The Mariners were beaten 3-2 at The People’s Pension Stadium this afternoon. Goals by James Hanson and Elliot Whitehouse weren’t enough for Ian Holloway’s side in front of 519 Town fans.
There was one change for the Mariners with the fit-again James Hanson coming in for Max Wright who reverted to the bench.
So Town lined up with McKeown in goal, a back four of Luke Hendrie, Ludvig Ohman, Mattie Pollock and Anthony Glennon. Harry Clifton, Jake Hessenthaler and Elliott Whitehouse made up the midfield three, with James Hanson, Charles Vernon and Billy Clark heading the Town attack.
Crawley took the lead on 22 minutes when a neat one-two between Bulman and Palmer sliced through the Town defence, with former Mariner Palmer finishing well past McKeown.
But Town were level minutes later through the impressive Elliott Whitehouse. Vernam forced a save from Morris, with the Crawley goalkeeper only parrying the ball out to Glennon. The full-back squared the ball across the face of goal, where Whitehouse had the simplest of tap-ins.
A great move down the left led to the visitors taking the lead on 32 minutes. Billy Clark released a perfect pass for Whitehouse with the midfielder flighting a perfect cross to the head of Hanson at the far post, his initial header was saved by Morris, but the big number nine made no mistake from the rebound.
Town could have added to their half time advantage when Vernam had a glorious chance to play in Hanson, but he chose to keep going himself before playing it on to Clarke, whose shot was blocked.
Half-Time: CrawleyTown 1-2 GrimsbyTown
The hosts started the second half brightly, and they force a corner, from which Reece Grego-Cox saw his toe-poke tipped over by James McKeown.
But Town had a chance of their own when Clarke laid the ball off to Hanson out on the right, the big frontman weaved his way into the box and fired across the face of goal, just goes wide of the far post.
The equaliser came for the home side on 70 minutes, again former Mariner Ollie Palmer on the scoresheet.
The hosts broke quickly through Nadesan, with the number 10 racing past Pollock before squaring to Palmer, who tapped home.
On 77 minutes the Reds were back in the lead again. The ball was played into the feet of Palmer in the Town box, he neatly laid the ball back to Nadesan who hit an unstoppable shot past McKeown.
But the visitors were not done and almost equalised. A mad scramble saw Hanson and then Benson’s shots blocked before being cleared.
The hosts hung on to send the Mariners crashing to an undeserved defeat.
Crawley Town: Morris; Doherty, Dallison, Tunnicliffe, Dacres-Cogley; Camara, Francomb, Bulman (C), Lubala; Nadesan, Palmer.
SUBS: McGill, Grego-Cox, German, Allarakhia, Sesay, Sendles-White.
Town: McKeown (C), Hendrie, Pollock, Öhman, Glennon, Clifton, Hessenthaler, Whitehouse, Vernam, Hanson, Clarke.
SUBS: Russell, Tilley, Hewitt, Buckley, Starbuck, Benson, Wright.
Attendance: 2,480 (519)
Referee: Nicholas Kinseley
Possession: Crawley 44%-56% Town
Next Up: Stevenage (H)