Substitute Emile Sinclair spared Crawley's blushes as he stuck late on to earn a 2-1 win against Conference North table-toppers Hednesford Town.
Striker Sinclair headed home the winner in the 83rd minute after latching onto Nicky Adams' corner to deny Hednesford a replay.
Midfielder Elliott Durrell had equalised for the hosts from the penalty spot after Darren Campion's own goal put Crawley ahead just after the hour mark.
Crawley had lost their previous four matches in League One and were forced onto the back foot early on as Hednesford started well.
The Red Devils eventually settled and almost took a half-time lead as Josh Simpson's effort rattled the post following impressive work from Andy Drury.
Hednesford were still looking the better team though as Ben Bailey and Durrell both forced saves from goalkeeper Paul Jones.
But luck was not on their side as Crawley took the lead after 61 minutes as Adams' cross hit Pitmen captain Campion and found the back of the net.
Durrell continued his impressive goalscoring record in the 76th minute to pull Hednesford level, notching his 20th goal of the season from the penalty spot after Mat Sadler hauled down Jamey Osborne.
But sub Sinclair denied the underdogs a deserved replay as he nodded home Adams' cross with seven minutes remaining.