Ashley Nadesan bags brace as Crawley clinch much-needed victory over Mansfield
Ashley Nadesan scored a brace as Crawley secured back-to-back league wins for the first time in six months to move out of the bottom two with a 3-2 League Two home win over promotion-chasing Mansfield.
The Stags, 2-0 down after only 13 minutes, fought back to draw level by the break but Nadesan’s second, just a minute into the restart sent Nigel Clough’s men diving to their first defeat in seven league games.
Interim Crawley boss Lewis Young, who took temporary charge nearly two weeks ago following the sacking of Kevin Betsy, went into the game looking to further enhance his chances of landing the job on a full-time basis after picking up two wins.
Young’s men made the perfect start after only a minute when striker Nadesan scored with a low shot across goalkeeper Christy Pym after being set up by captain Tom Nichols.
The Reds’ fast start continued after 13 minutes when Nichols headed in a free-kick from Jack Powell.
Mansfield reduced the deficit three minutes later when Nichols was penalised for handball and Jordan Bowery stepped up to send goalkeeper David Robson the wrong way from the penalty spot.
The Stags were back on terms after 27 minutes when George Lapslie made it 2-2 by heading home his fifth goal of the season at the far post from a cross by Elliott Hewitt.
Mansfield almost turned the game around by the interval when Will Swan shot just wide following a spell of pressure.
Nadesan struck again to put the Reds back in front within a minute of the restart by racing onto a through ball by Nichols to beat Pym with a low shot from just inside the area.
The thrills continued with Swan being denied by Crawley stopper Robson before Nadesan had a shot blocked at the other end.
Stags substitute John-Joe O’Toole put a shot on the turn wide deep into stoppage-time as Crawley held on for a vital win.