Leyton Orient 2 Crawley Town 3: Reds comeback to beat league leaders

Gary Alexander celebrates scoring Crawley Town's opening goal on the way to beating Leyton Orient 3-2 at the Matchroom Stadium.
Gary Alexander celebrates scoring Crawley Town's opening goal on the way to beating Leyton Orient 3-2 at the Matchroom Stadium.
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Crawley Town gave a brilliant performance to beat leaders Leyton Orient 3-2 at their own ground.

Goals by Gary Alexander, Andy Drury and Nicky Adams completed a great comeback from going behind by Orient’s Moses Adubajo early in the first half.

Crawley's Gary players celebrate Andy Drury's goal against Leyton Orient (Pic by Jon Rigby)

Crawley's Gary players celebrate Andy Drury's goal against Leyton Orient (Pic by Jon Rigby)

The three points gained against the odds sealed Reds’ first win in ten league games.

Orient’s former Red loan player Shaun Batt provided Paul Jones with an easy save in the opening exchanges, then Mathieu saw a header from a corner held by the Crawley stopper on the goalline.

Mike Jones, recalled to the Town side following a hamstring injury, in place of Emile Sinclair, set up Alexander for an attempt on goal from the right but he shot across the goalmouth.

Adubajo gave Oreint the lead in the 14th minute combining with Kevin Lisbie.

They proved too good for the Crawley defence as both Mark Connolly and Joe Walsh failed to make their challenges count.

Crawley equalised with a well-worked goal from a superb cross by Connolly which was headed in at the far post by Alexander.

Having scored against his former club, Alexander was then booked for removing his shirt during the celebrations.

He revealed a message dedicated to his former landlady in Exeter who died of cancer on Friday.

The Reds were then awarded a penalty a minutes before half-time when Connolly took a shot from just inside the area, which was blocked by Lloyd James.

Connolly appealed for a penalty for handball and it was awarded by referee Trevor Kettle.

Alexander looked set to score his and Crawley’s second goal of the day but instead hit the left hand post. The ball rebounded out and Andy Drury was first to the ball and put away.

Crawley began the second half looking confident after the goal just before the break and nearly made it 3-1 when a shot by Alexander deflected off a defender inches away from the left post.

The Reds kept the pressure up and Adams nearly supplied Alexander to score another goal when he struck across the face of goal from a tight angle.

Adams then put Crawley within reach of three valuable away points with a delicate chip over keeper Jamie Jones for 3-1 with 14 minutes to go after Orient had lost possession.

Billy Clarke nearly increased the lead further chipped again only to see the ball cleared off the line.

Orient pulled a goal back with a long-range free-kick which was not cleared and substitute Marvin Bartley bundled the ball into the net.

Boosted by Reds fans in superb voice from one corner throughout the second half, Crawley held out a nervous final five minutes plus another five minutes of added time to record an excellent away victory.

REDS: P Jones, Sadler, Connolly, McFadzean, Clarke, Alexander, Drury, Walsh, Bulman (C), Adams, M Jones.

Unused subs: Hurst, Essam, Torres, Proctor, Smith, Malins, Maddison

ORIENT: J Jones, Sawyer, Vincelot, Cuthburt, Baudry, James (Barley 75), Lisbie, Odubajo, Batt, N Clarke (C), Lasminant

Unused subs: Larkins, Lee, Gorman, Bartley, Simpson, Ling, Finney

REFEREE: Trevor Kettle

ATTENDANCE: 4,855 (342 away)