When top of the Premier League meets near top of the Conference at home one could be forgiven for expecting a deluge of goals, however this was a very different Manchester United side and Crawley came within a few inches of a remarkable replay.
Given that this seasons FA Cup crowds have been a little disapointing it was nice to see 74,778 turn up for this one, although many especially those decked out in Red might have considered asking for a refund when they saw the team Manchester United put out, probably due to the their forthcoming European games.
The game itself was not a great spectical and surprisingly it was Crawley who had more possession and chances, and despite falling behind to Wes Brown’s 28th minute goal showed plenty of ambition. Such was their efforts that it forced Sir Alex to rejig his team at half time bringing on Wayne Rooney and latter Chris Smalling and Darren Fletcher to add a little more bite to the team which had 9 changed from that that had beaten Manchester Citya week earlier.
Crawley also made some changes as they threw caution to the wind and went in search of an equaliser. This bold move nearly got them a reward as Hunt and Tubbs both went close befort Second Half Substiture Brodie hit the cross bar. But is was not to be their day, however they left Old Trafford with their heads held high and received generous applause from all sections of the crowd.
Overall a win for the big boys, but again a sad reflection on the declining status of the FA Cup with Manchester United prepared to risk humiliation rather than their stars. Crawley on this display will win the Conference title, so playing League Football next season, and with their financial resources they could be in League One the season after.