Last night Crawley fell to defeat to a hard-working Beckenham Town side in our final pre-season friendly, the hosts took the lead with a devilish strike a moment before the half-time whistle after a trialist struck the woodwork twice.
The Reds travelled to Beckenham Town yesterday evening in their final pre-season outing before travelling to Hartlepool on Saturday. It was certainly a slow start to proceedings as neither side were able to create any clear cut chances in the opening 15 minutes.
The Reds did eventually carve out the first chance of the game as Szymon Kowalczyk and Sam Ashford linked up well. Ashford fed the ball to Kowalczyk on the edge of the area before making a piercing run into the box, Szymon looked to have found Ashford, but the Beckenham goalkeeper did well to punch the ball clear.
Crawley went close again just moments later as a trialist struck the woodwork. New boy Will Ferry was heavily involved as he neatly found the trialist inside the Beckenham penalty area. The energetic man on trial took the ball inside with ease and unleashed a wicked shot that came crashing off of the post.
Kowalczyk would have found himself with his first Crawley goal this evening if it wasn’t for a very impressive save from the Beckenham goalkeeper. A Reds corner fell loose at the edge of the box, which allowed Szymon to fire a low-driven shot towards goal, Beckenham’s goalkeeper was down quickly to push the effort past the post.
Noukeu was then involved at the other end as he was forced to make a brilliant save from a speculative Beckenham effort. The hosts’ wide man cut inside of Adebowale before taking a shot at goal from 25-yards out, Blondy used his height to his advantage to reach across and tip over the bar.
Despite all of Crawley’s pressure in the latter stage of the first half, Beckenham took the lead with a thunderous strike. A corner for the hosts was only half-cleared by the Reds as the ball fell kindly for the Number eight, the midfielder did not hesitate and blasted an effort into the back of the net, leaving Noukeu with no chance.
The second-half saw many changes from Lee Bradbury who sent on many of our younger trialists. Unfortunately the tempo of the game began to dip as we allowed Beckenham more chances in on goal, following a dominant first-half performance.
Early into half saw the most exciting phase when Ferry zoomed past three men before finding himself in the opposition box. The wide man attempted to round an on-rushing goalkeeper but a last-ditch reaction tackle from a red shirt meant he couldn’t get a shot away.
Noukeu was active in the second-half and made a flurry of impressive saves that kept us in the game, but it wasn’t to be for Crawley in our final pre-season fixture ahead of our league opener at Hartlepool United on Saturday.
Reds XI: Noukeu; Adebowale, Trialist, Ransom ©, Ferry; Bulman, Khaleel, Kowalczyk; Ashford, Trialist, Trialist. Five trialists entered the fray in the second-half.