Defender plays first game for ten months in friendly against Eastleigh
Lanre Oyebanjo returned to action for the first time in ten months today.
The defender has been out since last April after undergoing a serious knee operation in the summer.
Lanre suffered some setbacks in his rehabilitation but he played for the full 90 minutes as a squad containing 12 trialists drew 1-1 with National League outfit Eastleigh at the Checkatrade Stadium.
Lanre said: “It’s obviously great to be back after such a long time out. To be honest it felt a bit weird almost being back on the pitch again but I got through without any problems and I am absolutely delighted.”
Oyebanjo played at centre-half for Reds, whose team contained just two more members of the squad – goalkeeper Callum Preston and striker Shamir Fenelon.
And it was Fenelon who got Reds’ equaliser, having hit the post in the first five minutes, when he glanced home a neat header two minutes into the second half.
Manager Mark Yates ran the rule over a host of trialists and was pleased with the exercise.
He said: “We’re hoping to arrange one or two more of these games between now and the end of the season to look at some of the lads who played today again. It was a good exercise and to see Banj
get through 90 minutes unscathed was a big plus.”
Eastleigh included former Reds’ striker Matt Tubbs, who came on as a second-half substitute, and another ex-Crawley player in midfielder Jai Reason, who was here during the 2010-11 season.