Crawley Town 2-0 Fulham: League Two hosts beat Premier League visitors

Crawley Town 2-0 Fulham: League Two hosts beat Premier League visitors


James Balagizi celebrates scoring for Crawley
Crawley are winless after five matches in League Two this season

League Two strugglers Crawley Town knocked Premier League newcomers Fulham out of the Carabao Cup on an “unbelievable” night at their Broadfield Stadium.

Goals from Tom Nichols and Liverpool loanee James Balagizi gave the hosts a famous victory, with the full-time whistle prompting a pitch invasion by their jubilant supporters.

Crawley sit 23rd in League Two – 84 league positions below their opponents – having lost four of their opening five league matches this season.

“What an evening,” manager Kevin Betsy told BBC Radio 5 Live. “Little Crawley Town beating Premier League Fulham. Unbelievable.

“What we have done is phenomenal. We had a plan of how we wanted to play and that will be our blueprint going forward.

“This club will go from strength to strength.”

Fulham – last season’s Championship winners – came into the second-round game in good form having beaten London rivals Brentford 3-2 in the Premier League on Saturday.

Manager Marco Silva made 10 changes – with only 19-year-old Jay Stansfield retaining his place in the starting line-up – and that decision was punished by motivated opposition.

Crawley Town fans celebrate on the pitch at the end of the Carabao Cup second round match
Crawley fans celebrated on the pitch after their win over Fulham

Crawley, who beat Bristol Rovers 1-0 in the first round, made the perfect start as Nichols slotted into the bottom corner after 16 minutes.

Nichols then turned provider for England Under-19 international Balagizi, who darted into the area and fired past Marek Rodak, allowing the home crowd to begin dreaming of an upset.

And despite having 67% of possession, Fulham’s first shot on target did not arrive until the 92nd minute as the top-flight side exited the competition.

“Congratulations to them,” said Silva. “From the first minute they wanted it more than us.

“In these types of games you have to equal the enthusiasm and the intensity of the opponent.

“I am responsible for the changes. I took the decisions I took. They were the best options for the game. Some gave their maximum but it was not enough.”

Line-ups

Crawley

Formation 3-4-3

  • 34Addai
  • 23Johnson
  • 12Ransom
  • 44Ogungbo
  • 18DavisSubstituted forAdebowaleat 87′minutes
  • 8Powell
  • 39Hessenthaler
  • 25TsaroullaSubstituted forOmoleat 45′minutesBooked at 75mins
  • 20BalagiziSubstituted forMarshallat 90+3′minutes
  • 10NadesanSubstituted forBremangat 87′minutes
  • 9NicholsSubstituted forWellsat 77′minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Tilley
  • 16Omole
  • 17Adebowale
  • 19Telford
  • 21Appiah
  • 22Wells
  • 40Greensall
  • 42Bremang
  • 45Marshall

Fulham

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Rodák
  • 27Mbabu
  • 5Duffy
  • 31DiopBooked at 80mins
  • 23BryanSubstituted forAbladeat 45′minutes
  • 10Cairney
  • 12Chalobah
  • 39Fossey
  • 38HarrisSubstituted forGodoat 45′minutes
  • 35Francois
  • 65Stansfield

Substitutes

  • 22Gazzaniga
  • 37Ablade
  • 41D’Auria-Henry
  • 42Robinson
  • 43McAvoy
  • 44Pajaziti
  • 45Sekularac
  • 46O’Neill
  • 47Godo

Referee:
Lee Swabey

Attendance:
5,577

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