Crawley Town 1-2 Portsmouth: Bloomfield strike not enough to save Town from defeat to League One side

Crawley's Josh Doherty challenges for ball against Portsmouth's Marcus Harness. 'Photo by Joe Pepler
Crawley's Josh Doherty challenges for ball against Portsmouth's Marcus Harness. 'Photo by Joe Pepler

Crawley Town lost their last pre-season 2-1 at the hands of the impressive Portsmouth despite Norwich loanee Bloomfield's quality late strike.

The visitors were much the better team in the first half. They struck the woodwork early on when Crawley's David Sesay gave away a free kick on left side of his own penalty area. Gareth Evans' looped the set piece into the area, which found the head of Paul Downing, but could only be steered onto the bar and behind for a goal kick.

Town's Tom Dallison up against Portsmouth's first goal scorer Gareth Evans. Photo by Joe Pepler

Town's Tom Dallison up against Portsmouth's first goal scorer Gareth Evans. Photo by Joe Pepler

Ten minutes later Evans put Portsmouth ahead when the rapid Marcus Harness ran down the right wing and delivered the ball into the Town penalty area. The 31 year old Evans cooly nodded the ball into the top left corner and past a helpless Morris to break the deadlock.

The Hampshire side nearly doubled their lead after a scramble on the penalty area led to midfielder Tom Naylor having his close range effort heroically cleared off the line by the Town defence after the goalkeeper was left stranded in no man's land.

The home side began to look a little threatening in the latter stages of the half, having a lot more of the ball in their opponent's half. But the strong central defensive pairing of Downing and Burgess denied the League Two side any clear cut chances.

HALF TIME: Crawley Town 0-1 Portsmouth (Evans 20')

Crawley's Ashley Nathaniel-George. Photo by Joe Pepler.

Crawley's Ashley Nathaniel-George. Photo by Joe Pepler.

Early on in the second half the visitors doubled their lead after fullback Lee Brown received the ball on the right wing and cut it back to Naylor inside the Crawley box. The former Burton Albion player struck the ball first time into the bottom right corner. Diving to his left Morris was unable to react quick enough and save his side.

Town substitute Nathan Ferguson almost got one back for the hosts, as he caught the Portsmouth keeper by surprise when he drove a long range effort towards the bottom left corner. MacGillivary just got his finger tips to it however to deny the new signing from Dulwich Hamlet a goal.

Crawley looked much more dangerous as the second half progressed, and the head of striker Ollie Palmer met an exquisite Morais delivery from the left. However he saw his close range effort fantastically saved by a diving MacGillivray between the sticks.

Town gained a goal back after 80 minutes when from an excellent individual effort from Mason Bloomfield. The Premier League Norwich loanee went on a mazy run from the left flank, before driving his outstanding long range shot into the top corner.

Crawley boss Gabriele Cioffi alongside Portsmouth boss Kenny Jacket. Photo by Joe Pepler

Crawley boss Gabriele Cioffi alongside Portsmouth boss Kenny Jacket. Photo by Joe Pepler

Despite efforts to get forward from the home side, Portsmouth stayed discipline in defence and comfortably held on to secure the pre-season win.

FULL TIME: Crawley Town (Bloomfield 80') 1-2 Portsmouth (Evans 20', Naylor 51')

TEAMS:

Crawley Town:

1. Glenn Morris

3. Josh Doherty

6. Tom Dallison

9. Ollie Palmer (Galach 82')

14. George Francomb (Ferguson 52')

15. Ashley Nathaniel-George (Grego-Cox 60')

18. David Sesay

19. Jordan Tunnicliffe

21. Dannie Bulman (C)

22. Filipe Morais

28. Panutche Camara (Bloomfield 68')

Subs:

35. Michael Luyambula

4. Josh Payne

7. Reece Grego-Cox

12. Nathan Ferguson

16. Mason Bloomfield

17. Tarryn Allarakhia

26. Brian Galach (trialist)

Portsmouth:

1. Craig MacGillivray

2. Anton Walkes

3. Les Brown (Haunstrup 86')

4. Tom Naylor

5. Paul Downing

6. Christian Burgess

11. Ronan Curtis (Cannon 86')

15. Ross McCrorie (Close 88')

19. Marcus Harness

22. Ellis Harrison (Pittman 86')

26. Gareth Evans (C)

Subs:

35. Alex Bass

8. Brett Pittman

9. Oli Hawkins

10. Jamal Lowe

13. James Bolton

14. Andy Cannon

18. Louis Dennis

33. Ben Close

38. Brandon Haunstrup

Referee- Tim Robinson

Assistant referees- Ian Cooper & Adrian Waters

Fourth Official- P. Wyatt

Attendance- 1,777