Substitutes strike as Crawley sink Stags

Substitute Joe McNerney celebrates his goal in the clash with Mansfield Town this afternoon. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Substitute Joe McNerney celebrates his goal in the clash with Mansfield Town this afternoon. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
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Substitutes Joe McNerney and Ibrahim Meite netted in the second half as Crawley Town made it back-to-back League 2 home victories for the first time since January this afternoon.

Centre-half McNerney - introduced at the break in place of the injured Mark Connolly - headed Reds ahead after 63 minutes, then Meite rounded off the scoring a minute into stoppage-time as Harry Kewell's men bagged a 2-0 success over Mansfield Town at the Checkatrade Stadium.

Jordan Roberts laid on the assist for Joe McNerney's first goal of the season. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Jordan Roberts laid on the assist for Joe McNerney's first goal of the season. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Stags - managed by former Crawley boss Steve Evans - had threatened in the early exchanges but it was Reds who had too much for promotion-hopefuls Mansfield in a match lacking in quality for the large part.

The win sees Crawley extend their unbeaten league run to three matches and leaves them 17th in the table.

Reds made two changes from the team that drew at Coventry City in their last league outing. Skipper Jimmy Smith and Josh Lelan returned to the starting line-up in place of Panutche Camara and Dannie Bulman.

A minute's applause was held prior to kick-off in honour of former Crawley head coach Dermot Drummy, who died last month.

Reds made a sluggish start and were lucky not to be behind inside three minutes. Jimmy Spencer played in Stags winger C.J Hamilton, his touch took him past the onrushing Glenn Morris but Josh Yorwerth recovered superbly to clear on the line.

Crawley began to see a lot more of the ball as the half wore on and grew in to the game. Midfielder Mark Randall took a tumble in the area after a tangle with Will Atkinson on 20 minutes - referee Gavin Ward waved away the home side's appeals for a penalty.

Stags were still carried a threat, firing balls into the box. Yorwerth crucially headed away following a flick-on ten minutes later.

A clever free-kick routine almost saw Reds break the deadlock eight minutes after the restart. Randall's low pass picked out Payne, whose rising effort flew just over.

A game largely lacking in quality saw a superb opener. Roberts' exquisite deliver was flicked home by the head of substitute Joe McNerney after 63 minutes.

Stags, who offered very little after a fast start, went in search of a leveller in the closing stages. But it was Reds who would go onto win it, netting a second after 90 minutes. Meite - just minutes after being introduced - broke clear, rounded Conrad Logan and slotted into an empty net.

CRAWLEY TOWN: Morris; Lelan, Yorwerth, Connolly, Evina; Payne, Smith; Young, Randall, Boldewijn; Roberts. Subs: Mersin, Meite (Boldewijn, 87), Lewis, Doherty, Verheydt, Bulman, McNerney (Connolly, 45).