Fulham beaten by Crawley in Carabao Cup

Crawley 2 Fulham 0

Fulham went out of the Carabao Cup after being brushed aside by League Two outfit Crawley Town.

Boss Marco Silva made 10 changes to the side that beat Brentford on Saturday, handing full debuts to recent signings Kevin Mbabu, Shane Duffy and Issa Diop along with teenage academy product Luke Harris.

However, it proved to be a chastening evening for the four, who all struggled against a vibrant Crawley side, who sit 22nd on the League Two table and are managed by former Whites winger Kevin Betsy.

The hosts looked the more dangerous in the opening exchanges and took a deserved lead on 17 minutes when skipper Tom Nichols fired home after a Tom Cairney pass deflected off Nathan Chalobah and into his path.

Crawley continued to push forward with on-loan Liverpool striker Balagizi causing plenty of problems for Mbabu and Duffy on Fulham’s right and the visitors were fortunate to not concede a penalty when Chalobah floored Nichols in the box – only for an offside flag to save the Whites’ midfielder.

Balagizi almost doubled his side’s lead on the stroke of half-time when he was put clear through, but his well-struck effort was kept out by Marek Rodak.

But five minutes into the second half Balagizi did find the net after the hard-working Nichols robbed Marlon Fossey on the edge of the Fulham box and teed up the 18-year-old to fire past Rodak.

Fulham struggled to create anything of note in attack with substitute Martial Godo’s acrobatic effort that dropped just wide their only chance of note before Duffy saw a long-range effort fly just over the bar.

But Crawley continued to push and missed two glorious chances as the impressive Balagizi eased past Fossey only to shoot straight at Rodek before Ashley Nadesan left Diop for dead only to lift his shot over the bar.

The Whites finally produced their first shot on target three minutes into injury-time when Stansfield’s low drive was kept out by Crawley keeper Corey Adai.

Fulham: Rodek, Mbabu, Duffy, Diop, Bryan (Ablade 45), Cairney, Chalobah, Fossey, Harris (Godo 45), Francois, Stansfield.