Crawley went into the game knowing it was going to be a tough game against a strong opposition, who was yet to lose a league game and they would have to be at their very best to get a result.
Crawley took this attitude into the game and put the pressure on Canterbury from the first minute, building from a solid defensive effort Crawley were able to play some really free flowing attacking hockey that involved some great wing back play from both Campbell and Ortyl, which helped create a number of opportunities that were just missing a quality final ball or finish. The first golden chance of the game came when some nice one-touch hockey down the left involving Campbell, Evans and MacCaoilte ended up with the ball being fired across the area waiting for a finish from a few yards out, but Fuller misjudged the pass and knocked the ball just wide.
Crawley continued to press and after winning a short corner Fuller managed to break the deadlock by following up an initial drag flick that was saved and slotted home with great composure putting to bed his earlier miss.
Canterbury tried to get back into the game but the Crawley defensive unit of Murphy, Ortyl, Haimes, Brightwell, J.Innes, Campbell and Reigate was not letting anything through them.
Crawley scored a second mid way through the half when a free hit that was won and taken quickly by Evans found S.Innes who was able to turn his defender and play a ball to Watson in the area who spun round the keeper and kept his balance to calmly slot home from close range.
Canterbury knew that if they were to get anything out of the game they were going to have to throw caution to the wind and play a much more attacking style. The second half started and this is exactly what they did, creating their first real chances did the game. Crawley had been pushed very deep and needed to regain some possession and a foot hold in the game.
Although Crawley managed to do this Canterbury got a goal back and set up a nervous last quarter of the game for the home side. Encouraged by the goal Canterbury pressed again but Crawley stood strong and after the ball was passed down the right from Ortyl to Banton and a good run from Banton down the right wing, where he eliminated three Canterbury defenders with some fantastic skills, saw him find S.Innes in the area with his back to goal and after spinning round and drawing the ball away from the keeper he expertly found the roof of the net with a powerful flick to take the game to 3-1 and effectively ruin any chance Canterbury had of getting something from the game.
Team – Luke Murphy, James Ortyl, Rob Haimes, Mark Brightwell, Michael Campbell, Dan Evans, Jonny Reigate, Reece Banton, Brendan MacCaoilte, Kieran Fuller (c), Seb Watson Subs – Steve Innes, James Innes
Scorers - Fuller, Watson, Innes