late on.
The visitors also had the ball in the back of the net in injury-time but it was ruled out after an infringement in the build-up, before Boldewijn fired through Walton in five minutes of added time to make the points safe.
Crawley: Morris, Young, Connolly, McNerney, Blackman (Arthur 64), Smith, Djaola, Banton (Roberts 72), Clifford (Davey 87), Boldewijn, Collins. Unused subs: Bawling, Tajbakhsh, Yussuf.
Luton: Walton, O’Donnell, Sheehan, Mullins, Smith (Gilliead 71), Lee,McGeehan, Cook, Potts, Vassell (Hylton 61), McQuoid (Marriott 61). Unused subs: Cumbert, Gray, Ruddock-Mpanzu, King.
Attendance: 2,904 (1,052 away).
Referee: Gavin Ward.
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