Supersub Roberts inspires vital home win for Crawley Town

Crawley Town players congratulate Josh Payne on his penalty. Picture by Jon Rigby
Crawley Town players congratulate Josh Payne on his penalty. Picture by Jon Rigby

Supersub Jordan Roberts inspired Crawley Town to a 3-1 win against Exter City - only the Reds second home victory of the season.

Crawley went one behind before Josh Payne equalised to make it all square at half time. But Harry Kewell bought on Roberts to replace Verheydt in the 69th minute and he changed the game with two goals, including a stunning free kick.

Crawley made four changes to the starting line-up that lost at Wycombe with Dannie Bulman, Panutche Camara, Mark Randall and Lewis Young coming in for Joe McNerney, Jordan Roberts, Aryan Tajbakhsh and Josh Lelan.

Exeter made three changes from their 1-0 defeat at Chesterfield with Lloyd James, Reuben Reid and Kyle Edwards coming in.

Crawley made a positive start with Mark Randall's dangerous cross forcing an early corner, which was quickly followed by another.

Kewell's men were being patient with their build-up and Enzio Boldewijn looked dangerous on the left and he set up Josh Payne on 10 minutes but he fired wide from distance.

Randall and Payne both had chances from distance but their low drives were easily saved by visiting keeper Christy Pym.

Crawley's best chance came after another break and great work from Lewis Young set up Verheydt but the big striker fired wide when he should have done better.

But Crawley were made to rue those missed chances when the visitors took the lead in the 24th minute. Reuben Reid broke from midfield and set Kyle Edwards wide. Hois cross was scuffed by Reid but Dean Moxey was on hand to slide home at the far post. It was Exeter's first real chance.

Reds did get back into game when Josh Payne scored from the penalty spot on 33 minutes after Josh Yowerth was pulled down in the box by Craig Woodman.

Boldewijn had a good chance to give the Reds the lead after being put through by Randall but keeper Pym did well to save before Reid bundled wide after a dangerous free-kick from Lloyd James.

Crawley started the second half on the attack but their final ball was lacking as Payne and Verheydt wasted promising chances.

Jordan Roberts replaced Verheydt on 53 minutes but it was Exeter's time to attack but the Reds looked solid in defence. But Crawley still looked dangerous in attack and Boldewijn fired wide just before sub Roberts sent the Crawley Town faithful wild.

Cedric Evina's low cross was palmed away by keeper Pym but Roberts was unmarked six yards out out to fire home. It could have been 3-1 on 69 minutes when Yorwerth's glancing header was somehow cleared off the line.

The game was then effectively finished off by that man Roberts. He was fouled on edge of the box and Moxey was booked. After a short break which saw Boldewijn hobble off to be replaced by Dennon Lewis and Ibrahim Meite replace Randall, Roberts took the free-kick himself and gave Pym no chance with a stunning effort to make it 3-1.

Exeter had a couple of half chances towards the end but Crawley stood firm. And it should have been four when Meite broke clear but he somehow fired wide.

It was a great win for Crawley and much-needed. They now go to Coventry full of confidence.

Crawley Town: Glenn Morris, Lewis Young, Josh Payne, Mark Connolly, Enzio Boldewijn, Josh Yorwerth, Cedric Evina, Dannie Bulman, Thomas Verheydt, Mark Randall. Subs: Yusuf Mersin, Josh Doherty, Joe McNerney, Jordan Roberts, Josh Lelan, Dennon Lewis, Ibrahim Meite.

Exeter City: Christy Pym, Pierre Sweeney, Craig Woodman, Lloyd James, Jordan Moore-Taylor, Dean Mooxey, Jake Taylor, Kyle Edwards, Reuben Reid, Troy Brown, Hiram Boateng. Subs: Troy Archibald, Jayden Stockley, James Hamon, Liam McAlinden, Matt Jay, Kane Wilson, Alex Byrne.

Ref: Andy Haines