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Page last updated at 19:10 GMT, Saturday, 19 February 2011

Man Utd   1 - 0   Crawley Town

Wes Brown heads the only goal of the first half
Former England international centre-back Wes Brown scored in the 28th minute

By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer at Old Trafford

Crawley Town's dream of causing an FA Cup shock ended in defeat at Old Trafford - but not before the ambitious non-league club had given Manchester United a major scare.

Sir Alex Ferguson's Premier League leaders were fortunate Wes Brown's first-half header gave them a lead to protect as they were forced to survive a late assault from a side 93 places below them on the domestic football ladder.

Blue Square Bet Premier side Crawley - backed noisily throughout by 9,000 supporters who made the journey from Sussex - were unlucky not to earn a deserved replay as David Hunt and Matt Tubbs missed late chances to equalise.

The closest call of all came in the dying moments when Richard Brodie's looping header hit the bar and bounced to safety with United keeper Anders Lindegaard beaten.

United, undistinguished and uninspired throughout, hung on and Crawley deservedly took the plaudits in front of their own fans at the final whistle, with Sergio Torres slipping a blade of Old Trafford's grass into his sock as a keepsake from a memorable occasion.

Steve Evans' side demonstrated why they are regarded as a Football League side in waiting as their energy and ambition pushed United back for most of the second half.

And it would not have been an injustice had their efforts been rewarded with a draw.

They can now return to the business of promotion with confidence and a reputation enhanced by the manner in which they acquitted themselves at Old Trafford.

For many of Ferguson's shadow squad, this was a chastening experience that shone a harsh spotlight on their limitations as they failed to take a rare opportunity to shine on one of the biggest stages in world football.

Bebe and Gabriel Obertan, in particular, looked out of their depth against the non-leaguers but very few individual displays would have pleased Ferguson.

United's frustration was summed up in the closing moments when, with Crawley on the attack again, substitute Wayne Rooney was rightly booked for a crude and reckless hack at Kyle McFadzean as he raced clear of the striker.

Ferguson made nine changes from the derby victory against Manchester City, with only John O'Shea and Anderson surviving from the starting line-up, although match-winner Rooney was on the bench.

Crawley offered early encouragement to their huge travelling following when Ben Smith's long-range effort dipped behind United keeper Lindegaard but fell wide.

After that it was a tale of United dominating possession in the first half and Crawley showing tremendous energy and application in their attempts to keep their illustrious opponents at bay, a task they performed successfully until the 28th minute.

The visitors failed to clear Darron Gibson's corner and when he regained possession his angled cross was glanced beyond keeper Michel Kuipers by Brown.

Crawley boss Evans would have been frustrated that a lapse in concentration had undone so much of their good work in the opening exchanges.

Rooney came on at the interval but it was actually Crawley who created - and wasted - two chances in two minutes to draw level.

With 19 minutes left, the onrushing Hunt should have done better than volley wide before Tubbs was unlucky with an overhead kick from eight yards that appeared to have been deflected just over even though referee Lee Probert awarded a goal-kick.

And then, in the frantic final moments, substitute Brodie's header bounced agonisingly back off the bar.

But there was only pride in defeat for admirable Crawley as Old Trafford showed its appreciation of their efforts at the final whistle.

Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 19 February 2011

The FA Cup

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Man Utd 1-0 Crawley Town FT
(HT 1-0)
  • Brown 28

    Man Utd

    Substitutes

    Crawley Town

    • 01 Kuipers
    • 22 Mills
    • 23 Howell
    • 27 McFadzean
    • 04 Hunt
    • 07 Smith (Rusk 81)
    • 08 Torres yellow card
    • 15 Bulman
    • 17 Gibson (Cook 69)
    • 09 Tubbs
    • 14 McAllister (Brodie 63)

    Substitutes

    • 30 Shearer,
    • 03 Rents,
    • 16 Wilson,
    • 02 Rusk,
    • 21 Napper,
    • 18 Cook,
    • 29 Brodie
    Ref: ProbertAtt: 74,778
    MAN UTD
    CRAWLEY TOWN

