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Man United edges non-league Crawley 1-0 in FA Cup

 Manchester United's Anderson, left, vies for the ball against Crawley Town's Sergio Torres during their FA Cup fifth round soccer match at Old Traffo...

Britain Soccer FA Cup

Manchester United's Anderson, left, vies for the ball against Crawley Town's Sergio Torres during their FA Cup fifth round soccer match at Old Traffo...

Manchester United advanced to the sixth round of the FA Cup but only after a narrow 1-0 win over minnows Crawley Town at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Wes Brown's first-half header ensured there was no upset against a team that sits 93 places below them on the league ladder in the fifth tier.
However, the 11-time FA Cup winners struggled to impose themselves and Crawley almost snatched an equalizer in stoppage time when substitute Richard Brodie's header came back off the bar.
Crawley will make over one million pounds ($1.6 million) from the tie via television rights and gate receipts from a sellout 75,000 crowd at Old Trafford.
The game amply illustrated the romance of the FA Cup: Alex Ferguson's Premier League leaders hosting a team that was seeking to become the first non-League club to reach the quarterfinals of the FA Cup since World War II.
While United's quest for a sixth triumph in the competition under Ferguson's reign started last month, Crawley's adventure started in October with a qualifying win in Wales against Newport County.
Victories over Football League clubs Swindon, Derby and Torquay have since followed but Crawley's journey ended in a gutsy defeat in front of 9,000 traveling fans, almost twice the capacity of the club's tiny Broadfield Stadium home.
United manager Ferguson must have done a double take when he saw the Crawley team sheet and seen the names Torres and Shearer staring back at him.
But instead of Spanish international Fernando and former England international Alan, it was Sergio Torres and Scott Shearer.
Crawley's veteran keeper Michel Kuipers once served in the Dutch Marine Corps but if the 36-year-old was expecting to find himself in the firing line then he was pleasantly mistaken as United struggled to stamp their authority.
Former Arsenal trainee Ben Smith set the tone for what was to come when his speculative 25-yard effort in the 11th minute narrowly sailed wide of the target.
United were not at full strength. The likes of Edwin van der Sar, Patrice Evra, Nemanja Vidic, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Dimitar Berbatov were not involved.
But neither was this a weak team. Wayne Rooney started on the substitutes bench before coming on at the start of the second half while Michael Carrick and John O'Shea were also on duty.
Republic of Ireland international Darron Gibson delivered the cross for Brown to head the hosts into a 28th-minute lead _ their first serious threat.
Fabio da Silva failed to kill the game off after the Brazilian fullback was sent clear by Gibson. Crawley's players were expected to tire the longer the match continued, yet they seemed to get stronger.
After David Hunt had spurned one opportunity to equalise, Matt Tubbs, Crawley's leading scorer with 28 goals, sent an overhead kick from four yards (meters) narrowly over the bar.
Finally, Brodie was denied by the woodwork on a day Crawley will never forget.

Updated : 2021-10-22 07:43 GMT+08:00