TOWIE star Mark Wright comes off bench for Crawley to compound Leeds’ misery

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TOWIE star Mark Wright came off the bench for Crawley Town as Leeds United were sent packing in the FA Cup.

Marcelo Bielsa's side were knocked out 3-0 by the League Two side, stunned by three second-half strikes.

Nick Tsaroulla's incredible effort opened the scoring before Kiko Casilla's horrendous error gave Ashley Nadesan the second goal from a tight angle.

And the Spaniard's save bounced into the path of defender Jordan Tunnicliffe for the third goal, leaving manager John Yems smiling.

But the game also saw him give Mark Wright, who found fame on The Only Way is Essex, his debut in the FA Cup.

The 33-year-old, who played in the academies at West Ham, Arsenal and Tottenham before sporadic spells in non-league, came on for Tom Dallinson in stoppage time.

And he was able to get involved in the full-time celebrations at Broadfield Stadium as the League Two side beat their Premier League opposition.

Wright joined Crawley on a non-contract basis in December, training with Yews' staff since then.

His last appearance came with Isthmian League North Division side Heybridge Swifts in 2011, having started his professional career with Southend United.

But he moved into nightclub promotion soon into his stint with the Shrimpers, getting the gig with TOWIE in 2010.

Leaving the series in 2011, he regularly presents shows for ITV such as This Morning.

But the 33-year-old has been on the football pitch for Soccer Aid, taking part in the 2016 match – which saw him score a free kick for England in a 3-2 win over the World XI – as well as the 2018 and 2019 games.

And he labelled the move last month a "childhood dream", sharing to his 2.7m Twitter followers and 70,000 Crawley followers: "How it started… how it’s going. Twelve years later and today I put pen to paper for Crawley Town!

"For 11 years since I fully retired from serious football, I have missed doing what I grew up loving. Now it’s time to go back & continue where I left off. What an honour."

Wright's brother Josh also made a substitute appearance for the club, joining this month from Leyton Orient.

  • Mark Wright signs for Crawley Town football team in 'childhood dream' career U-turn

When he signed for the club in December, the 33-year-old said: "I love playing football, it’s my number one passion.

“Obviously my career went in a different direction. The speculation is that I’m joining the Reds – it’s a bit far-fetched.

“I’ve just been training with the boys, I know the gaffer, played nine games under the gaffer.

"I’m just doing it for fitness, I love being around it, the camaraderie, the banter around the dressing room."

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  • Leeds made a strong start to the FA Cup game but could not find a way through Crawley's defence in the first half.

    While Bielsa's kept up their possession and attacking, the League Two side caught them twice on the counter-attack before causing chaos at the set piece.

    Wright and Crawley will find out who they will face in the FA Cup fourth round when the draw takes place on Monday.

    • FA Cup
    • Towie

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