Crawley Town manager Mark Yates praised his team for their second half display against high-flying Portsmouth.
Reds went 2-0 down in the first half hour through goals by Matt Clarke and Kyle Bennett which exposed their defence.
But in the second half they conceded only one goal in the 83rd minute scored by substitute Gary Roberts and created some chances of their own as Gwion Edwards hit the bar, Gavin Tomlin managed a header on target in the box and Matt Harrold struck a chance narrowly wide.
Yates said: “I was really pleased with the effort of the boys. You cannot ask any more of them can we?
“They’ve got a really good squad. We made it too easy for them in the first half. Also, you have to applaud the opposition sometimes. How do you deal with that movement, that quality of play?
“We set-up slightly differently, it didn’t quite work as I would have liked it.
“Conceding the set-piece put them on their way really. We changed it second half and got a bit more contact and looked a bit more solid.
“Although they dominated over the 90 minutes in terms of possession, we’ve hit the bar and were in a couple of positions where you thought, you never know!
“We are not saying we deserved anything from the game, but the second half performance was encouraging.
“They (Portsmouth) are a good side and I hope they go up - I am sure they will. They are comfortable of the ball and they are encouraged to play and they have the players who can.
“There was some good stuff in the second half, there was some stuff that pleased me. The players have worked their socks off for me and that’s what they do. I can’t complain.”
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