Forest Green suffered back-to-back defeats for the first time this season as first-half goals from Ashley Nadesan and Jordan Tunnicliffe gave Crawley a surprise win.

Dominic Bernard scored for Rovers late on, but it was not enough to preserve his side's undefeated away record.

Forest Green could have scored twice in the opening seven minutes. Jordan Moore-Taylor had a close range header saved before Kane Wilson drove wastefully wide after being set up by Marty Stevens.

But Nadesan, an early substitute for the injured Aramide Oteh, gave Crawley the lead on 24 minutes by slipping the ball past keeper Luke McGee after Nick Tsaroulla’s through-ball.

It got better for the Reds eight minutes later when defender Tunnicliffe headed his first goal of the season at the far post following a corner by Jack Powell.

After the start of the second half was delayed for 10 minutes due to referee Christopher Pollard being forced off injured, Crawley midfielder Isaac Hutchinson had a deflected shot parried by keeper McGee.

Rovers substitute Jack Aitchison twice shot wide within the space of a minute but defender Bernard reduced the deficit on 80 minutes after the Reds only half-cleared a free-kick by Nicky Cadden.

Aitchison shot over and also forced keeper Glenn Morris to parry his low shot, and Daniel Sweeney had a stoppage-time goal ruled out.

Forest Green boss Rob Edwards insisted there would be “no panic”.

He said: “We need to re-set and not panic; we are still in a very good position.

“It was the end of a really good run of results the week before and now our away run has ended, but football always gives you a good opportunity to bounce back with the number of games coming up.”

Edwards was critical of the manner in which his side conceded their goals and admitted: “We didn’t really recover – it knocked the stuffing out of us a bit.

“We have got to do better as a group but our lads have put themselves in a fantastic position and must keep believing. All must stay strong and come out fighting.”