Crawley 1-2 Town
Wednesday, 10th Jul 2013 21:35
Daryl Murphy netted his third goal of pre-season and David McGoldrick scored from the spot as Town beat Crawley 2-1 at the Broadfield Stadium. The goals came in either half with manager Mick McCarthy again fielding a different team in each half.
Town included 26-year-old South African international centre-half Bongani Khumalo from the start alongside Tommy Smith. Another trialist, Dean Gerken, was in goal with Tyrone Mings at left-back and Kyle Hammond on the right.
New signing Paul Anderson and Josh Carson were the widemen with Cole Skuse and Luke Hyam in the centre. Michael Chopra partnered Daryl Murphy up front.
The only senior absentees from the squad were Paul Taylor, who is not yet ready for inclusion after his lengthy injury absence, and Carlos Edwards, who is with Trinidad and Tobago at the Gold Cup in the USA.
The game’s first chance saw ex-Blue Billy Clarke curl a freekick just wide from the edge of the box after Khumalo had fouled Nicky Adams.
Town went ahead in the ninth minute when Mings found Anderson on the left. The former Bristol City man looped the ball over a defender and played the ball to Murphy, who touched it away from a defender before netting his third goal of pre-season from six yards.
Crawley looked to get back on terms through Jamie Proctor but Gerken was equal to his strike from the edge of the box.
The home side came close to an equaliser in the 17th minute when Joe Walsh headed Adams’s freekick from the left just wide.
Town went close to making it 2-0 a minute later when Anderson ran on to Chopra’s ball and nodded it past keeper Paul Jones but away from goal and no one was able to convert his low pass back across the box.
On the half hour Murphy almost scored his fourth goal of pre-season when he ran on to a Hyam pass and took the ball past the keeper but Mark Connolly did superbly to block as the Irishman seemed certain to score.
Clarke ought to have got his side back on terms in the 33rd minute when Adams tricked his way past Mings on the right and crossed to the far post. The ex-Town academy man had time to pick his spot but nodded straight to Gerken.
Murphy shot straight at Jones from 25 yards on 39 with the Red Devils showing an alarming tendency to give the ball away in their own half.
Soon after, Chopra forced the home keeper to push 25-yeard freekick past his post after Carson had been fouled by James Stinson as the Blues broke after Crawley had again surrendered possession too easily.
Neither side threatened again before the break when Town’s second half XI began their warm-up.
Town had had the majority of the game and could have had more goals, however, Crawley will also feel they might have scored at least once.
A confident Murphy took his chance well and always looked a threat. Trialist keeper Gerken did everything required of him, while Khumalo made a couple of decent interceptions but one rather agricultural early foul.
Keeper Gerken was the only player from the first half side to start the second. Elliott Hewitt was at right-back and Aaron Cresswell at left-back with Luke Chambers and trialist Dan Seaborne at the centre of the defence.
In midfield, Jay Tabb started on the left, Byron Lawrence on the right with Amir Berkane and Anthony Wordsworth in the middle. Up front, David McGoldrick partnered Frank Nouble.
Sergio Torres looped an early chance over for an unchanged Crawley side, then in the 49th minute Tabb was close to making it 2-0 from a McGoldrick cross from the right but the keeper managed to block. Soon after, Seaborne poked a leg out to send a Cresswell corner from the left over the bar.
On 52 McGoldrick made it 2-0 from the spot after keeper Jones had brought him down as he took the ball past him. The former Nottingham Forest man slammed the ball to Jones’s right and into the net.
Ex-Blue Clarke sent an overhead kick wide of Gerken’s goal from an Adams cross as the game reached the hour mark and the home side began to make substitutions.
Crawley pulled a goal back in the 63rd minute when Town failed to close down Adams and the midfielder lashed home superbly from 25 yards, prompting a discussion between Cresswell and Wordsworth regarding who was responsible.
On 66 Wordsworth sent Nouble away down the left with an excellent pass with the outside of his left foot. The striker cut in at pace and hit a shot just across the face of goal.
Town were by no means having it all their own way and in the 67th minute Adams forced Gerken to block, then Mike Jones saw a rebound strike defender. Four minutes later, Gary Alexander shot straight at Gerken.
McGoldrick shot straight at Malachi Robinson on 73, then a minute later Hewitt stuck an effort against the same player having broken from midway inside the Crawley half. From the corner, Wordsworth headed wide. Moments later, the former Colchester man hit a shot over after good work from Nouble.
Tabb tapped home from inches in the 77th minute after good work after Lawrence had fed Nouble but having strayed offside. Two minutes later, David October replaced Cresswell, who looked to have picked up what looked to be a thigh problem.
In the 82nd minute Crawley almost got back on terms when Jordan Adekunle cut in from the left and hit a cross which struck Chambers, then the post, then October but somehow avoided crossing the line.
As the game moved into injury time, Kyle McFadzean did well to cut out Tabb’s cross from the left with McGoldrick looking certain to score. Seconds before the whistle Tabb sent a McGoldrick cross well over.
Town just about deserved the victory, having been on top in both halves, although Crawley will feel they might have scored more than just the once.
However, the result is a less important concern than the sides continuing to work on their fitness ahead of the season proper.
First half: Gerken, Hammond, Mings, Khumalo, Smith, Skuse, Anderson, Hyam, Murphy, Chopra, Carson.
Second half: Gerken, Hewitt, Chambers, Seaborne, Cresswell (October 79), Lawrence, Berkane, Wordsworth, Tabb, Nouble, McGoldrick. Subs: Loach, Timlin. Referee: Tim Robinson. Att: 1,029 (Town: 275).
Photo: Action Images
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