Crotone got their first win – and home goals – of the season to leave Benevento further rooted to the foot of the table and the Streghe even missed a penalty.
This was a pure relegation dogfight at the Stadio Scida, as the hosts had one point, which was still an advantage over troubled Benevento. To make matters worse, the Calabrese club lost captain Fabio Lucioni after he failed a doping test, also missing Amato Ciciretti, Luca Antei, Pietro Iemmello and Marco D’Alessandro.
There was more bad news for Le Streghe, as within four minutes Marco Tumminello landed awkwardly and seemed to badly sprain his knee, so made way for Simy.
Nonetheless, the visitors were aggressive early doors, a couple of dangerous Lombardi runs down the right nodded over by Achraf Lazaar and Massimo Coda.
Adrian Stoian’s effort was deflected wide of the near post by Gravillon, but there was a chaotic move with Federico Barberis charged down by Costa and Marcello Trotta drilling the rebound off target.
The deadlock was broken with Crotone’s first home goal of the season and the first in Rolando Mandragora’s professional career. The Juventus-owned midfielder smashed in from the edge of the box after good build-up play between Simy and Stoian.
After the restart, Simy had a couple of attempts over the bar, and Crotone doubled their lead with a well-worked team move.
Stoian’s cross seemed to be too long and sent Trotta running away from goal, but the ex-Sassuolo striker intelligently back-heeled it into the path of on-rushing Marcus Rohden for a cool finish.
Alex Cordaz was alert to parry when a Vittorio Parigini cross was deflected into the path of Cristiano Lombardi, then another attempted Parigini assist ended up skimming the woodwork instead.
Benevento were awarded a penalty six minutes from time for a Federico Ceccherini foul from behind on Lombardi, but when Nicolas Viola stepped up, he fired the spot-kick on to the upright.
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Missed penalty: Viola 85 (B)