Crawley Town 1
Richards (83), O’Toole (90)
A dramatic finale saw Rovers score twice through Eliot Richards and John-Joe O’Toole to beat Crawley and go through to the third round of the FA Cup tonight.
They had trailed to Andy Proctor’s 14th minute goal and didn’t look their best in the opening period, even though they created two very good opportunities.
However they came more into it after the break and improved as an attacking force following the introduction of substitutes Chris Beardsley and Ellis Harrison.
Manager John Ward made two changes to his starting lineup for tonight’s game.
Alefe Santos and Ollie Norburn, who started the game at Rochdale, were left out and their places were taken by Richards and Tom Lockyer.
Santos was ill and although he travelled, he wasn’t included in the squad at all.
Danny Woodards was in the squad for the first time this season and was on the bench.
The home side forced four corners in the opening five minutes, but all they had to show for their efforts was a wild shot from Kyle McFadzean to show for their efforts.
That was deflected behind for another corner and Crawley continued to enjoy the lion’s share of possession, though Matt Harrold did hit a shot wide of the mark at the other end.
Mike Jones fired a shot high over the bar before Crawley took a 14th minute lead.
The goal came after a Rovers break but they lost possession with men up in support and a quick break by the home side saw Nicky Adams cross in from the right where Jamie Proctor was on hand to head past
Steve Mildenhall and although the shot stopper got a hand to the ball he couldn’t keep it out.
Eliot Richards headed over from a David Clarkson cross, while Andy Drury tried an ambitious lob at the other end which flew high over Mildenhall’s bar.
Adams saw a free kick charged down by Rovers defensive wall before Rovers went close to equalising.
Michael Smith’s cross found Clarkson at the back post and his effort was well saved by Paul Jones who managed to push the ball back out to the Rovers striker who hit his second effort into the side netting.
Adams curled a shot wide of the target before Rovers had another opportunity to get back on level terms.
Tom Lockyer won the ball out on the right and whipped a cross into the box where John-Joe O’Toole connected as the ball came to him at an awkward height. He couldn’t get any power on his shot and the ball was comfortably saved by Jones.
On the stroke of half time Drury curled a shot wide of the upright at one end and an Ollie Clarke effort met the same fate at the other end.
Richards went close to equalising three minutes into the second half, but his powerful header from Lee Brown’s corner was touched over the bar by Richards.
O’Toole glanced a header wide of goal and Michael Smith drilled a left foot shot just wide of goal as the hour mark approached.
As Rovers forced the home side back, Richards hit another effort high and wide of the target.
However the striker wasn’t to be denied a goal and struck on 83 minutes after the home side made a hash of clearing Brown’s corner from the left.
The ball dropped kindly to him and he struck a first time shot into the net.
With four minutes remaining Harrold headed a cross from the right back across goal to Tom Parkes, whose perfectly executed overhead kick hit the post and rebounded into play.
Just when it looked as though the game was heading into extra time, Richards saw another goalbound effort touched away by Jones, but only as far as O’Toole who gleefully stroked the ball into the net for a
dramatic winning goal.
Rovers now travel to St Andrews to face Birmingham City in the third round of the competition next Tuesday.
Rovers: Steve Mildenhall, Michael Smith, Tom Parkes, Mark McChrystal, Lee Brown, Ollie Clarke, Tom Lockyer (Chris Beardsley, 63), John-Joe O’Toole, Eliot Richards, Matt Harrold, David Clarkson (Ellis Harrison, 72)
Substitutes: Danny Woodards, Ollie Norburn, Mitch Harding, Conor Gough, Pat Keary
Crawley Town: Paul Jones, Mat Sadler, Mark Connolly, Kyle McFadzean, Andy Drury, Sergio Torres, Joe Walsh, Jamie Proctor, Nicky Adams, Emile Sinclair (Gary Alexander, 72), Micky Jones
Substitutes: James Hurst, Josh Simpson, Jonte Smith, Jonathan Maddison
Referee: Andy Davies
Rovers supporters: 243