Crawley Town 1 Brighton & Hove Albion 1: Collins John goal earns Reds a draw

Crawley Town V Brighton & Hove Albion 23/7/14 - Crawley celebrate their first half goal (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140724-010511002
Crawley Town V Brighton & Hove Albion 23/7/14 - Crawley celebrate their first half goal (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140724-010511002

Crawley Town gave an assured display to draw 1-1 against a full strength Brighton.

The Reds led for much of the all-Sussex Football League derby before Seagulls fought back with an equaliser by Kazenga LuaLua with 18 minutes to go.

Reds took the lead after 15 minutes when trialist Collins John headed Conor Henderson’s corner powerfully into the net.

Crawley had made the better start as John had already tested goalkeeper Christian Walton with a powerful shot from 25 yards.

Crawley boy Shamir Fenelon, an Albion youngster got the chance to impress at his local stadium early on when he came on for Solly March.

Dean Leacock was denied by Walton after producing a useful header.

John Gregory fielded a team mainly of new signings but included trialists Collins John, the former Dutch international striker.

Other trialists on the bench included former Watford youth midfielder Bobson Bawling, ex Shrewsbury striker Johnny Marsden and former Bournemouth Academy youngster Lewis Lindsay.

Crawley looked the better team in the first half and were well worth their half-time lead.

Brighton responded soon after the restart with a useful shot on traget by Jake Forster-Caskey which was well held by keeper Brian ensen, while Fenelon blasted a rocket over the bar and out of the ground.

Josh Simpson had a go from the edge of the box with a powerful effort which went straight to Walton.

Emmett O’Connor, signed a couple of hours before kick-off having impressed during his trial at Reds, came on for Lewis Young on the hour.

Summer signing Gavin Tomlin also came off the bench at this point to see his first action during the pre-season matches due to injury.

Fenelon showed his strength by holding off a strong challenge by Sonny Bradley and set up LuaLua for a shot on target which was saved low by Jensen.

Brighton equalised after 72 minutes with a goal by Kazenga LuaLua direclty from a free-kick which deceived substitute goalkeeper Raphael Spiegel.

Henderson went close for Crawley and LuaLua for Brighton in the closing stages as the battle finished with honours even.

REDS: Brian Jensen (Raphael Spiegel 68), Lanre Oyebanjo, Conor Henderson, Dean Leacock (Craig Robson 74), Sonny Bradley, Gwion Edwards (Bobson Bawling 73), Izale McLeod (Gavin Tomlin 60), Josh Simpson (Jimmy Smith 80), Joe Walsh, Lewis Young (Emmett O’Connor 60), Collins John (Johnny Marsden 84).

Brighton: Christian Walton, Gordon Greer, Kemy Aguestin (Andrew Crofts 71), Craig Mackail-Smith (Will Buckley 66), Inigo Calderon, Adam Chicksen, Jake Forster-Caskey, Vitalijis Maksimenko, Rohan Ince, Kazenga LuaLua, Solly March (Shamir Fenelon 19)

Referee: Carl Berry

Attendance: 2,874 (1,334 away)

Man of the Match: Gwion Edwards