Luton 0 Crawley 1: Reds complete double over Hatters

Matt Harrold scores for Crawley against Luton in the FA Cup (Pic by Joe Rigby) SUS-150911-161707008
Matt Harrold scores for Crawley against Luton in the FA Cup (Pic by Joe Rigby) SUS-150911-161707008

Crawley Town gained an heroic away victory over an in-form and dominant Luton.

A 12th minute goal by Matt Harrold, his eighth of the season, proved decisive.

Crawley withstood 22 shots by Luton, pulling off a great defensive display to earn a valuable three points.

Reds made just one change from the side which drew 1-1 with Morecambe last week with new signing Liam McAlinden making his debut up front alongside Matt Harrold.

Shamir Fenelon dropped to the bench while Bobson Bawling was left out of the squad.

Luton were unchanged from their 1-0 win at Leyton Orient.

Luton looked menacing in the early exchanges and threatened the Crawley area with a series of attacks.

Jonathan Smith struck the bottom of the post from 25 yards for Luton in the ninth minute and it began to look ominous bearing in mind Reds’ poor away record.

However with their first attack of the game Crawley took the lead as Frankie Sutherland’s free-kick was not cleared and Harrold blasted in from just inside the post, his third goal scored against Luton this season.

Luton responded by taking the game back to Crawley as the bearded Paddy McCourt had a shot with the outside of his boot blocked by a defender.

The Hatters kept the pressure on for an equaliser as Stephen O’Donnell’s cross found Craig Mackail-Smith, who struck narrowly wide.

Alan Sheehan fired narrowly wide from 25 yards at the end of a good Luton move.

Just occasionally Crawley broke away at the other end and from such move Gwion Edwards shot just wide from the edge of the area.

Luton continued to press Crawley in the second half and Stephen O’Donnell’s shot was comfortably held by keeper Paul Jones.

Reds survived two penalty appeals which the crowd got behind - first Jon Ashton was accused of hand ball and then Sonny Bradley for bringing down substitute Joe Pigott.

Luton’s Cameron McGeehan then saw a free-kick fly narrowly over the bar.

The Hatters piled on the pressure in the last 20 minutes as Lanre Oyabanjo made a timely clearance off the line from O’Donnell’s deflected shot before Jones pulled off a great save to keep out the follow-up.

Joe Pigott had a diving header go wide and Danny Green’s cross found another substitute, Paul Benson, who headed against the bar.

Yates brought on Simon Walton and Roarie Deacon for McAlinden and Lyle Della-Verde as Reds managed to hold on for an against the odds victory through four minutes of added-time.

REDS (4-4-2): Jones, Oyebanjo, Ashton, Bradley, Dunne, Edwards, Bond, Sunderland, Della-Verde (Deaon 86), Harrold, McAlinden (Walton 80)

Unused subs: Preston, Young, Yorwerth, Barnard, Fenelon

HATTERS: Mitchell, O’Donnell, Potts, Cuthbert, Sheehan, Lee, Smith (Green 65), McGeehan, Marriott (Benson 75), Mackail-Smith (Pigott 54)

Unused subs: Benson, Justham, Ruddock, Okuonghae, Banton

REFEREE: Michael Bull (Essex)

ATTENDANCE: 82,64 (197 away)

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