Sir Alex Ferguson sent Crawley manager Steve Evans back to Sussex with a bottle of vintage wine and some happy memories - but the immediate taste of an FA Cup defeat at Old Trafford was bitter for the non-leaguers.

Even Ferguson conceded Crawley deserved a draw for their efforts after an excellent second-half display. And they came agonisingly close to a second game too as Richard Brodie's stoppage-time header bounced off the bar.

"It looked like a big chance," said Evans. "Some of the boys said they thought it was in and I think a few of the United players felt the same way. We go home disappointed tonight. We really thought we could win."

Evans will now try and raise his team for a somewhat less glamorous encounter with another north-west side, Southport, on Tuesday as Crawley return to their quest to get promotion into the Football League.

He will do so a wiser man after spending half an hour in the company of fellow Glaswegian Ferguson.

"He gave me a proper Glasgow welcome," reported Evans.

"They way he and his club have treated us makes me proud to be from the same city.

"He gave me a bottle of wine to share with my wife and overall, it was a fantastic experience.

"It was an education how to treat people. It is why they are the best club in the world."

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