Today the Reds ran out as 2-1 victors over a strong Tottenham Hotspur U23 side at The People’s Pension Stadium. Headed goals from both Ashley Nadesan and Davide Rodari were scored either side of Dilan Markanday’s leveller. Tyler Frost was announced as Man of the Match after a superb all-round performance.
The visitors started brightly and were the first of the two sides to create a clear cut chance. Markanday received the ball on the edge of the area before looking up and taking a shot at goal, Morris looked to have it covered as the ball drifted just wide of the post.
Crawley soon fired into action and quickly established a lead as Ashley Nadesan fired home a header from an Owen Gallacher cross. The young left-back did brilliantly to beat his man on the left-hand side before clipping a cross into the Tottenham penalty area, Nadesan rose highest and nodded past Josh Oluwayemi in the Tottenham goal.
The lead, unfortunately, did not last long as Dylan Markanday levelled for the visitors following a defensive mishap. A loose pass in the Crawley penalty area was intercepted by Alfie Devine as the striker had the simple task of squaring to Markanday, who took a touch before placing his effort in the back of the net.
Tyler Frost was having another bright game after impressing against West Ham United on Monday night. The Reds winger almost restored the lead as he and Owen Gallacher linked up well on the edge of the Spurs box, Oluwayemi saving comfortably down to his right.
Nadesan then had a bite at the cherry after more good build-up play from Gallacher. The full-back made another intrusive run into the penalty area before firing a wicked cross into the box as Nadesan flicked his effort wide of the target.
It wasn’t long before Crawley did restore their lead as Davide Rodari powered a header home from a corner. Jack Powell floated a ball into the area as Rodari, who was unmarked, flicked over a helpless Oluwayemi.
Crawley continued to dominate pressure in the early stages of the second half as both Matthews and Frost continued to cause problems for the Spurs defence. The pair combined to make a clever free-kick routine, which saw Frost have a shot blocked inside the area.
Archie Davies was also having a fine game at full-back, winning the applause from the Reds faithful on several occasions. Davies came very close to providing the assist for a third Crawley goal after his pin-point cross was turned just wide from Rodari. Archie then had a chance to score himself as he took a very clever touch inside his man before firing towards the near post, Oluwayemi saving well.
Morris was forced into action for the first time in the 85th minute as he made a brilliant save to deny Rafferty Pedder. Spurs embarked on a lightning-quick counter-attack as Pedder broke free from the Reds defence, Morris beating away the youngster’s effort.
Crawley held on to claim victory in a very dominating performance at The People’s Pension Stadium. The Reds have one final pre-season test before travelling to Hartlepool on Saturday 7th August, as they face Beckenham Town on Tuesday 3rd August.
Reds XI: Morris, Davies, Tunnicliffe (Dallison 73’), Craig (Adebowale 83’), Gallacher (Tsaroulla 68’); Matthews (Ashford 73’), Hessenthaler (Francomb 73’), Powell, Frost (Ransom 83’); Rodari (Trialist 83’), Nadesan (Payne 46’).