Crawley Town 0-1 Ipswich Town - Match Report
Tuesday, 17th Jul 2018 21:29 by Robert Dunford
A strike in the fifth minute by Grant Ward gave Town a 1-0 friendly victory against League Two Crawley Town, in a display that saw the Blues debut of new signing Gwion Edwards in the second half.
As the pitch at Broadfield Stadium was under renovation, and was not due to be ready until the end of July, the game was moved to East Court, the home of East Grinstead Town.
There was a place on the bench for new signing Edwards against his old club, with another ex-Red Devils player in Jordan Roberts alongside him.
Having made his first appearance in almost a year in the defeat at Braintree, midfielder Andre Dozzell was given a starting place along with Luke Woolfenden and Tristan Nydam. However, both Tom Adeyemi and Joe Garner remained absent.
Town set up 4-2-3-1, with Waghorn up top, Dozzell playing deep alongside Skuse, and Sears on the right – a switch from Saturday - of the three with Ward on the left and Nydam in the centre.
Seeking an improvement after the disappointing display in Essex, Town made their intentions known as early as the third minute, when Freddie Sears pounced onto a backheel by Martyn Waghorn to bear down on goal – however, his effort was matched by Crawley keeper Glenn Morris.
The home shotstopper was beaten two minutes later, when Grant Ward picked up a through ball by Waghorn on the edge of the box, and placed his effort past the outstretched goaltender to open the scoring.
Town were almost caught napping five minutes later, when Lewis Young was allowed to cross in from the right hand flank, to find the head of Reece Grego-Cox who had slipped inbetween both central defenders. It was left to Dean Gerken to palm away a point blank header and away to safety.
The game was already proving to be an open one, and on 13 minutes Nydam beat the offside trap down the left side to quickly deliver a low cross into the area for Waghorn, but he put his first time effort just over the crossbar.
The amount of chances at either end dropped off, although Town were looking a sharper and more composed side than the one at Braintree.
Waghorn was able to foil the Crawley defence when he picked up a through ball by Cole Skuse with seven minutes remaining. With Morris coming out of his area to narrow his angle, Waghorn was wasteful with his lob, which landed tamely wide of the goalposts.
The striker was denied the goal his play deserved two minutes before the break, when after picking up a pass from Nydam, he was able to cut inside and curl a fine strike from just inside the box.
However, although his effort beat the outstretched Morris, Crawley defender Mark Connolly was able to stop the ball on the line.
Edwards made his debut for Town as he came on for the second half alongside Flynn Downes, replacing Waghorn and Dozzell respectively.
The Welshman showed supporters a brief glimpse of his pace six minutes after the restart, when he ran from almost inside the Ipswich box to the halfway line, before being upended.
Indeed, the 25-year old appeared to be a target for the Crawley defenders, finding himself on the floor after a couple of tough challenges.
Myles Kenlock made way for Josh Emmanuel on 77 minutes, while Roberts replaced Nydam and close to the end Ben Folami came on for Grant Ward, whose goal proved to be decisive.
Crawley: Morris, Young, Doherty, Payne, Connolly, Palmer, Grego-Cox, Bulman, Young, Whelpdale, Allalukhia. Second-half subs: Mersin, McNerney, Francomb, Randall, Camara, Briggs, Sessay, Milsom, Turley (46). Poleon, Mammou (67).
Town: Gerken, Spence, Kenlock (Emmanuel 78), Chambers (c), Woolfenden, Ward (Folami 86), Dozzell (Downes 46) Skuse, Nydam (Roberts 78), Waghorn (Edwards 46), Sears. Unused: Wright.
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