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It’s just a pity that, on the stroke of half-time, another mistake led to their equaliser. Dean Hooper played magnificently all afternoon, but for their second he was caught flat-footed on the far post. He should have attacked the ball when the cross came in, but he didn’t and the striker he was marking tucked the ball in. 2-2 at half time: we were gutted. We’d outplayed them, but it was still anyone’s game. We told the players in the interval to carry on the same way. Squeezing them, squeezing them and playing our football. That they were only level through our mistakes and if we didn’t make any more then they wouldn’t score again.

We scored what turned out to be the winner pretty soon after the restart. Ian Simpemba got the ball in midfield and shaped to shoot. They all expected that - he’s a centre-back after all, but he checked inside, taking two men out, slipped it to Boothy on the bye-line, and would have been on the end of the return, if one of their guys hadn’t stuck the ball into his own goal. After that they produced a couple of scrambles in our box, but they couldn’t do more than that and we could have had three or four more. Juke Box should have scored, Siggy should have scored, Boothy should have scored one and had one disallowed for offside - another bad call by the ref.

When the final whistle blew we were all ecstatic. I’ll never forget the scenes as we all ran to the Lewes fans. I reckon there were 500 made it up for the game, and they were magnificent, too, behind the team from start to finish. It makes such a big difference. The players talk about the crowd a lot after the game, and this time they couldn’t have asked any more from them.


Better the devil you don’t: Crawley’s mascot, like his team,
is down and out the Cup