Crawley Town v Stoke City: MATCH REPORT Reds go through after penalty drama in Carabao Cup
Crawley Town made it through to the fourth round of the Carabao Cup after beating Championship side Stoke City.
After 90 minutes, it was all square at 1-1. And Crawley were faultless with their spot kicks with Olie Palmer scoring the winning penalty. And to be honest it was the right result.
Gabriele Cioffi made five changes to the team who drew with Northampton Town on Saturday. Michael Luyambula, Nathan Ferguson, David Sesay, Dannie Bulman and Panutche Camara all came into the side.
Liam Lindsay was the only Stoke player to start in the 0-0 with Brentford at the weekend.
It was a pretty even start with Stoke looking for a quick start but the Reds defence stood firm. But it was Crawley who had the first real chance when Ferguson found space 20 yards out but his shot went tamely wide. Reece Grego-Cox repeated the trick two minutes later.
Stoke looked a little rattled by Reds' attacking play but weathered the storm. As they came back into it the visitors looked dangerous and they took the lead on 24 minutes.
Reds failed to clear a corner and Sam Vokes touched home from close range. It was scrappy goal.
But the Cioffi's men have shown in recent week's going behind means nothing to them and after a couple of half chances for Grego-Cox, they were level. Ferguson created space for himself in the box and fired home. It was the least Crawley deserved and that's how it stayed until half-time.
It was an action-packed start to the second half and two minutes in Crawley had legitmate claims for a penalty when Palmer was brought down by Danny Batth, but the referee said no. Then straight up the other end Stoke had a goal disallowed for offside.
It was frantic and both sides were showing they clearly wanted this. There was a lapse in concentration in the Reds defence on 57 minutes which allowed Scott Hogan in. But Tom Dallison was on hand to deny him.
Doherty then had his whipped free kick cleared by a stubborn Stoke defence. But the game took a turn on 64 minutes when Stoke's Nathan Collins was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Panutche Camara on the half way line. Could this be the moment Reds take control? Yes it was.
They created chances but could not find that decisive touch. Greg-Cox, Camara and Palmer all had good chances but were off target or found a Stoke defender in the way.
Grego-Cox was outstanding all night and late on he sent a lovely crossfield ball to Lubala who won a corner. From the resulting corner the ball fell nicely to Doherty but he couldn't get a good connection to beat Federici.
Stoke still had chances and Peter Etebo produced a stunning shot from 25 yards which just went over the bar.
Reds brought on Tarryn Allarakhia and Ashley Nathaniel-George late on and the latter almost claimed a winner, but his shot went high and wide.
The final whistle went and penalties it was. And before Palmer scored the winner, Lubala, Sesay, Dallison and Nathaniel-George were perfect wit their spot kicks.
Crawley Town: Luyambula, Doherty, Dallison, Grego-Cox, Palmer, Ferguson, Sesay, Tunnicliffe, Bulman, Camara, Lubala. Subs: Morris, Bloomfield, Payne, Sendles-White, Nathaniel-George, Young, Allarakhia.
Stoke City: Federici, Ward, Lindsay, Batth, Vokes, Smith, Hogan, Cousins, Campbell, Collins, Woods. Subs: Davies, Etebo, Carter-Vickers, Powell, Duffy, Sorensen, McJannett.