Reds boss Richie Barker said he was pleased that Kyle McFadzean’s first game back in front of his home crowd went almost unnoticed last night.
The defender - who missed the final five months of the last season with a virus - made his long-awaited return to action at the Broadfield when he came on with a number of other substitutes in the 68th minute of Crawley’s defeat to Ipswich.
It meant McFadzean has played a part in both Crawley’s friendlies having turned out for the first half of last week’s win over Oakwood as he eases his way back to full fitness.
“He sort of got lost in the substitutions really so I’m not sure if everyone recognised he came on, but that was probably a positive for Kyle as it was quite low-key,” boss Barker said.
“We did that purposefully with Kyle to bring him on to ease him back to playing at the stadium, not to thrust him back in there, and he’s got half an hour on the pitch now so he’ll play an hour or so on Saturday and again we’ll build him back up.”
The Championship side ran out narrow 2-1 winners, with goals from Daryl Murphy and David McGoldrick from the penalty spot, before the lively Nicky Adams pulled one back with a super strike from range.
Both sides created chances in an entertaining warm-up and overall Barker was pleased, adding: “It was a good work-out, I was really pleased with every one of them, some got an hour, some got a little bit longer, some got half an hour, but the work ethic and attitude from everyone has been fantastic.
“It took us a while (to get our rhythm), we’re still a little rusty, we’ve not done a great deal in terms of tactical or technical work but that will start to improve daily now, and that will come through matches, hence why we play these sort of games.
“I thought we passed it around particularly well in the first half, and in the last 20 minutes as well and created a couple of decent chances.”
One real positive was again the performance of youth player Jordan Adekunle from the bench, who showed quick feet and a willingness to take on his defender and nearly equalised with a deflected cross which struck the post.
Barker, refusing to get too carried away said of the youngster: “He’s one of those players, if he thinks about it a great deal he’s not quite sure but he’s very quick. His end product needs to improve but he wasn’t bad tonight.”
Crawley’s next friendly is again at home against Championship opposition when Millwall are the visitors to Broadfield Stadium this Saturday (kick off 3pm).