The Crawley Town Foundation Academy won promotion to the National Football Youth League South Premier Division Friday after a 4-1 Win over Crystal Palace LNS Volenti at the Broadfield Stadium.
The South Championship side came into the game level on points with JMA Reading, Watford and Swindon Town but with two games left to play - both against their visitors Palace. A point was all that was needed but the reds won the game in emphatic fashion.
Safwan Ahmed opened the scoring when he pounced on a save from the visiting goalkeeper from close range to put Crawley ahead on 20 minutes. The provider Lewis Gould then received another palmed ball after Ahmed’s shot and blasted home inside the area to make it two.
Early in the second half Crystal Palace got one back after a sweet lofted finish into the top right corner beating the outstretched Louie Erotokritos to put the pressure on the hosts.
Crawley went two goals up again when defender Ilias Al Meskin got a touch on Josh Clay’s free-kick from close range before Nathan Gorringe scored with five minutes left to secure the title for the first time.
Education Head Coach Rob Semark talked up the culture that has been instilled in the Education department.
‘They’ve been brilliant to work with this year, consistent in their application; and you don’t always get that guarantee. How they’ve been doing in their training how they’ve conducted themselves in the classroom; and with the education-side staying on point in what they’re doing, kicking on and achieving good grades - that all feeds into the culture.’
Captain Josh Barlow spoke about that culture:
‘This year it has turned a lot more professional in terms of everyone's attitude and approach to playing. The mentality has been “win the league” and we’ve shown that on the pitch.’
‘Footballing-wise they’ve [the Education department staff] got it down. Rob and Adam have developed me massively, they’ve given me confidence on the pitch and as a ‘keeper that’s really important. Education, coming out of Secondary School I didn’t get the best results but here they’ve upped my confidence in that and it’s amazing to get distinctions and merits all across, and it's just brilliant from Holly (Walker, Education Academy Manager) and Graham (Usher, Education Academy Tutor).
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