Crawley's unbeaten pre-season start ended by Premier League Brighton

Josh Yorwerth attempts a clearance during this afternoon's friendly with Brighton & Hove Albion. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Josh Yorwerth attempts a clearance during this afternoon's friendly with Brighton & Hove Albion. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
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Crawley Town were sent crashing to a first pre-season friendly defeat this season earlier today.

Solly March, Pascal Gross, Jamie Murphy, Tomer Hemed, Connor Goldson and Glenn Murray's late spot-kick were enough to help Premier League Brighton & Hove Albion romp to an emphatic 6-0 success at the Checkatrade Stadium.

Crawley defender Joe McNerney clears his lines is today's friendly with Albion. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Crawley defender Joe McNerney clears his lines is today's friendly with Albion. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Reds had not been beaten in any of their opening four friendlies this season, seeing off Oakwood, East Grinstead and Dulwich Hamlet, whilst earning a home draw against Chelsea's under-23 team.

However, Chris Hughton's Premier League Albion proved too tougher test and put Crawley to the sword.

The visitors took charge from the off and led in the fourth minute as Beram Kayal picked Joe McNerney's pocket after a short goal kick and teed up for Solly March to tuck home.

The rain seemed as relentless as the Seagulls' attack as they moved the ball quickly and sharply around the chasing defenders in red. March's goalbound effort from the edge of the box being blocked away on 13 minutes.

The home side tried to work themselves into the game, but failed to test Ryan, while Albion lacked a cutting edge in front of goal, spurning numerous chances until the half-hour mark.

The lead was doubled as Albion's summer signings combined with Gross finishing on the half volley from 16 yards after Markus Suttner fired in a cross from the left wing.

Reds were at sixes and sevens at the back shortly after and Beram Kayal put two defenders on their back sides, but was denied by a great save by Glenn Morris, who soon after also pushed a Bruno effort wide.

It was 3-0 seven minutes before the break as March's effort from range crashed against the top of the post and came back out to Hemed, who tapped the ball from from six yards.

After their early wastefulness in front of goal Albion had fully found their stride and it was 4-0 before the break as Dunk slid Murphy through on the left flank and he drove forwards and curled into the bottom corner.

Albion made wholesale changes at the break with Shane Duffy the sole survivor of the starting XI, while Crawley in comparison made just one as Chris Arthur replaced Addison Garnett.

Reds improved after the break and Billy Clifford came closest to beating Niki Maenpaa, before he blasted over when well placed after a good move between Dean Cox and Dennon Lewis.

Albion had a fifth on 68 minutes as Connor Goldson headed home a Jiri Skalak corner, before Skalak, Steve Sidwell and Richie Towell all had further chances.

Striker Murray then got off the mark as he tucked away a penalty after a Kaby Djalo foul in the box to make it 6-0.

The friendly spirit seemed lost on Josh Yorwerth and Kazenga LuaLua in the closing stages as both were booked after a coming together.

Crawley Town: Morris, Garnett (Arthur 45), Yorweth, McNerney (Lelan 68), Blackman, Clifford, Djalo, Sanoh (Boldewijn 80), Cox, Lewis; Verheydt (Camara 58). Subs: Young, Connolly, Harrold, Roberts, Mersin, Bulman, Randall.

Albion (first-half): Ryan, Bruno, Dunk, Duffy, Suttner, March, Norwood, Kayal, Murphy, Gross; Hemed. Subs: Sanchez , White, Molumby.

Albion (second-half): Maenpaa; Rosenior, Goldson, Duffy (Huenemeier 62), Bong; LuaLua, Stephens, Sidwell, Skalak; Towell; Murray. Subs: Sanchez, White, Molumby.

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