CHARLIE Ademeno scored a hat-trick inside six minutes to pave the way for Crawley's third successive away victory.
The impressive Ademeno looked sharp as he gave the Reds the lead in only the second minute, taking advantage of a terrible mix-up in defence before tapping in from a few yards out.
Ademeno then made it 2-0 in the fifth minute with a well taken move, rounding keeper Preston Edwards and slotting in the net.
Then just seconds after the restart he completed one of the quickest hat-tricks ever recorded in the Conference, following up a loose ball which had been saved by Edwards following an on-target header by Mikey Malcolm.
However despite the incredible start by Crawley, the game was not over as a spectacle as Grays, managed by former West Ham star Julian Dicks, fought back to reduce the lead to 3-2 at half-time.
Fola Onibuji signalled the home side's intent to get back into the game with a header which crashed against the Crawley post.
Grays then recovered to 3-1 from the penalty spot in the 22nd minute as Karl Broadhurst brought down Onibuje and Jake Reid made sure with the spot-kick.
Onibuje then reduced the arrears to a single goal with a header two minutes before half-time following a cross from the right by Reid.
Then moments before the interval, Crawley's Barry Cogan set up a chance at the other end by teeing up Calum Willock for a header on target which was caught by Edwards.
Grays continued to attack after the break in a quieter second half as defenders David Obaze and Gavin Hoyte went close with headers.
Crawley did not look likely to score again for much of the second half, as there was not sufficient support to the front-two of Ademeno and Willock.
Grays might well have got back onto level terms when a storming run down the left and a cross by Richard Graham led to a thundering shot by the menacing Onibuje crashing against the advertising boards just inches from the left hand post.
Steve Evans brought on Lewis Killeen in place of Willock for the last 15 minutes and moved Malcolm upfront to partner Ademeno.
Ademeno sliced a shot well wide in the last four minutes after good work on the inside left channel and it was to prove his last piece of action of such a notable performance as he was immediately substituted and replaced by Thomas Pinault.
Broadhurst made one more in a series of clearances of a mainly defensive second half as four minutes of added time were played out and Crawley secured their third successive away victory.
Crawley Town made two changes to the side which drew 2-2 with Eastbourne Borough on Boxing Day, manager Steve Evans bringing in Karl Broadhurst and Eddie Hutchinson in place of Lewis Killeen and Thomas Pinault, who were both on the bench.
REDS: Rayner, Rents, Hutchinson, Broadhurst, Ademeno, Malcolm, Wilson, Cogan, Quinn, Smith, Willock. Subs: Pinault, Napper, Carter, Killeen, Jordan.
GRAYS: Edwards, Logombe, Obaze, Hoyte, Bunce, Davis, Hickie, Dean, Graham, Onibuje, Reid. Subs: Verazza, Crowther, Cissoko, James, Bull
OBSERVER MAN OF THE MATCH: