Crawley Town head coach Cioffi - The red card killed us

Crawley Town boss Gabrielle Cioffi believes that going down to ten men hurt his side against Oxford United on Tuesday. Picture by Steve Robards
Crawley Town boss Gabrielle Cioffi believes that going down to ten men hurt his side against Oxford United on Tuesday. Picture by Steve Robards

Crawley head coach Gabriele Cioffi said the third penalty and the earlier red card for George Francomb "killed" his side off in last night't 4-1 defeat at home to Oxford United in the Leasing.com Trophy.

Rob Hall opened the scoring for Oxford in the 11th minute.

Antony Forde then converted the first of Oxford's three penalties to put the away side 2-0 up.

Crawley pulled one back through Mason Bloomfield but could not get back into the game as Hall bagged his second of the game with the second penalty after Francomb recieved his marching orders for a foul on Mark Sykes.

Hall completed his hat-trick with 15 minutes left to play, drilling a penalty into the bottom corner.

Cioffi said: "I'm a bit disappointed because the first half was flat for a lot of reasons.

"George Francomb came back from a long injury, it was literally his first game, Joe McNerney as well.

"Jamie (Sendles-White) didn't have a lot of minutes in him, he was a bit rusty so already conceding four or five players was hard. But the second half was much better."

When asked about the first penalty the Crawley boss bluntly replied: "Yeah so if he (referee Josh Smith) saw a penalty it is a penalty."

He repeated himself when discussing the second penalty and the red card: "If he saw a penalty it is a penalty and if he saw a red card it is a red card."

Despite the forgettable performance, Cioffi is confident his team will bounce back. "We knew, tonight, we were already out of the competition.

"We would like to bring the owner the competition and bring him some money to the club with a good performance but we weren't able to do it.

"We turn a page, we have a day off, we clear our mind and start off stronger than before."