Crawley Make History as Tubbs Strikes Again; Boss Evans Thinking Big after Striker Sinks Torquay

Article excerpt

Byline: Ian Stokes



Tubbs (39)

WATCH OUT the big boys -- Crawley Town, the millionaires of the Blue Square Premier, are still on the warpath.

'They'll be taking paracetamols about meeting us,' said boss Steve Evans after Matt Tubbs' 25th goal of the season knocked out League Two Torquay. 'Don't worry, even if we go to Old Trafford in the fifth round, we'll go there to win.'

Tubbs kept up his remarkable goal-a-game season when he fired home Dannie Bulman's defence-splitting pass.

FA Cup veteran Bulman played in the 2001 semi-final with Wycombe when they were beaten by Liverpool. He gave another intelligent midfield display to push league leaders Crawley into the last 16 for the first time in their history.

In a tempestuous tie at packed Plainmoor, both sides finished with 10 men after referee Darren Deadman sent off Torquay's Chris Zebroski and Crawley's Dean Howell, both for two bookings, in the second half.

The hero of the tie should have been Torquay goalkeeper Scott Bevan.

Giant Bevan saved two penalties in the space of six minutes, one from Tubbs and another from Craig McAllister, to keep Torquay in contention. But the nearest they came to a goal was an angled volley against the bar by left-back Kevin Nicholson in the 87th minute.

Tubbs fired a warning in the 37th minute, when he shot wide from a McAllister flick.

Then, when Bulman's through-ball beat defenders Guy Branston and Mark Ellis two minutes later, Tubbs made no mistake. Branston and skipper Lee Mansell kept tackling hard but Torquay were punchless up front until manager Paul Buckle sent on Billy Kee to partner forlorn lone striker Elliot Benyon early in the second half.

Zebroski was sent off for handball in the area in the 61st minute but Bevan dived low to his right to keep out Tubbs' spot-kick. …