The Magpies went into the game at Crawley Down with a fair degree of change following the hard-fought win at home to Worthing United a week earlier. With Dean Wright and Daniel-Jordan Dominique absent due to illness, this prompted first starts for Reece Hallard, Ruben Schneider and Hayden Skerry following their arrival from Worthing FC and Eddie French came back into the starting line-up following suspension.
After the opening mundane exchanges, the visitors began to build cohesion and had the first clear opening of the game in the 9th minute when Skerry neatly slipped Michael Wood in on goal but Sebastian Bos was swiftly off his line and thwarted the forward as he tried to go around him. A minute later Bos came to The Anvils' rescue again when an adventurous run by Schneider saw the ball find its way to Ollie Gill, but his low drive was well pushed away.
In the 12th minute the Magpies nearly gifted their opponents the lead when Sam Smith misplaced a pass out from the back straight to Ben Wilson but he couldn't take advantage and blazed his effort high over the bar from the edge of the area. This was a rare meaningful attack for the hosts though and in the 24th minute a beautiful sweeping move from Loxwood culminated in Skerry shooting from the edge of the area but again Bos plunged down low to push it away and then was alert enough to recover and bravely block the effort on the rebound from Hallard. Three minutes later it was Schneider's turn to have a sight of goal, but his effort was well blocked by the covering defender. Ten minutes later Schneider slipped Skerry in down the left-hand channel and his neat cross to the back post was met by Joe Holvey on the volley, but another selfless block saved the home side.
With 6 minutes of the half remaining the hosts were given a massive boost in a game where they were comfortably second best. Gill put in a firm, yet controlled challenge to snuff out a foray down the left-hand side of the area, but to the bemusement of everyone in the ground, including all in Crawley Down colours, referee Nick Blogg decided to award a penalty, which William Peauroux cooly took full advantage of to open the scoring. The decision knocked the stuffing out of the visitors and it was made doubly worse on the stroke of half time when a softly given away corner was capitalised on by the hosts with Marc Pelling muscling his way through to head the ball home off the post.
The Magpies came out for the second half keen to avenge the first half and buoyed by the knowledge that they had created more than enough in the opening period to give the confidence that the match could be turned around. Unfortunately just 6 minutes into the second half a clear foul on Schnieder wasn't given and with the young left-sided player out of action as a result, the hosts went down the other end and Michael Spence slotted home from a narrow angle to effectively seal the game.
Wilson had another opportunity just before the hour mark, but he volleyed wide following Spence's cross. With 10 minutes to go the afternoon got worse for the visitors when an accidental clash of heads saw captain Byron Napper forced off the pitch and straight onwards to hospital where fortunately he only required some glue-work to repair the damage.
Sam Lemon's introduction for the Anvils nearly saw the scoreline increase but he narrowly missed with a couple of headers and saw his 20-yard drive brilliantly tipped wide by Smith. The corner that resulted from that save found its way to Samuel Packham in the 6 ayrd box but his shot on the turn was somehow deflected over by Smith to limit the damage.
The final whistle soon followed and the Magpies were left to lick their wounds and go on to enjoy what was an excellent post-match curry in the bar afterwards.