Crawley Town 'going in the right direction' after West Ham United under-23s win
Assistant manager Lee Bradbury was quick to praise his Crawley Town side as they showed promise going forward, as well as a solid defence, to see off an impressive West Ham United under-23s side 2-1.
The Reds saw themselves take the lead after a trialist headed into an empty net from a Sam Matthews corner.
In the second half West Ham took control, seeing a few chances go wide of the posts. However they got their reward when Thierry Nevers lashed the ball past Glenn Morris.
However, a Crawley second wind saw them finish the game 2-1 as Sam Ashford got on the end of a Tom Nichols rebound before showing quick footwork to poke the ball through the West Ham keeper’s legs.
Bradbury said: “They came out in the second half and were really on it for 20 minutes. They were a very bright and energetic side, a different challenge for us today.
“First half we were excellent. We managed to get our foot in front and we probably deserved it.
“Out of possession we had to make sure our shape was good. For 20 minutes we were disorganised, but tiredness, chasing the ball for a long time was part of it.
“We’ve played eight games now and conceded two goals and scored a lot, so we’re going in the right direction.
Sam Ashford, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Woking, came on late to add energy up front and saw his efforts rewarded with a neat finish. His two pre-season appearances so far have brought him two goals.
The forward was now looking forward to returning to full fitness after injury problem last season, and said that the young Hammers were a good test.
He added: “Unfortunately, I finished the season so late, so it knocked me back a bit.
“It's nice to get some fitness, hopefully I’ll be able to play more and get some more goals.
“It was a good test. They’re a really good team.
"Maybe it was fitness in the second half but when I came on they were so high we could play on the counter and it worked well."