Rovers had a happy reunion with former boss Dean Saunders as they ran riot for their biggest league win of the season.
Goals from Andy Butler, Richie Wellens, Nathan Tyson, Harry Forrester and Curtis Main saw Rovers stroll to a comfortable win over struggling Crawley.
Rovers dominated from start to finish, in full control against a side who offered very little in return at the Broadfield Stadium even before they went down to ten men deep into the second half.
Comfortable in possession throughout, Paul Dickov’s side truly showed their ruthless side as they swept aside their negative goal difference and moved back to within three points of the play-off places in League One.
A major positive was that strikers Tyson and Main both got on the scoresheet after a long relative drought from Rovers’ forwards.
Forrester twice went close to giving Rovers the lead in the opening seconds.
Forrester darted forward and drilled a shot which Lewis Price parried before the winger’s follow up was hooked off the line by Joe Walsh.
Crawley’s Mathias Pogba drilled narrowly wide from the corner of the box as the hosts responded.
Tyson – starting in place of the injured Uche Ikpeazu – darted down the left and sent over a teasing cross which Dean Furman met with a header, only to send it straight at Price.
The hosts went close themselves when Anthony Wordsworth sent in a fine free kick with which Marvin Elliott narrowly missed connecting.
Tyson drew a fine save from Price on the volley after 24 minutes.
And the Crawley keeper proved his tormentor again shortly after, parrying out a 20 yard strike.
Though Rovers were much the stronger side, Crawley continued to fire warning shots.
And Izael McLeod called Stephen Bywater into action with a shot from 25 yards.
But Rovers took the lead seven minutes before half time.
A free kick from inside the Rovers half was launched into the Crawley box, the hosts failed to clear and Butler pounced to put Rovers ahead.
Rovers looked in full control early in the second half.
And Wellens added the second on 56 minutes, latching on to Kyle Bennett’s cross and turning the ball home.
Hard working Tyson put the icing on the cake with a delightful chip over Lewis Price on 63 minutes.
Rovers’ grip on the game only tightened two minutes later when Walsh was dismissed.
After a foul on Wellens, Walsh pushed Dean Furman in the face and was shown a straight red.
Forrester slammed home a fourth for Rovers. Bennett was the provider for Forrester’s 73rd minute effort, sending in a cross after a long passing move from Rovers.
And, in injury time, substitute Main found space on the edge of the box and drilled home to wrap up a superb night for Rovers.
Crawley: Price, Oyebanjo (Bawling 46), Ward, Walsh, Dickson, Elliott, Smith (Fowler 60), Edwards, Wordsworth, Pogba (Bradley 67), McLeod.
Subs not used: Dutton, Bradley, Morgan, Tomlin, Young
Rovers: Bywater, Wabara, Butler, McCombe, Stevens (Evina 78), Keegan, Bennett, Furman, Wellens (Main 78), Forrester, Tyson (Robinson 74).
Subs not used: Marosi, Wakefield, Middleton, Whitehouse.
Referee: Lee Collins
Cards: Yellow: Edwards 26 (Crawley), Stevens 20 (Rovers)
Att: 2,581 (217 away)