Two late goals earned Reds a 2-1 win at Bognor Regis on Wednesday in our latest pre-season test.
It was a harsh outcome on the hosts who had looked lively throughout but Moussa Sanoh equalised with his first goal for the club in the 83rd minute before Dennon Lewis won it in the last minute of stoppage time.
Reds had played a behind-closed-doors game against Premier League opposition on Tuesday while Jimmy Smith, Josh Payne and Panutche Camara were both sidelined with injury.So the XI in action included Thomas Verheydt, who was making his second start, up front while Harry Kewell opted for a 3-4-3 formation with Dennon Lewis and Sanoh providing support for Verheydt up front.
Bognor, promoted to the Ryman Premier last season, were the more potent side in the first half and Reds were fortunate not to concede before they did go behind in the 22nd minute.
Twice in the first six minutes Ollie Pearce got through on goal but chipped his first chance wide before being denied by a sprawling Yusuf Mersin.
But he made no mistake when Billy Clifford was dispossessed and the ball played through and Pearce rounded Mersin to make it 1-0.
Mersin also made a good save from Alex Parsons while Jimmy Wild should have profited on a mistake by Lewis but dragged his effort wide.
Towards the end of the first half Reds began to look more of an attacking threat but Dan Lincoln in the home goal made just one save of note when he blocked a powerful header from Verheydt after he was found by Dean Cox’s cross.
Bognor made a raft of changes at the break and looked less of a threat going forward while at the other end Lincoln was called into action to flip a powerful drive from Cox over his bar moments after Lewis had cut inside and unleashed an effort which dipped just over the target.
Cox wasn’t far away with another effort from just outside the box but Bognor then had two great chances to double their lead. Substitute Tommy Scutt’s shot was cleared off the line by Chris Arthur then Wild got away from Andre Blackman but fired wide when he should have hit the target.
There was certainly a competitive edge to the contest and in the final stages Reds pushed for an equaliser, leaving themselves vulnerable to the counter-attack. Jimmy Muitt dragged a shot wide in one such break but with seven minutes to go Reds levelled.
Moussa Sanoh cut inside from the left and drilled a low shot through a crowded box into the bottom left-hand corner.
And in stoppage time Reds grabbed the winner. Lewis picked his way past a couple of challenges before producing a composed finish into the far corner.
Reds: Mersin; Garnett, Yorwerth ©, Arthur, Sanoh, Tajbakhsh, Clifford, Cox, Blackman, Lewis, Verheydt.