CRAWLEY Town added their name to a growing litany of recent Leeds United FA Cup embarrassments.

The League Two side thoroughly deserved their 3-0 win against the Premiership club who have now been felled by Newport County, Sutton United, Rochdale and Histon in recent years in the competition.

Playing simple 4-4-2 football, the Sussex side could have won by more as the Whites collapsed in the second half after Marcelo Bielsa made three changes during the interval.

The Leeds coach said: “In the first half we played better than the opponent and the game was played how we wanted it to be played, even if we didn’t create much danger.

“In the second half the game was played how the opponents wanted to play. They did create danger to deserve the goals that they scored.

“The result generates a lot of sadness and disappointment for us. It’s not a question of surprise, we know the characteristics of their players and the opponents, just like every other opponent.”

John Yems’ men were set on their way by a great solo goal by Nick Tsaroulla – his first professional goal - on 50 minutes as Leeds’ defence were still adjusting to Bielsa’s wholesale changes.

Goalkeeper Kiko Casilla may have done better with Tsaroull’a shot but he was definitely at fault five minutes later when the pacy Ashley Nadesan’s effort went through him.

Crawley were making a mockery of the 64 places between the two clubs in the football ladder and went 3-0 up when defender Jordan Tunnicliffe thumped home from close range after Leeds failed to deal with a set piece.

Bielsa made seven changes to his side but Leeds fielded England midfielder Kalvin Phillips among several regular top-flight starters including club record signing Rodrigo and skipper Liam Cooper who was making his return from injury.

Unlike some of their previous FA Cup humiliations there was enough quality on the pitch for Leeds to take care of business.

Bielsa placed Phillips in defence rather than in midfield where Pascal Struijk fulfilled that role which he is expected to occupy against Brighton on Saturday as Phillips is suspended against the Seagulls.

Struijk, Cooper and Rodrigo were withdrawn at half-time – which seemed like a premeditated move. Bielsa gave a debut to teenager Jack Jenkins, introduced rookie Oliver Casey at the back and gave Jack Harrison, a winger, the central striking spot.

The changes backfired as Leeds, who had enjoyed some decent moments in the first half without getting into gear, became totally unbalanced and unhinged by a fearless Crawley outfit who reached the fourth round for only the third time, having spent most of their 125-year existence in non-league football.

At 2-0 down Bielsa sent on 18-year-old Sam Greenwood for his debut and introduced big money signing Raphinha but United’s FA Cup horse had already bolted.

While there was a degree of experimentation on Bielsa’s part, at no time did his players truly stamp their energy and authority on the game. The fact that Leeds left two of their slots on the bench vacant was another oddity.

None of the Leeds players emerged with much credit from the shambles with those on the fringes missing an opportunity to stake a claim for more game time in the Premiership.

The only down side for super Crawley was they had no fans in the ground to witness the greatest result in the club’s history.

By the end they won at a canter, even having the luxury of bringing on reality TV celebrity Mark Wright in stoppage time for the former The Only Way Is Essex star’s debut, having signed for the club on non-contract terms in December.

Leeds can only hope that the nightmare result does not have a negative impact on their remaining Premiership matches which resume on Saturday against Brighton at Elland Road.

Crawley Town: Morris, Francombe, Tunnicliffe, Dallison (Wright 90+1), Matthews (Davies 71), Hessenthaler (Doherty 90+1), Powell, Tsaroulla (Wright 72), Nadesan (Nadsean 72), Nichols. Subs (not used): McNearney, Frost, Gallach, Nelson. Caution: Hessenthaler

Leeds United: Casilla, Phillips, Cooper (Casey HT), Davis (Greenwood 58), Struijk (Jenkins HT), Shackleton, Alioski, Hernandez, Poveda (Raphinha 58), Rodrigo (Harrison HT), Costa. Subs (not used): Caprille, Huggins. Caution: Phillips

Ref: Peter Bankes

Att: Behind closed doors