Crawley Town v Leeds United reaction: If the name Nick Tsaroulla didn't trip of the tongue before, it certainly will now
The name Nick Tsaroulla probably didn’t trip readily off the tongue of the average Crawley Town supporter but it certainly should do now.
The attack-minded young defender, playing only his seventh professional game, opened the scoring with a contender for Goal of the Round.
Collecting a headed pass from Ashley Nadesan he got the better of four Leeds defenders before firing a fierce shot past Leeds’ Spain international keeper Kiko Casilla. Three minutes later Crawley led two nil as Man of the Match Ashley Nadesan beat Casilla on his near post.
Nadesan was at his imperious best and when the keeper parried his 70th minute shot Jordan Tunnicliffe was on hand to crash home the third goal and dump Leeds out of the cup.
Cup giant killing can take many forms and on this occasion it happened because the better team won. Marcello Bielsa did not field his strongest line up but it was still a very good one. It included their England midfielder Kalvin Phillips who matched his illustrious predecessor, Wayne Rooney, by managing to achieve nothing more than a caution from referee Peter Bankes.
The Reds might have been over-awed by the occasion of the biggest match ever to be played at the PP Stadium but they took on the task like the proverbial ducks to water. There was nothing in an evenly contested first half to suggest that 61 other clubs occupied spaces in the league tables between them. In the second you would be forgiven if you thought the team in red played in the Premier League.
Once again we saw evidence of how John Yems and Lee Bradbury have blended their squad members into a genuine team. There were actually no stars because every man fully played his part. For the first time the manager had the luxury of making five substitutions and this was manna for the media.
They saw the arrival of Max Watters following his sidelining with a hamstring niggle and he nearly scored three times. Experienced midfielder Josh Wright also came on having only been signed from Leyton Orient on Friday morning. Then there was a cameo from Mark Wright, his elder brother, who is endeavouring to shake off his TOWIE reputation and make the grade as a footballer as he always intended.
You get everything nowadays with Crawley Town – exciting football, management who do their homework, newsworthy personalities and (things are looking promising) success on the field of play. What’s not to like.
Now we await the Fourth Round draw and along with so many others I just wish I could be in the ground to cheer on the lads.
Come on you Reds.
SEE MORE Crawley Town beat Leeds United in the FA Cup - historic win captured in pictures | Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa was 'very complimentary' to Crawley says John Yems after FA Cup giant-killing | Tyson Fury in surprise video message to Crawley Town ahead of Leeds United clash | Former Leyton Orient midfielder Josh Wright joins brother Mark at Crawley Town