Gwion Edwards became the second Crawley Town player in 24 hours to be called into the Wales’ senior squad for the first time and celebrated by firing his side into the third round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
The winger was told moments after the final whistle at Kenilworth Stadium and will link up with defender Joe Walsh in Cardiff on Wednesday as Wales prepare for Euro 2016 qualifiers against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Cyprus this weekend.
Manager John Gregory gave Edwards the good news after his 50th minute goal earned Reds a 1-0 win at Luton in the second round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
Gwion said: “I knew nothing about it until the Gaffer gathered us together after the game. I am absolutely delighted and the lads were buzzing for me so it was a nice moment.”
A delighted Gregory added: “Joe and Gwion are going to be a big loss for us on Saturday against Peterborough but I am made up for them and so I’m sure is everyone associated with the club.
“They have worked hard for the opportunity and I only hope both get the chance to taste international football this weekend.”
The manager was also delighted to make progress in the JPT and felt his side deserved their win over League Two Luton. “At half-time we should have been a couple of goals in front but then Gwion did put us ahead and although they hit the woodwork a couple of times I felt we defended the lead resolutely. It’s been a good 24 hours for the club,” he added.
The goal came on 49 minutes when Edwards scored for the second successive game, rifling home a close-range shot after Matt Harrold’s effort from Lewis Young’s cross came back off the crossbar.
Crawley were the better side in the first half despite making five changes to the team which drew 2-2 with Coventry with Edwards, Young and Harrold all going close although Luke Guttridge hit the outside of the post for Luton seven minutes before the break.
Marvin Elliott headed just wide shortly after the Reds had gone in front but Luton were unlucky not to level on two occasions when Charlie Walker’s lob came back off the inside of the post and Guttridge smashed a long-range shot against the bar.
Reds defended resolutely though and will be hoping for home advantage in the draw on Saturday.
Reds: Jensen; Bawling, Leacock (capt), Bradley, Sadler; Edwards (Smith 83), Keane, Elliott, Young; Tomlin, Harrold. Subs: Ashdown, McLeod, Henderson, Wright
Attendance: 2,196 (125 away)