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Crawley celebrate promotion with play-off victory over Crewe

Crawley’s Danilo Orsi celebrates his goal (Adam Davy, PA)
Crawley’s Danilo Orsi celebrates his goal (Adam Davy, PA)

Crawley’s first-ever visit to Wembley ended in glory after goals from Danilo Orsi and Liam Kelly gave them a deserved 2-0 win over Crewe and promotion to League One.

Having finished the season in seventh place, Crawley looked relaxed and fluid as they moved the ball around the Wembley pitch with ease.

Their victory could have been more emphatic against a Crewe side that rarely threatened.

The Sussex side took the lead three minutes before half-time through the prolific Orsi.

Exchanging passes with the inventive Kelly three minutes before half-time, Orsi turned a defender but found himself falling and short on time, electing to steer home his shot with the outside of his right foot.

It was the striker’s fourth goal in the play-offs following his hat-trick against MK Dons in the semi-final second leg and caps a remarkable couple of years for the 28-year-old.

Last season, he was a part of the Grimsby team that reached the FA Cup quarter-finals. His Wembley goal made it 25 in all competitions this campaign.

Crawley were spurred on by the tireless Kelly who had the Crewe players chasing shadows throughout.

The midfielder, whose early shot followed another intricate passing move by Scott Lindsey’s side, claimed his reward and sealed their passage to League One after 85 minutes.

Found by a Dion Conroy pass, Kelly’s attempted cross was blocked by Crewe captain Mickey Demetriou.

The ball immediately rebounded to Kelly who calmly whipped a shot into a now unguarded net.

The match might have turned on a refereeing decision by Ben Toner 10 minutes after half-time.

Crewe’s Chris Long ran on to a terrible back-pass from Adam Campbell and Toner took the view that the striker was tripped by goalkeeper Corey Addai .

Thankfully, VAR was in operation and Toner was given the opportunity to reverse his decision after seeing Addai had just managed to get the slightest of touches on the ball, sending it for a corner.

Crewe rarely troubled Addai after that, with a Demetriou header easily blocked in the closing minutes.

Crawley’s success represents a remarkable turnaround after finishing 22nd in League Two last season.

While there has been a quantum leap on the pitch, they will be one of the smallest clubs in League One next season.

Crawley were roared on by 17,000 supporters at Wembley, around five times their average league gate this season.

It proved to be a frustrating day for the Crewe supporters in a crowd of 33,341, many of whom had turned up at the town’s railway station early on a Sunday morning to find that two specially arranged trains had been cancelled, leaving them with standing room only on alternative services.