Notts County 1 Crawley 2: Reds gain heroic win through Payne’s injury-time penalty

Josh Payne. Picture by PW Sporting Photography SUS-170830-145502001
Josh Payne. Picture by PW Sporting Photography SUS-170830-145502001

Goals by Jimmy Smith and Josh Payne gave Crawley Town an excellent 2-1 win away at nine-man Notts County.

Payne scored the winner in stoppage-time from the penalty spot after the Magpies’ Matty Virtue and goalkeeper Ross Fitzsimons were sent-off in the last few minutes.

The County stopper was sent-off in added-time for kicking Mark Connolly and Payne scored from the ensuing spot-kick.

Moments earlier, Notts County had been reduced to ten men when Virtue fouled Mark Randall and was sent-off for receiving his second booking.

Reds deservedly took the lead on 26 minutes when Smith drove the ball past the keeper after a corner was only half-cleared.

The lead was taken into half-time before Notts County equalised from the penalty spot in the 57th minute after Josh Lelan was penalised for handball.

Notts County were first out of the blocks and forced Reds into defensive mode.

After five successive corners, Josh Lelan cleared a chance off the line after Lewis Alessandra was denied by keeper Glenn Morris and then clipped the crossbar.

Reds had their first chance when Enzio Boldewijn set-up Verheydt who shot narrowly wide.

Then Verheydt met Lewis Young’s cross but the attempt was blocked by Richard Duffy.

Smith then gave Crawley the lead when Lelan’s throw was forwarded by Verheydt and the skipper volleyed the ball home.

Reds defended well for the rest of the first half, the most dangerous threat coming from Dan Jones’ cross to Virtue who headed just wide.

The Magpies attacked hard in the second half, and then minutes after the restart Glenn Morris made a great save to keep out a shot from short-range by Jon Stead.

Notts County equalised when Lelan handballed after Liam Noble shot was deflected and referee Scott Oldham awarded a penalty which was put away by Stead.

The home side pressed for a winner but Reds held firm under pressure as Connolly and Yorwerth kept their side in the game by making clearances off the line.

Rerds missed a golden opportunity to put the game to bed with five minutes to go when Verheydt passed to Smith instead of having a go on goal himself, and the chance was cleared.

But the big drama of the game unfolded on 90 minutes when Notts County’s Liverpool loanee Virtue was sent-off for kicking Randall.

Then in stoppage-time keeper Fitzsimons was also sent-off for kicking out at Connolly and the referee signalled for a penalty.

There was a long stoppage in play before substitute ‘keeper Branislav Pindroch came off the bench in place of their sent-off stopper.

The three points was clinched in added-time when Payne stepped up and coolly scored from the penalty spot to the delight of the 53 travelling Crawley fans.

Crawley Town: Morris, Young, Boldewijn, Connolly, Payne, Doherty, Smith (capt), Lelan, Bulman (Randall 74), Verheydt (Camara 87), Yorwerth

Unused subs: Mersin, McNerney, Sanoh, Tajbakhsh, Evina

Notts County: Fitzsimons, Jones, Brisley, Duffy, Hunt, Grant, Husin (Ameobi 62), Virtue, Noble (Hewitt 68), Stead (Pindroch 90+4), Alessandra

Unused subs: Dickinson, Walker, Forte, Smith