Much-improved Crawley Green bowed out of the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division Cup as table-topping Colney Heath won an entertaining quarter-final at the Brache last Tuesday.
An end-to-end first half saw Heath’s Dominic Knaggs waste an early chance, shooting straight at Crawley keeper Louie Lobjoit.
Lobjoit saved from Chris Griffin and Taylor Cobb shots before Crawley’s Reece Green saw an effort blocked after keeper Connor Sansom had spilled Phil Draycott’s cross.
Griffin headed a Spencer Clarke-Mardel cross just wide, while Green also shot wide in reply.
Chances for each team went begging as Brett O’Conor missed the target following a poor clearance from Crawley’s otherwise excellent Tyler Ingham.
Watson’s cross found Green well-placed, but he headed over, but as the half looked to be ending goalless, Heath took the lead with a stunning goal.
Crawley cleared successive crosses from the left and right before the ball fell to Chris Griffin whose sweet volley from the edge of the box flew past Lobjoit.
Crawley levelled on 52 minutes when Sansom spilled another Draycott cross and Billy Lobjoit scored from the rebound.
But two goals in five minutes then decided the game.
Just before the hour Draycott’s ambitious shot was blocked and seconds later the ball was in Crawley’s net as substitute Jon Clements scored on the break with his second touch.
Crawley’s Ingham outmuscled Clarke-Mardel again, but the referee harshly awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box.
This time it was Lobjoit’s turn to spill a shot, and Clarke-Mardel pounced for 3-1.
As Crawley chased the game in the closing stages they were caught out by a through ball which sub Danny Collins converted with his first touch.