Match ends, Crawley Town 1, Cheltenham Town 0.
Top-of-the-table Cheltenham suffered their first defeat in four games after a late strike by substitute Jordan Maguire-Drew gave Crawley victory.
Cheltenham remain a point ahead of second-placed Cambridge, while this was Crawley's second win the space of four days after their 2-0 success at Bradford.
Cheltenham boss Michael Duff said pre-match that his pacesetters had a "good opportunity" to make history and the Robins quickly settled into a confident start.
Alfie May showed good control midway through the half when he had a close-range shot saved by veteran goalkeeper Glenn Morris.
A long ball by Ben Tozer put the Crawley defence under pressure and Callum Wright shot wide from a good position.
Cheltenham had an escape on 34 minutes when Sean Long gave the ball away and Ashley Nadesan wastefully put the ball over after rounding on-loan keeper Josh Griffiths.
The hosts also had a let-off in first-half stoppage time, Tom Nichols deflecting a cross by Chris Hussey onto his own bar.
Another slack back-pass by Long gave striker Nichols an opportunity shortly after the break, but the former Cheltenham loanee shot straight at Griffiths with only the keeper to beat.
Nichols later had a shot saved before an attempted chip by Liam Sercombe came back off the bar at the other end.
Former Leyton Orient man Maguire-Drew clinched victory with his first Crawley goal on 77 minutes, scoring with a well-taken shot in off the post following a Nichols pass.
Report supplied by PA Media.
- 20MatthewsSubstituted forCraigat 86'minutes
- 38TilleySubstituted forMaguire-Drewat 68'minutes
- 16NicholsBooked at 87mins
- 23WrightBooked at 45minsSubstituted forChapmanat 70'minutes
- 7ThomasSubstituted forAzazat 81'minutes
- 10MaySubstituted forSmithat 70'minutes
- 14WilliamsSubstituted forVassilevat 81'minutes
- Sam Purkiss
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Crawley Town 1, Cheltenham Town 0.
Ellis Chapman (Cheltenham Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Jack Powell (Crawley Town).
Foul by Finn Azaz (Cheltenham Town).
Ashley Nadesan (Crawley Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Chris Hussey (Cheltenham Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Tom Nichols (Crawley Town).
Hand ball by Sam Smith (Cheltenham Town).
Tom Nichols (Crawley Town) is shown the yellow card.
Sam Smith (Cheltenham Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Jordan Tunnicliffe (Crawley Town).
Substitution, Crawley Town. Tony Craig replaces Sam Matthews.
Attempt missed. Charlie Raglan (Cheltenham Town) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Finn Azaz following a set piece situation.
Sean Long (Cheltenham Town) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Archie Davies (Crawley Town).
Corner, Crawley Town. Conceded by Chris Hussey.
Substitution, Cheltenham Town. Indiana Vassilev replaces Andy Williams.
Substitution, Cheltenham Town. Finn Azaz replaces Conor Thomas.
Foul by Conor Thomas (Cheltenham Town).