Superior finishing the difference as Crawley lose pre-season test
Brighton produced some clinical finishing to claim a 4-0 triumph over Reds in Saturday’s pre-season friendly at the Checkatrade Stadium.
A crowd of 2197, including 965 Seagulls fans, saw Barem Kayal and Tomer Hemed give the visitors a 2-0 half-time lead which Glenn Murray increased early in the second period before Elvis Manu took advantage of a mistake by Josh Yorwerth to score a late fourth for the Seagulls.
Reds gave as good as they got for long spells and deserved a goal or two for their efforts, coming close to scoring themselves with Jordan Roberts, Jason Banton and James Collins all denied by good goalkeeping.
Playing a 4-2-3-1 system, Crawley made a bright start on a warm afternoon and Jordan Roberts nearly scored in the second minute when he was found in space by Collins and forced Niki Maenpaa to save low down to his left.
The Seagulls were soon into their stride though. Hemed stabbed a shot wide in the ninth minute from a good position before the visitors opened the scoring on 18 minutes. Dale Stephens’ pass found Kayal with much to do but a dummy wrong-footed Joe McNerney and opened up the space to send a close-range shot past the helpless Mitch Beeney.
On the balance of play it was slightly harsh on Crawley who nearly responded with an equaliser midway through the first half but Jason Banton dragged his shot from 20 yards wide of the left-hand post.
controlled a diagonal ball from the left by Lewis Dunk with a neat touch and as Reds appealed for an offside flag he side-footed past Beeney.HemedBrighton doubled their lead on 32 minutes when
Going 2-0 down was harsh on Reds, who had played well and in attacking areas often stretched the Seagulls with good movement and the natural width offered by Enzio Boldewijn and Roberts, who swapped flanks for the closing stages of the first half.
in space just inside the six-yard box and his excellent first touch allowed him to fire past Mersin.Murray minute. A long ball forward found thReds brought on Josh Yorwerth, for his first appearance of pre-season, following illness and goalkeeper Yusuf Mersin at the break but found themselves 3-0 down in the 48
The goalkeeper made a good save to prevent Manu adding another for a much stronger-looking Brighton team in the second half before Reds responded and James Collins forced an excellent save from Robert Sanchez with a powerful shot from the corner of the six-yard box.
Sanchez then pushed out Jimmy Smith’s low drive and Collins, under pressure from a defender, just cleared the bar with his shot from the rebound before Banton found space to fire just over from the corner of post and bar.
Reds made nine changes in the second half with trialists Andre Blackman, who started at left-back, Charlie Gregory and Billy Clifford all getting a further opportunity to impress.
minute. Yorwerth sold Yusuf Mersin short with his back pass and the keeper’s hasty clearance cannoned off the forward and into the net.th got Brighton’s fourth in the 85Manu
Brighton looked a good outfit after narrowly missing out on promotion to the Premier League last season, particularly in the final third, but there would have been a lot of positives for Drummy and Matt Gray to take from the game too.
: Beeney (Mersin 45), Young (Tursun 68), McNerney (Yorwerth 45), Connelly (Garnett 70), Blackman (Arthur 60); Boldewijn, Payne (Tajbakhsh 68), Smith (Gregory 68), Roberts; Banton (Clifford 60), Collins (Bawling 68).Reds
: 2197 (965 Brighton)Attendance