    Possession

    • Man Utd 47%
    • Crawley Town 53%

    Attempts on target

    • Man Utd 4
    • Crawley Town 3

    Attempts off target

    • Man Utd 3
    • Crawley Town 6

    Corners

    • Man Utd 7
    • Crawley Town 1

    Fouls

    • Man Utd 6
    • Crawley Town 4
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+4:49 The referee signals the end of the game.
    • Correction - 90:00+4:11 Tiago Bebe is caught offside. Michel Kuipers takes the indirect free kick.
    • 90:00+4:11 Tiago Bebe is ruled offside. Pablo Mills takes the free kick.
    • 90:00+3:02 Centre by David Hunt, Headed effort from inside the box by Kyle McFadzean misses to the right of the target.
    • 90:00+2:08 Effort from deep inside the area by Wayne Rooney misses to the left of the target.
    • 90:00+0:55 Inswinging corner taken by David Hunt, Richard Brodie takes a shot.
    • 90:00+0:46 Shot by Kyle McFadzean. Blocked by John O'Shea.
    • 88:54 Tiago Bebe challenges Simon Rusk unfairly and gives away a free kick. Michel Kuipers takes the free kick.
    • 87:45 Wayne Rooney concedes a free kick for a foul on Kyle McFadzean. Direct free kick taken by Pablo Mills.
    • 87:45 Booking Booking for Wayne Rooney.
    • 85:29 The referee blows for offside. Michel Kuipers restarts play with the free kick.
    • 82:07 Wes Brown handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Matthew Tubbs produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick.
    • 82:07 Booking Wes Brown receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
    • 80:38 Substitution Simon Rusk is brought on as a substitute for Ben Smith.
    • 76:43 Chris Smalling concedes a free kick for a foul on Matthew Tubbs. Dean Howell produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick.
    • 75:58 The ball is swung over by Richard Brodie, Anders Lindegaard makes a comfortable save.
    • 73:47 The official flags Matthew Tubbs offside. Anders Lindegaard takes the free kick.
    • 71:07 A cross is delivered by Richard Brodie, Shot by David Hunt from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.
    • 68:42 Substitution Darren Fletcher comes on in place of Fabio Da Silva.
    • 68:23 Substitution Jamie Cook comes on in place of William Gibson.
    • 66:36 Ben Smith produces a cross, save made by Anders Lindegaard.
    • 65:39 Tiago Bebe sends in a cross.
    • 62:04 Unfair challenge on Darron Gibson by Sergio Torres results in a free kick. Chris Smalling takes the direct free kick.
    • 62:04 Substitution Craig McAllister leaves the field to be replaced by Richard Brodie.
    • 60:34 Shot from just outside the box by Wayne Rooney goes over the bar.
    • 60:29 The ball is delivered by John O'Shea, clearance made by Kyle McFadzean.
    • 58:12 Craig McAllister is caught offside. Indirect free kick taken by Anders Lindegaard.
    • 57:41 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Sergio Torres by Tiago Bebe. Dean Howell takes the free kick.
    • 56:10 Dean Howell gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Tiago Bebe. John O'Shea restarts play with the free kick.
    • 55:05 Shot by Fabio Da Silva. Comfortable save by Michel Kuipers.
    • 53:33 Sergio Torres concedes a free kick for a foul on Rafael Da Silva. Anders Lindegaard takes the free kick.
    • 53:33 Substitution Chris Smalling is brought on as a substitute for Rafael Da Silva.
    • 53:33 Booking Sergio Torres receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
    • Correction - 48:54 Volleyed right-footed shot by Ben Smith. Blocked by Darron Gibson.
    • 48:54 Shot by Ben Smith from yards. Darron Gibson gets a block in.
    • 47:40 The ball is delivered by Gabriel Obertan, clearance by Pablo Mills.
    • 45:01 The game restarts for the second half.
    • 45:01 Substitution Wayne Rooney joins the action as a substitute, replacing Oliveira Anderson.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+1:19 The ref blows to end the first period.
    • 42:42 Centre by William Gibson, clearance by Wes Brown.
    • 41:56 The offside flag is raised against Ben Smith. Indirect free kick taken by Anders Lindegaard.
    • 41:45 Dean Howell delivers the ball.
    • 41:31 Matthew Tubbs fouled by John O'Shea, the ref awards a free kick. Dannie Bulman takes the direct free kick.
    • 40:36 Darron Gibson crosses the ball.
    • 39:38 The official flags Javier Hernandez offside. Direct free kick taken by Dannie Bulman.
    • 39:08 Javier Hernandez is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Pablo Mills.
    • 38:33 Handball by Oliveira Anderson. Free kick crossed by Dean Howell.
    • 37:48 Effort on goal by Darron Gibson from 20 yards. Comfortable save by Michel Kuipers.
    • 37:16 Gabriel Obertan has a drilled shot. Save by Michel Kuipers.
    • 36:28 The ball is delivered by Darron Gibson, save by Michel Kuipers.
    • 36:24 Darron Gibson produces a cross, Kyle McFadzean manages to make a clearance.
    • 35:47 Corner taken right-footed by Darron Gibson from the left by-line to the near post, clearance made by Dannie Bulman.
    • 33:10 Effort from deep inside the area by Fabio Da Silva misses to the left of the goal.
    • 32:02 David Hunt delivers the ball, John O'Shea manages to make a clearance.
    • 27:33 Assist on the goal came from Darron Gibson.
    • 27:33 GOAL - Wes BrownMan Utd 1 - 0 Crawley Town Wes Brown finds the back of the net with a headed goal from inside the penalty box. Man Utd 1-0 Crawley Town.
    • 27:07 Darron Gibson decides to take a short corner.
    • 26:07 Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Darron Gibson, Ben Smith manages to make a clearance.
    • 25:43 Corner taken by Darron Gibson played to the near post, Dannie Bulman makes a clearance.
    • 23:25 Craig McAllister takes a shot. Anders Lindegaard makes a comfortable save.
    • 21:06 The ball is crossed by Tiago Bebe, Kyle McFadzean makes a clearance.
    • 19:26 Free kick awarded for a foul by Javier Hernandez on David Hunt. Direct free kick taken by David Hunt.
    • 16:27 Foul by Dannie Bulman on Michael Carrick, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Darron Gibson.
    • 16:07 Centre by Rafael Da Silva, clearance by David Hunt.
    • 13:49 Javier Hernandez is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Pablo Mills.
    • 10:49 Darron Gibson takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post, Dean Howell makes a clearance.
    • 10:12 Ben Smith produces a right-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses right.
    • 5:39 Javier Hernandez is ruled offside. Michel Kuipers takes the indirect free kick.
    • 2:03 Centre by Gabriel Obertan.
    • 1:47 Short corner taken by Oliveira Anderson.
    • 1:12 Corner taken left-footed by Oliveira Anderson, clearance by Kyle McFadzean.
    • 0:00 The game kicks-off.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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    see also
    We forced Man Utd changes - Evans
    19 Feb 11 |  FA Cup
    Saturday football as it happened
    19 Feb 11 |  Football
    Man Utd fear FA Cup giant-killing
    18 Feb 11 |  FA Cup
    Crawley ready for 'dream' match
    16 Feb 11 |  FA Cup
    Crawley Town can win, says Mills
    17 Feb 11 |  Crawley
    Lawro's predictions
    20 Feb 11 |  Football
    FA Cup commentaries
    03 Nov 10 |  FA Cup


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