Crawley Town 3 Gillingham 2: Clarke stuns Gills with wondergoal
Crawley Town rose up to sixth in the table after coming from behind to beat Gillingham 3-2.
Billy Clarke sealed victory with two goals including a stunning winner after Kyle McFadzean had brought them back on to level terms.
Gillingham scored twice through Danny Kedwell gave them the lead from the penalty spot and Leon Legge made it 2-2.
The game exploded into life immediately after the start of the second half with two sendings-off and two goals within the first ten minutes.
Kedwell powerfully smashed the ball into the top of the net after he was brought down in the area by Mark Connolly just 60 seconds after the restart.
Moments later Gary Alexander was sent-off with a straight red card for stamping on Charlie Lee.
The referee made it 10 v 10 by sending-off Gillingham’s Charlie Lee for a second yellow card offence for obstruction.
Kyle McFadzean put Reds onto level terms in the 54th minute when a free-kick was headed on and he fired the ball inot the top right hand corner from short-range.
Billy Clarke gave Crawley the lead on 65 minutes with a tap-in when the ball rebounded to him off the post from a Nicky Adams free-kick.
In a spell of non-stop excitement, three minutes later Gillingham equalised when Bradley Dack took advantage of a mistake by Adams and teed up for Leon Legge to score.
Andy Drury and Josh Simpson forced good saves by keeper Stuart Nelson as Crawley looked to clinch their second successive win.
Clarke earned Crawley the three points with a blockbuster goal in which he beat two defenders before launching a right-footed rocket from into the top corner.
Crawley Town got off to a confident start against Gillingham but did not have anthing to show for their efforts at half-time.
They managed a series of chances in the first half hour. James Hurst set up Gary Alexander for a header which was saved by keeper Stuart Nelson.
Nicky Adams had a go from the left side only for his attempt to be blocked and cleared.
Adams, playing on the left, cut in and tested the Gills’ custodian again, who turned it around for a corner.
Reds made two changes to the side which beat Peterborough Utd 2-0 last week with defenders James Hurst and Mark Connolly coming in for Joe Walsh and Mike Jones.
Walsh played for Wales U21s against San Marino and Jones is serving a one-match suspension for his sending-off against Peterborough.
Gillingham have made three changes with strikers Danny Kedwell and Bayo Akinfenwa replacing Cody McDonald and Antonio German plus right back Charlie Lee has come in for Mike Harriman who has been on durty for the Republic of Ireland U21s.
REDS: Paul Jones, James Hurst, Mat Sadler, Mark Connolly, Kyle McFadzean, Billy Clarke (Emile Sinclair 90), Gary Alexander, Andy Drury (Jamie Proctor 71), Josh Simpson, Dannie Bulman, Nicky Adams (Sergio Torres 86). Unused subs: Connor Essam, Luke Rooney, Jonathan Maddison
GILLS: Stuart Nelson, Joe Martin, Leon Legge (Devanti McKain 76), Chris Whelpdale, Danny Kedwell, Bayo Akinfenwa (Myles Weston 32), Steve Gregory, Bradley Dack, Charlie Lee, Danny Hollands Amine Linganzi 62), Adam Barrett.
Unused subs: Charlie Allen, Antonio German, George Howard, Stephen Butcher
REFEREE: Steven Rushton
ATTENDANCE: 3,984 (998 away)