The Reds kicked off pre-season with a 1-0 victory in Eastbourne this afternoon. Kevin Betsy fielded different teams in each half for his first game in charge of the club. Kwesi Appiah scored the only goal of the game in the second half to secure Kevin’s first win as Crawley manager.
The hosts created the first chance of the game with a glancing header that just evaded the Crawley goal. The ball was whipped into the Crawley penalty area with pace, which allowed one of the Borough attackers to peel off at the back post and head over the bar.
The Reds almost took the lead moments later in the simplest of fashions. Crawley’s trialist goalkeeper fired a long-range kick upfield, which cleared the entire Eastbourne defence. Ashley Nadesan latched on and forced a great save from the Borough goalkeeper.
Tom Nichols, who was captaining Crawley’s first-half team, almost gave Crawley the lead in spectacular fashion with a free-kick from the edge of the area. Nichols curled a beautiful effort towards goal, which came crashing off of the post. The Eastbourne goalkeeper could only stand and watch as the ball flew past him.
Crawley’s trialist goalkeeper was having a fine game in between the sticks during the opening 45 minutes. He was forced to make two very impressive saves during the first half, first tipping over the bar from a long-range effort before making a crucial block from close range.
The Reds changed ten of their 11 players for the second half, which included new signing Dom Telford and captain George Francomb.
It didn’t take long for Crawley to take the lead in the second half as Kwesi Appiah used his instincts to tackle the Eastbourne goalkeeper. The young shot-stopper attempted to turn the ball past Appiah but ended up being dispossessed by the Crawley striker, and the ball trundled into an empty net.
The only man Crawley did not change for the second half was the trialist goalkeeper, who was forced into another fine stop to keep the Reds ahead. An Eastbourne corner was whipped into the box and was met at the near post by a Borough man. The trialist was alert to tip the ball over the bar.
A professional performance in the second half saw the Reds see out a 1-0 victory in Kevin Betsy’s first game in charge. The Reds head to Spain tomorrow to complete a six-day training camp.
FIRST HALF XI: Trialist, Francillette, Lynch, Ransom, Johnson, Trialist, Payne, Trialist, Trialist, Nichols, Nadesan
SECOND HALF XI: Trialist, Framcomb, Trialist, Craig, Tilley, Hessenthaler, Trialist, Gallacher, Telford, Appiah, Oteh