Crawley Town 1 Fulham 3: Reds lose first home pre-season friendly

Burgess Hill v Crawley Town.  Pic Steve Robards SR1516732 SUS-150716-173237001

Burgess Hill v Crawley Town. Pic Steve Robards SR1516732 SUS-150716-173237001

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Crawley Town lost 3-1 at home against Championship club Fulham.

The visitors took the lead in the first 15 minutes through Tom Cairney which was cancelled out by a 17th minute penalty by Crawley’s Izale McLeod.

Fulham made sure of victory with a second goal just before the break by Jazz Richards and then Liam Donnelly added a third in the 90th minute.

Crawley Town fielded three trialists in their starting XI with former Arsenal and Stevenage striker Roarie Deacon partnering Izale McLeod up front.

Former Wolves youth Ben O’Hanlon played at left back while ex-Birmingham City academy player Callum Preston was in goal.

Fulham went close from the start when Matt Smith hit the crossbar and Scotland international McCormack’s follow-up hit the back of the not, only for the goal to be ruled out because of a foul.

Crawley Town FC V Fulham FC 18/7/15 (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150718-193230002

Crawley Town FC V Fulham FC 18/7/15 (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150718-193230002

McLeod set-up Luke Rooney for a shot which he scuffed and it rolled to keeper Marcus Bettinelli.

Deacon showed impressive pace and he forced a good save when he broke through, only for McLeod to put the follow-up header from the rebound wide.

Fulham took the lead after 14 minutes when Sonny Bradley mishit a clearance and Matt Smith was denied by Preston which was then netted by Tom Cairney on the rebound.

Crawley only took three minutes to get back on to level terms when McLeod was brought down in the area by Richards and then equalised from the penalty spot.

Crawley took only three minutes to get back on to level terms when McLeod was brought down in the area by Richards and then equalised from the penalty spot.”

Simon Walton looked commanding in Reds’ midfield and he put Gwion Edwards through for a chance on goal which was blocked.

The second part of the first half was an even midfield battle played out in warm sunshine with neither side getting on top.

Fulham got forward in the last few minutes before the break when former Spurs and Blackpool player Jamie O’Hara had a shot saved by Preston.

Moments later on the stroke of half-time Fulham regained the lead when Richards outpaced the Crawley defence and fired into top left corner of the net.

Crawley Town FC V Fulham FC 18/7/15 (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150718-193306002

Crawley Town FC V Fulham FC 18/7/15 (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150718-193306002

Both sides made wholesale chancges during the second half with Fulham bringing on 11 substitutes and Crawley ten.

Crawley put the Cottagers on the back foot in the second half when Deacon forced a fine save at point-blank range from keeper Bettinelli.

Rooney looked influential in midfield and put in Edwards for a shot which which was cleared.

Larnell Cole found space for the visitors in the last few minutes and supplied Cauley Woodrow who turned and shot wide.

Adam Taggart also went close for the visitors at the back post, his effort being blocked.

Fulham made it 3-1 in stoppage-time with a smart turn and shot from an uncleared corner by Donnelly.

Crawley Town FC V Fulham FC 18/7/15 (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150718-193845002

Crawley Town FC V Fulham FC 18/7/15 (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150718-193845002

Reds: Preston, O’Hanlon (Fitzpatrick 45), McNerney (Sessegnon 80), Bradley (Ashton 59), Bawling (Boateng 65), Walton (Fenelon 65), Rooney (Young 65), Smith (Brister 80), Edwards (Barker 65), Deacon (Barnard 65), McLeod (Harrold 65)

Fulham: Bettinelli, Richards, Kavanagh, Hutchinson, Bodurov, O’Hara, Kacaniklic, Cairney, Christensen, McCormack, M Smith

Subs: Lonergan, Grimmer, Burgess, Donnelly, Hyndman, Pringle, Tunnicliffe, Cole, Taggart, Woodrow

Referee: Tim Robinson

Attendance: 2,215 (917 away)

Man of the Match: Luke Rooney

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Crawley Town FC V Fulham FC 18/7/15 (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150718-193914002

Crawley Town FC V Fulham FC 18/7/15 (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150718-193914002