Fans pack out Wembley for team's crunch final

The prospect of playing at Wembley had "just started to set in", Crawley Town fans said ahead of the team's League 2 play-off final.

The Sussex side are currently taking on Crewe Alexandra at the world-famous stadium in a nail-biting game which kicked off at 13:00 BST, with commentary live on BBC Radio Sussex.

The winner will be promoted to League 1.

It is the first time Crawley Town have ever played at Wembley and fans have been keen to make a day of it.

On Sunday morning, trains from Three Bridges station in Crawley were packed with fans dressed in red.

Olympic Way, outside the stadium, had started to fill with spectators by 10.00.

Many left home early this morning to ensure they get to the capital in good time.

Sam Jordan said he was heading up to Wembley early to soak up the pre-match atmosphere at the 90,000 capacity venue.

He said: "Our little club at the home of football is going to be a special occasion.

"The number of fans coming to support the team is amazing - it is sure to be a phenomenal atmosphere."

Mr Jordan, who also runs a Crawley Town podcast, attended both legs of the record-breaking play-off semi-final win over MK Dons, which he described as a "statement".

He added: "Last season, nearly getting relegated, was disappointing. It was only the end of February where I started to believe it might be possible.

"I don't think the players will be nervous on the day.

"I think we will score early and go on to win but I don't care how we win - it can go in off a player's backside for all I care."

Steve Leake helps to run the Crawley Town museum. An exhibition ran in December and it was such a success that the club are funding a permanent spot at the stadium for next season.

Despite this, he hasn't bought any Wembley designed merchandise yet as he said he doesn't want to "tempt fate".

He said earlier: "I went down to the stadium to see the team off, the players and fans there were in a good mood.

"I'll be leaving at 08:00 with 12 of my family members. We will travel to London and have breakfast then head to Wembley.

"Sneaking into the play-offs on the final day has given us extra momentum, shown in the games versus MK Dons. The players have really come of age this season."

Mr Leake said that League 1 has some big teams, including Birmingham City.

"We have a score to settle with them," he said. "They beat us 5-1 in 2017 although we scored the goal of the game, but we need to get some revenge."

He thinks the Red Devils will win 3-1, with an early goal to set them on their way and a later counter-attack goal to finish it off.

BBC Radio Sussex's Crawley Town commentator Gary Smith said Crawley being here is beyond everyone's "wildest expectations".

It will be his first time commentating at Wembley.

He said: "It will be exciting but a bit nervous. I want to give a decent account of myself!

"But it has been my ultimate dream to cover a match at Wembley, so it will be an absolute honour.

"Crawley seem to do enough when it matters. If they replicate the MK Dons performances, Crewe will have to play very well.

"You could see the potential with this early on and they've really developed over the season.

"People have taken notice of how well they have played recently but they've played that well most of the season."

The broadcaster predicts a 3-1 win for Crawley.

You can listen to Gary's commentary on BBC Radio Sussex live by clicking the link here.

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