The Foundation Academy team overcame a second-half fightback from visiting Dorking Wanderers Wednesday to win their preseason fixture 3-2.
Goals from Josh Clay, Ilias Al Meskin and Wiktor Maznica saw the reds in control within an hour of play but two goals in 20 minutes gave the hosts a fright before closing the game out for the win.
Dorking could have had an early goal with ‘keeper Louie Erotokritos Staussi tipping wide from Wanderers number 11 cutting inside the area on ten minutes and a towering header from a Wanderers defender crashing off the post shortly after.
It was the Academy that went ahead, though, when Al Meskin played through Josh Clay in the area to tuck away with his left boot into the bottom right on 30 minutes. Five minutes later it was Al Meskin himself who shrugged off two challenges to finish into the far-right bottom corner from 20 yards out.
The restart saw a fresh eleven for Dorking and a Crawley Town goal from last-season’s top scorer Wiktor Maznica to slot in after a ball from substitute Sami Zagdouni.
Crawley looked comfortable until a point-blank Jack Saunders header in the area ricocheted of the strong hand of Erotokritos Staussi with 25 to go. Saunders got his second of the game twenty minutes later as he headed another in as he pipped the Academy substitute ‘keeper Monty Watson-Price to the ball just inside the area.
The Foundation held firm, though, despite pressure from the travelling whites to see out the game with discipline.
Crawley Town Foundation Academy 3-2 Dorking Wanderers Academy
Foundation captain Ryan Yoro Thomas was pleased with the result:
‘The team is at a very good point. We started strong which we were talking about in the changing room before about how we wanted to start.
We pressed as a team, we worked for each other - if you don’t work as a team you don’t get results.’