FA Cup extra preliminary round: Royal Wootton Bassett Town 1 Crawley Green 2
New Crawley Green manager Dean Bull tasted victory in his first game in charge as they ran out worthy 2-1 winners against their opponents from the Hellenic League on Saturday.
Playing at RWBT’s impressive new Gerard Buxton Sports Ground, it was Crawley who dominated the opening 20 minutes.
Charlie Clayton had an effort fly over, while Martin Collins was denied by a last ditch tackle from Steve Yeardly, while Sam Pemberton but his chipped shot was scrambled clear.
Despite Crawley’s bright opening, it was RWBT who took the lead against the run of play after 23 minutes as Nathan Gambling headed home a towering cross from Josh Hughes.
Crawley responded well though and were level just 11 minutes later, when Henry Mungwira outpaced Nathan Hawkins to beat Ant Brown.
Just before the break Crawley came close to taking the lead as Mungwira’s shot was blocked.
After the break, Gio Wrona and Sam Packer did well to set up Gambling, who fired tamely at Bull, before forcing the Green stopper into a better stop.
Collins smashed over, while Sam Willett’s effort was saved by Brown, as the pressure told with 18 minutes left, Collins’s corner despatched by the head of Michael Moss.
Wootton searched for an equaliser, Gambling denied by Bull, but Crawley should have put the result beyond doubt when Collins dragged his shot wide after being set up by substitute Meshack Hendrickson.
The win set up a tie with Berkhamsted who thrashed Stotfold 12-1, while on Saturday, Crawley Green open their SML Premier Division campaign at home to Oxhey Jets.