Reds record big victory against East Grinstead
The Reds kicked off their pre-season with an emphatic 9-2 victory over Ryman East Grinstead Town at the GAC Stadium on Saturday in a game the away team dominated throughout.
Head Coach Dermot Drummy fielded two different XIs (listed below) for each half, gave opportunities to eight trialists and handed the rest of the squad some important game time as the team look to rebuild their match fitness.
Mitchell Beeney, Rylan Myers (trialist), Chris Arthur, Charlie Gregory (trialist), Joe McNerney, Mark Connolly, Enzio Boldewijn, Jimmy Smith (c), Fisayo Adarabioyo (trialist), Billy Clifford (trialist), Jordan Roberts.1st Half XI:
Yusuf Mersin, Lanre Oyebanjo, Andre Blackman (trialist), Josh Yornerth, Addison Garnett (trialist), Bobson Bawling, Aryan Tajbakhsh (trialist), Josh Payne (c), Diego Hoffman (trialist), Jason Banton, Lewis Young.2nd Half XI:
The victory never looked much in doubt with goals coming from trialists Billy Clifford and Fisayo Adarabioyo, Jordan Roberts, Jimmy Smith, two from Jason Banton and a hat-trick from Lewis Young - his first goals for the club.
Crawley started the game strongly and the gap between League 2 and Ryman South quickly became apparent, with midfielder Smith dictating the tempo.
Trialist Clifford opened the scoring after just seven minutes when he rounded the East Grinstead goalkeeper to find the net, having had his initial strike saved.
Wide man Roberts was a key figure for the away side during the first half and was involved in the second goal just two minutes later when he squared the ball to Adarabioyo, who stroked into an open net.
Drummy’s side looked set to run riot, with several chances coming their way, however the home side enjoyed a few spells of possession and managed to pull one back 21 minutes in.
Mark Connolly conceded a free-kick on the left hand side of the box and Steffan Cox's cross-shot was stabbed home by Aidan Hayes.
Crawley restored their two goal cushion almost immediately, when Roberts produced a wonderful free kick from 20 yards, curling his effort into the bottom corner.
Ten minutes before the break Drummy’s men found the net again, this time from the penalty spot.
Clifford fired a superb 40-yard diagonal pass to Boldewijn, who ghosted past East Grinstead’s left back before being brought down by the defender’s trailing leg. Smith stepped up and converted from the spot comfortably.
minute through Young.ndThe second half saw a fresh Crawley XI take the field and despite dominating the restart they didn’t find the net until the 72
Banton played a well weighted pass into the path of Young who found a yard on his marker and fired across the keeper and into the bottom corner.
Young found the net again just five minutes later, playing a nice one-two with Bobson Bawling before hitting his shot into the right-hand side of the net.
Substitute goalkeeper Yusuf Mersin had only been called into action once in between Young’s goals, saving well to his left, however the Turk was beaten seven minutes from time.
Another set-piece undid the away side, who were unable to clear from a corner, allowing Jack Healy to stab home from close range.
One minute later Young, playing in a more advanced position than usual, scored arguably the goal of the game and certainly the best effort of the second half.
Tidy work from Banton on the left hand side resulted in a lofted cross deep into the box which was met sweetly on the volley by the right boot of Young and his effort flew in.
Four minutes from time Banton got his reward for his two assists, driving past his opponent on the left before rifling the ball underneath the keeper.
Just as the game was about to come to a close, the former Notts County forward made it 9-2 by smartly turning his man and then smashing the ball into the top left hand corner.
A resounding victory for the Red Devils with some good play and great goals, however the most important thing was getting crucial minutes under the player's belts.
Next up for Drummy’s men is a short trip to Isthmian League side Three Bridges, followed by a visit from Championship play-off semi-finalists Brighton as the pre-season programme starts to take shape.