Crawley Town 3 (Campbell 6, Maguire 53, Orsi 66) Sutton United 0
Sutton were unable to reverse the recent poor run of form in Sky Bet League Two as Crawley moved in to second place in the table, but although the win was ultimately a comfortable one for the Sussex side Sutton will rue not making the most of a first half spell in which U's were on top but had two goals ruled out for offside and saw several other chances go begging. That came after a slow start, though, which had seen U's go behind after just five minutes, and a second goal early in the second half from a free kick that U's felt should have been in their favour left the home side in a powerful position that was reinforced by Danilo Orsi's tap in midway through the second half.
It took Sutton fifteen minutes to get started in the game, and by then Crawley already had the lead. A patient build-up on the right had pace injected in to it by a quick exchange between Ronan Darcy and Ben Gladwin, whose low cross was met first time by Adam Campbell with a shot that beat Dean Bouzanis low to his left. Once U's did get in to the game, though, they had much the better of the rest of the half and should have at least been level. Aiden O'Brien turned the ball in from close range after Omar Sowunmi had headed down Christian N'Guessan's corner, only for the offside flag to go up, and the same player was denied by the flag again soon afterwards with U's this time very unlucky as another Sowunmi header was met by Lee Angol's volley that hit the post before O'Brien touched it over the line. U's also had loud penalty appeals turned down when Sowunmi appeared to be man-handled by Williams as a cross came in from the right. Omari Patrick went close as well with a strong run and shot which was blocked by Corey Addai's legs, but should have done better when the ball fell to him in the penalty area but his unconvincing volley went wide of the near post.
Sutton came out on the front foot in the second half and won two free kicks in good positions which came to nothing, but then had to make a change in goal as Bouzanis went down after taking a goal kick and had to come off with a hip injury. Jack Rose came on, and within a minute was called in to action as referee Paul Howard infuriated Sutton by penalising Joe Kizzi in a challenge with Nick Tsaroulla when it seemed as though he had himself been fouled. Jay Williams met Liam Kelly's free kick with a glancing header that was brilliantly turned aside by Rose, but the feeling that it wasn't Sutton's day was heightened as Darcy fired the rebound back across goal and the ball flew in to the roof of the net off Laurence Maguire, who seemed to know little about it. U's continued protests about the award of the free kick saw assistant manager Jason Goodliffe yellow carded.
Sutton almost replied immediately as Patrick and substitute Josh Coley combined superbly on the right before Patrick's powerful shot was tipped acrobatically over by Addai, but U's hopes of getting back in to the game received a terminal blow when Darcy was put in on the right and crossed low for Orsi, who couldn't miss. Crawley were able to play out the last quarter of the game pretty much as they liked, briefly sitting on top of the table thanks to Notts County's struggles at Colchester, and might have had more goals as Darcy flashed a shot just over the bar and Rose produced another top-class save to turn Rafiq Khaleel's powerful shot on to the post, with Sutton increasingly frustrated and unable to make any impact on the home team's lead.
Sutton: D Bouzanis (sub J Rose 52), J Kizzi, S Hart, O Sowunmi, B Goodliffe, C Eastmond(sub C Clay 79), D Pereira(sub J Coley 52), C N'Guessan, L Angol(sub H Kasimu 70), A O'Brien (sub H Beautyman 70), O Patrick. Sub n/u R Jackson. Booked: J Goodliffe, O'Brien, Eastmond, B Goodliffe.
Crawley: C Addai, W Wright, D Conroy, L Kelly, J Williams, L Maguire, B Gladwin(sub J Roles 76), A Campbell(sub K LOlos 63), D Orsi(sub A Henry 73), R Darcy(sub R Khaleel 76), N Tsaroulla(sub H Forster 76). Subs n/u L Ashby-Hammond, T Johnson. Booked: Kelly
Referee: Paul Howard
Attendance: 3,559(456 away)