REPORT: Cheltenham Town 2-1 Crawley
Cheltenham Town recorded a 2-1 win over Crawley Town in an eventful game at The LCI Rail Stadium.
Birthday boy Billy Waters gave The Robins the lead early on as the home side dominated most of the opening period.
Jack Munns doubled Cheltenham's lead just after the hour mark, but Crawley pulled a goal back late on thanks to Kabi Djalo's fantastic strike.
Cheltenham held on, though, to mark Kyle Storer's EFL debut with a priceless win.
The Robins opened the scoring on three minutes as Storer played a great ball to Waters, who raced through on goal and curled a lovely low shot past Glenn Morris and into the bottom left corner.
It was a dominant start from the home side, who went close to doubling the lead soon after when Waters had a go from the edge of the box but couldn’t guide it anywhere other than just wide of the post.
Other than Storer’s powerful free kick going straight into the wall, Cheltenham were having a lot of the ball in the opening half an hour but were also struggling to turn that possession into clear chances.
For the remainder of the half Crawley started to get back into it, but just before the break Cheltenham were denied a penalty when Barthram appeared to be brought down inside the box - but the referee waved play on.
After the break The Robins came out firing again and very almost went two goals ahead when Munns’ volley from outside the box hit the left hand post, dribbled across the line and went agonisingly just out for a goal kick.
Crawley were looking dangerous as well, though, as just a few minutes later Russell Griffiths was forced into making a fantastic save from Bobson Bawling's shot.
On 62 minutes Cheltenham finally doubled the lead when Waters’ shot was blocked on the line after the goalkeeper had come rushing out, but Munns was on hand to smash the ball into the back of the net.
The Red Devils reminded Gary Johnson’s side that it wasn’t quite game over yet 10 minutes later when Aryan Tajbakhsh fizzed a powerful shot from the edge of the box just wide of the near post.
A couple of minutes later Crawley went close again when Griffiths was forced into making a low save after Enzio Boldewijn let fly from the right hand side of the area.
On 77 minutes the goal that the away side had been threatening for a while came when Djalo’s fantastic effort from range flew into the right hand corner of the goal.
Danny Wright must have thought he’d put Cheltenham two goals ahead a few minutes after, though, when he brought the ball down well and fired a low shot at goal – but the left hand post again denied The Robins.
Despite five minutes of added time and heavy pressure from Crawley, The Robins held on to claim all three points and grab an important victory.
Cheltenham Town: R Griffiths, A Downes (C), D Parslow, R Dickie, J Barthram, J Cranston, J Munns, K Storer, J Dayton (A Morgan-Smith, 85), B Waters (E Suliman, 90), D Wright.
Unused Subs: C Kitscha, J Lymn, J Thomas, D Whitehead, J Smith.
Crawley Town: G Morris, M Connolly, J McNerney, C Arthur, L Young, J Smith (C) (A Tajbakhsh, 64), K Djalo, B Clifford (A Yussuf, 73), J Banton (B Bawling, 45), E Boldewijn, J Collins.
Unused Subs: M Beeney, D Pappoe.
Attendance: 2678 (152)