Trialists on target in 2-1 friendly victory
A late Steve Burford goal sealed another win for Crawley in pre-season as the Reds saw off the difficult challenge of Three Bridges with a 2-1 victory at a rain-soaked Jubilee Field.
Burford struck in the 88th minute - sliding home from close range - to cancel out Allan Tait’s equaliser following Anthony Stewart’s opener.
Reds boss John Gregory decided to run the rule over a number of trialists, with 21-year-old Wycombe Wanderers defender Anthony Stewart and former Fulham attacker Charles Banya included in the squad.
Contracted players Raphael Spiegel, Bobson Bawling, Emmett O’Connor, Ryan Richefond, Connor Essam and captain for the night Ryan Dickson all began the match.
Bridges began brightly with John Lansdale firing over while at the other end Richefond's effort was held by Kieron Thorp in the Bridges goal. They were the only chances in the opening 15 minutes.
Midway through the first half Ben Godfrey was sent through by a Lee Carney through ball but Spiegel read the effort well and saved comfortably.
Reds upped the ante after the 30-minute mark and after Bobson Bawling’s 20-year pile-driver was saved, O’Connor raced to the byline and crossed for Banya who was inches away from opening the scoring.
On the stroke of half time, Tait broke the Crawley offside trap but, one-on-one with Spiegel, saw his effort come back off the right-hand post, with the West Ham loanee reacting sharply to flick the loose ball off the toes of the striker from the rebound. From the resulting corner, Matt Daniel headed over the bar.
Crawley were clearly fired up after the break and Banya’s neat swivel earned him space to have a strike on goal that Thorp had to expertly tip over.
Moments later and Banya’s shot from the edge of the box again forced Thorp into action with the Bridges keeper beating the ball away from danger.
notching a goal from close range. Some nice footwork from Essam - after a corner wasn’t cleared - saw him hook the ball across the box and Stewart cooly volleyed home to put Reds 1-0 up.StewartThe deadlock was broken after 50 minutes with
The impressive Banya was involved again minutes later as Crawley looked to turn the screw. His drive across the six-yard box was both powerful and accurate but fellow trialist Kemoy Halton screwed his effort over the bar.
- who scored plenty of goals during his time as a Red - was on hand for Bridges to tap home after a cross from the right and equalise.TaitOn 73 minutes, former Crawley striker
The pendulum swung in Bridges favour as pressure began to mount on the Reds’ back line with Jamie Crellin’s strike being deflected wide by Essam. However, for the final ten minutes of the game it was end-to-end as the rain came down.
slid home after good play by O’Connor and Banya on the right flank to win it with two minutes remaining.BurfordJust when it appeared there would be a share of the spoils, trialist
.Reds: Spiegel, Bawling, O’Connor, Essam, Dickson (c) (Penton, 46), Warren (Odamentey, 40), Banya, Richefond, Halton (Delgardo, 59), Burford, Stewart