Panutche Camara scores twice on return to former club as Reds win 4-2 at Dulwich Hamlet in latest pre-season friendly
Reds remain unbeaten in pre-season after coming through an entertaining test against Dulwich Hamlet at Champion Hill.
The hosts, beaten in the last two Isthmian Premier play-off finals, came from 2-0 down to draw level at the break after Enzio Boldewijn and ex-Dulwich player Panutche Camara had netted in the first half hour.
Harry Kewell changed the entire team at the break and goals from Camara and Matt Harrold sealed victory for the visitors, who now face Premier League Brighton at the Checkatrade Stadium on Saturday.
The first half XI started with a 3-4-3 formation including the welcome return after injury of goalkeeper Glenn Morris and Billy Clifford, who were making his first pre-season appearances. Jimmy Smith was still sidelined by a torn thigh while Thomas Verheyt has had to return to Holland on Tuesday afternoon because of a family illness.
Reds got off to the perfect start with a goal in the second minute when Boldewijn pressurised the home defence into a mistake and the Dutchman found the far corner with a powerful angled drive.
Arjan Tajbakhsh had to go off after suffering an early injury and it was his replacement Camara who doubled the lead in the 29th minute when he nipped in after Dulwich defender Nathan Green left his back-pass short to beat goalkeeper Preston Edwards.
Dulwich had gone close a few minutes earlier when Dumebi Dumaka fired over but he wasn’t to be denied and pulled one back in the 31st minute when Morris palmed a right-wing cross into his path and he couldn’t miss with his close-range header.
And three minutes before the break Dumaka made it 2-2, cutting inside Josh Payne and stroking the ball confidently past an exposed Morris.
Seven minutes after the break the woodwork denied Reds when Jordan Roberts showed great skill to take a cross over his shoulder and volley it against the bar with Matt Harrold’s follow-up held by Preston.
But moments later Reds were back in front when Camara side-footed home from Harrold’s intelligent pull-back.
Dulwich were still a threat and ex-Red Gavin Tomlin was denied by Josh Lelan’s goalline clearance on the hour before the hosts changed all ten of their outfield players.
It was only then that the contest got a little scrappy but Crawley sealed their win with five minutes to go when Harrold cleverly diverted Moussa Sanoh’s driven cross into the corner for his sixth goal in pre-season.
There was still time for Yusuf Mersin to make a finger-tip save from Gustavo Ferraz and for Preston to make two equally impressive stops at the other end to deny Sanoh and Harrold as an entertaining game ended as it had begun with chances at both ends.
Reds (1st half): Morris, Tajbakhsh (Camara 18), McNerney, Payne, Yorwerth, Blackman, Clifford, Djalo, Boldewijn, Cox, Lewis.
Reds (2nd half): Mersin, Young, Lelan, Connolly, Evina, Bulman, Randall, Sanoh, Camara, Harrold, Roberts.
Photo: Ex-Reds midfielder Marvin Elliott looks on as Enzio Boldewijn takes a tumble during the first half of Tuesday's friendly at Dulwich Hamlet