Crawley Town season ticket holder Geoff Thornton says it's all systems go at Broadfield with a widely held belief that Crawley Town can enjoy a decent League Two season.
We all know about the traditional proof of the pudding and that only so much can be learnt from pre-season friendlies but I do feel Harry Kewell’s squad has a lot to offer.
I struck lucky as family wedding plans meant I was not able to watch the Reds’ embarrassing dismissal by Brighton but I did note that then, as in the visit to Bognor Regis, the line-ups
suggested final chances were being offered to a number of fringe players.
The smaller number of substitutions in those games, like at Dulwich Hamlet, indicated consideration of a team rather than individuals.
With Portsmouth in opposition the starting line up could well have been close to the one the manager wants for the real nitty gritty and that was encouraging in itself.
I thought a number of individuals played exceptionally well and none more so than skipper Dannie Bulman.
Dannie was imperious, covered proverbial acres and, in partnership with the excellent Mark Randall, ensured the midfield was tight.
This nullified Portsmouth’s biggest threat, star in the making Connor Chaplin, who ranged far and wide but was never allowed to show his magic because of the intelligent defending shown by the entire backline.
During the first half in particular Pompey simply could not get going despite their all round strength.
Don’t forget they were champions of League Two and under Kenny Jackett’s tutelage I expect them to enjoy a strong season in League One.
The inference here is that Crawley could do as well in their League Two campaign.
More brilliant performances from Enzio Boldewijn will help Reds in their quest.
This was one of the Dutch wide-man’s best showings in a red shirt.
The visitors struggled throughout to stop his runs and we should have done more to profit from his crosses.
Incidentally Enzio could well offer lessons on crossing from the flank to Lewis Young.
That’s an aspect of the game where Reds have disappointed in recent seasons and an improvement could readily prove beneficial if Thomas Verheydt is offered more scoring chances.
The powerful striker enjoyed a super game and, as I previously remarked, is obviously more than just a battering ram.
For me the highlight of the game was his delightful chip over the defence from the centre circle that was inch-perfect for Jordan Roberts.
He was forced wider than he would have wished but still managed a spectacular shot on target that was cleared off the line even more remarkably by Tareiq Homes-Dennis.
Some of Kewell's squad were superb but no one disappointed.
The down side was our almost silent crowd, out sung and nearly outnumbered by Pompey.
Reds will need some big wins to restore the level of support they deserve.