Crawley Town lost a tiring second friendly of pre-season 2-0 at home to Millwall this afternoon.
Headed goals in each half by Jermaine Easter in the 14th minute and Dany N’Guessan on 72 minutes sealed the defeat against the Championshsip club.
Reds defender Kyle McFadzean began his first match in months following a lengthy lay-off through illness after being named in the starting line-up for today’s pre-season friendly against Millwall.
He successfully completed the opening 65 minutes of the game after having played the last 30 minutes against Ipswich.
Boss Richie Barker made four changes to the side which lost 2-1 to Ipswich Town on Wednesday.
Making their first starts of the summer were: McFadzean, Mat Sadler, former Millwall striker Gary Alexander and 19-year-old Jonte Smith who made his first start in a Reds first team shirt.
Playing in stifling heat of around 32 degrees, Millwall took the lead with the first real chance for either side.
A good cross by Lee Martin from the left flank was headed high into the net by new signing from Crystal Palace, Jermaine Easter.
McFadzean showed his alertless despite being out of action for several months by calmly chesting a cross by Easter back to keeper Paul Jones.
The unusally high temperatures were underlined by an early drinks break half-way through the first half.
Mat Sadler set-up Jonte Smith for a chance on goal with a good cross from the left but the teenager scuffed his shot in front of goal halmlessly to keeper David Forde.
Moments later Smith limped off injured and was replaced up front by Billy Clarke.
Sadler then finished the half with a useful shot from the left which flew narrowly over the bar.
Reds made five substitutions at the start of the second half with Mark Connolly, Connor Essam, Sergio Torres, Nicky Adams and Mike Jones going off being replaced by Crawley youth team players Bradley Isaacs, Alex Malins, former youth player Jordan Adekunle plus Jamie Proctor and Dannie Bulman.
Crawley made four more substitutions midway through the second half, with youth players Malachi Robinson and Scott Melville coming on along with former Brighton & Hove Albion player Adam Virgo and goalkeeper Jonathan Maddison.
Paul Jones, Mat Sadler, Kyle McFadzean and Gary Alexander were the quartet making way.
Town’s Bradley Isaacs had a go from 25 yards only to see the effort fly over the crossbar.
Lions substitute John Marquis forcing a decent save from Maddison from a narrow angle.
Milwall added a second goal in the 72nd minute when Liam Feeney eased past Malachi Robinson and crossed for Dany N’Guessan to head in.
Billy Clarke fired a 20-yard shot over the bar as reds looked to get back into the game.
Millwall came close to adding a third goal when a corner found Josh Wright who blasted a low drive with incredible power on target from outside the box which was well saved to knock wide by Maddison.
Marquis had time to force another save from Maddison following a cut in from the left as Milwall looked on top at the end of an exhausting 90 minutes.
REDS: Paul Jones, Mat Saddler, Mark Connolly, Kyle McFadzean, Connor Essam, Sergio Torres, Gary Alexander, Nicky Adams, James Stinson, Mike Jones, Jonte Smith (Billy Clarke 28)
2nd half: Malachie Robinson, Scott Melville, Bradley Isaacs, Vince Day, Jamie Proctor, Dannie Bulman, Elliott Levy, Jordan Adekunle, Adam Virgo, Alex Malins, Jonathan Maddison
Attendance: 1,391 (650 away)
Man of the Match: Kyle McFadzean
LIONS: (1st half) - David Forde, Alan Dunne, Nicky Shorey, Danny Shittu, Nadjim Abdou, Jermaine Easter, Steve Morison, Lee Martin, James Henry, Jack Smith, Karleigh Osborne
2nd half - Josh Wright, Paul Robinson, Liam Feeney, John Marquis, Martyn Woolford, John Paintsil, Stephen Bywater, Lee Croft, Scott Malone, Mark Beevers, Dany N’Guessan