Leeds suffer humiliating FA Cup elimination to Crawley Town

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Reality star Mark Wright also made his debut for the League Two side in the match.

Crawley Town took on Leeds United today in a much-publicised FA Cup 3rd round fixture. The pre-match attention was focused on whether Crawley could produce a “giant-killing” performance, but rather the potential debut of reality TV star, Mark Wright.

64 places separate Leeds and Crawley in the English football pyramid leaving many sceptical about the League Two sides’ chances.

Additionally, Leeds put out a strong starting team featuring a number of first team regulars. Viewers could be forgiven for expecting a Leeds walkover.

The FA Cup, though, has a reputation for providing cup upsets throughout its history. Leeds, in particular, have been on the wrong end of cup upsets several times in the past.

Today, they suffered one of the most high-profile shocks in recent FA Cup history.

Not only did Crawley win, but they did so comfortably.  They managed a 3-0 victory against Marcelo Bielsa’s side.

As mentioned previously, much of the pre-match attention was on the potential debut of Mark Wright, given most thought it would be a straightforward Leeds victory.

That all changed when Crawley opened the scoring in the 50th minute leaving viewers to ponder whether a shock was on the cards. Nick Tsaroulla was the goalscorer and what a strike it was. He swivelled past a number of Leeds United players as he moved into the box before unleashing a well struck shot into the bottom corner.

Crawley could have sat back thereafter and hoped for a result but that was not the case. In fact, they got their second just minutes after. Ashley Nadeson was played through and he found himself in the box but at a tight angle, that didn’t phase him though and he struck a low shot into the near corner. Leeds’ goalkeeper Kiko Casilla should have done better at his near post but take nothing away from Ashley Nadeson, he worked hard and was rewarded for it with a goal.

They all but secured victory in the 70th minute as they got their 3rd goal of the night. This time Jordan Tunnicliffe smashed into the back of the net after a scramble in the box caused by an indirect free kick.

Reality star Mark Wright was brought on in the 90th minute for his Crawley Town debut after victory was almost certainly secured.

Wright signed for Crawley on a non-contract basis last month as part of an upcoming TV mini-series titled ‘Mark Wright: The Last Chance’.

His introduction today seen him make his professional debut at the age of 33. He previously played at a semi-professional level before settling for a career in television.

The score ended 3-0 to Crawley with the players and staff deserving enormous credit for the performance and result.

Crawley are now through to the FA Cup 4th round for the first time since 2012.

Their opponents will be decided on Monday.

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