A good old fashioned Derby, with no holds barred, a bonus for the neutrals, a mare for managers and supporters alike, as goals continued to rain in at either end, rather in common with the recent rain-swept conditions of previous days.
Depleted Crawley Down broke the deadlock in the ninth minute when Ben Brooker drove home a James Day free-kick.
Two minutes later Sam Cane made it 2-0 when he headed home from another Trotter cross.
Brooker took a pass to run through an open Linger rearguard to notch number three as half-time was reached. HT 3-0 Anvils.
Come the second half and attacking the Kop End, the Anvil faithful awaited another first half re-run, and on 52 they were rewarded when Cane broke free to fire home past Jenner. 4-0 Anvils.
But the Lingers were not to be silenced and on 55 another incident in the Anvil box allowed Boylan to open the Lingers account with the resultant penalty. 4-1 Anvils.
This seemed to galvanise the Lingers as another Burroughs cross had Boylan firing over.
On the hour mark Tucker then fed Dave Houlders to rifle home the Anvils’ fifth to give the home scoreline another boost. Anvils 5-1.
Surely with still half hour to go it must be game, set and match for the Anvils, but these boys from Godstone Road are made of sterner stuff, and on 64 extended their score through Declan Smith this after Anvil keeper Maher had fended off two one-on-ones with the Linger attackers. 5-2 Anvils.
Changes on the Anvil bench with Josh Alcock replacing the hard working Andy Goodwin, on 75 after just firing over, flankman Tucker was on hand to score after a bit of pinball in the box. 6-2 Anvils.
Another change on the bench with Josh Brown replacing Mike Spence, but on 81 the Anvils were rocked yet again when a cross from sub TJ Stead was tucked away by Boylan again. 6-3 Anvils.
The vocal Linger support then raised not only the decibel level, but began to dream the impossible dream, whilst Anvils gathered urged their timepieces to move quicker, and when Dave Heaton on 84 netted from close range the Linger support came nearly to raising the roof, as the Anvil defence continued to look vulnerable, but somehow survived the final minutes of an absorbing contest, just can’t wait for the return! 6-4 Anvils.
Crawley Down Gatwick: Simon Maher, Sonny Barton, James Lovatt, Mike Spence (Josh Brown), Steve Dixon, James Day, Dave Houlders, Andy Goodwin (Josh Alcock), Ben Brooker, Sam Cane, Luke Trotter (Karl Jordan).
Unused sub: Martin Hopkins
Man of the Match: Steve Dixon