Crawley Green suffer last-gasp FA Vase heartache

FA Vase

Crawley Green 2 Hertford Town 3

Despite Crawley coming back from two down a last-minute winner from Hertford‘s Marvin Samuel saw the visitors prevail 3-2 in a thrilling FA Vase second qualifying round replay at Sharpenhoe Road on Wednesday night.

Crawley also had two goals ruled out by the linesman’s flag while Hertford twice hit the woodwork in tumultuous tie.

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The host started well but it was Hertford who took control and created the better chances.

Billy Healey was a constant threat down the right and he had three good chances in the opening 20 minutes.

Healey broke through but fired just wide of the far post on four minutes, while putting the rebound from Samuel’s blocked shot wide five minutes later.

Hesitation in the Crawley defence let Healy in again, but his effort was well saved by Dean Bull, while at the other end Adam Reid set up Terry Billy on 25 minutes but his fierce shot was well saved by Jake Knight.

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It was no surprise though when Hertford took the lead after 36 minutes, Malachi Brissett heading home Healey’s peach of a cross at the far post.

Hertford doubled their lead two minutes later when Mustafa Mirzai broke through and calmly knocked the ball past the advancing Bull.

Crawley were denied a foot hold in the game just before the break when Billy set up Chris Gibson, but his strike was ruled out for offside.

The Maroons took the game to Hertford in the second half, but the visitors always looked dangerous on the break.

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Healey’s cross was missed by Brissett and Bull made an excellent save from Samuel to keep Crawley in the game.

Minutes later Gibson had another effort ruled out for offside and then headed wide on the hour, before Crawley pulled one back a minute later.

Billy and Gibson had shots blocked and the rebound fell to Vinnie Shrieves who scored to make it 2-1.

It was a stirring second half performance as Crawley started to dominate.

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Chris Crook and Billy both went close and Gibson hit the post from Courtney Massey’s cross before the hosts levelled with nine minutes to go when Adam Reid’s corner fell to Sean Downey who blasted home.

Both looked for a winner as Hertford’s Brissett headed against the bar from an Evans corner and Jamie Warne had a shot blocked for Crawley.

And the visitors won it in 90th-minute when a good move saw Samuel swivel in the box and fire home the winner.

Crawley desperately poured forward in the bid for an equaliser as five minutes were added, but Gibson’s shot went just wide and Crook’s header was off target as Hertford earned a trip to Hoddesdon Town in the next round.

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