Crawley Town overcome Tottenham Hotspur under-23s in final home friendly
Tyler Frost and Archie Davies starred as Crawley Town saw off a strong Tottenham Hotspur under-23 side 2-1 at The People’s Pension Stadium.
The young Spurs team started the brightly with fast and slick passing, looking for gaps in the Reds’ defence.
This culminated in Dilan Markanday having a chance on the edge of the box but his shot went well wide.
Frost was the Red’s bright spark in the first half, showing quick pace and some electric dribbling. This resulted in him beating his man, and floating a ball into the box for Ashley Nadesan who fired his header past the keeper to see the Reds take a 1-0 lead.
Once again Frost took on his man before cutting inside and showing quick feet to rush into the box. He seemed to be clumsily bundled over in the box but the referee saw nothing wrong.
However, the Reds had a setback as Jack Powell was pressured on the ball. His back pass to Alfie Devine, who rounded Glenn Morris and slipped it into Markanday who fired into an empty net.
Crawley impressed with slick passing as Davide Rodari and Powell had a lovely interchange before setting Nadesan through. However, his pass across the box was expertly flicked out by Marqes Muir.
This was replicated a few minutes later as Powell slipped through Rodari but the keeper did well to turn the ball out for a corner.
The Spurs keeper was spared his blushes when Jake Hessenthaler charged him down and his blocked kick looped just over the crossbar.
Twenty minutes in and Spurs started to push back. Yago Santiago, running off the left wing, found Markanday whose shot was deflected just wide.
Half-an-hour in Crawley gained control with a speedy press, not allowing Spurs any time on the ball. Powell won the ball back and gave it to Frost who ran with pace to the edge of the box but his shot was tamely into the arms of the keeper.
Sam Matthews looked to join the action. Davies won the ball back well before playing inside to the winger who curled his shot just over.
Crawley looked to push on from this. Own Gallacher overlapped Frost well before playing a fierce ball across the six-yard box but Matthews couldn’t quite glance his shot on target.
It was Frost who caused the damage again as his slipped past his man well before driving into the box and winning a corner.
Powell whipped the ball in well and Rodari got up well to fire his header past the keeper.
Crawley thought they were two ahead just before the half-time break but the referee blew for a free-kick for a foul on the goalkeeper.
In the second half Crawley looked to continue their strong performance as Nadesan made way for Jack Payne.
Spurs were lucky not to be down to ten men early in the second half as Jurbil Okedina scissor tackled Matthews with two feet but only saw yellow.
From the ensuing free-kick Matthews played a clever ball to Frost on the edge of the box, but he saw his shot deflected wide.
Davies stood out at right back in the second half, flying down the right-hand side and putting some good balls in.
Spurs then went on the attack. Kallum Cesay unleashed Devine down the left-hand side however, his cross was well over everyone in the box.
Frost continued his fine performance in the second half as he broke well with the ball and found Davies on the right-hand side. His cross was well played across the box but Rodari could only flash it past the far post.
Spurs looked to try to claim some control as they shifted it well from left to right. However, they were unable to get past the resolute Reds defence.
The Reds looked to counter as Davies showed fine speed again, this time cutting inside his man before placing a shot to the near post that was well saved.
When Payne came on, he looked to show off impressive long passing and spread the ball well, creating chances on both wings.
The second half saw Crawley change formation and players with George Francomb, Tom Dallison, Nick Tsaroulla and Sam Ashford coming on for Gallacher, Matthews, Hessenthaler and Jordan Tunnicliffe.
Rafferty Pedder was the only bright spark for Spurs when he came on. He looked to run at the Crawley defence and did this with some good success.
One of his strong runs, in which he beat a few men, led to a shot which unfortunately looped up into the arms of Morris.
The pace and flair of the game died off in the second half. Spurs nearly found themselves level twice in the extra time as Pedders made a strong run into the box and looked to power the ball under Morris, However the experienced keeper blocked the shot well.
A minute later Spurs broke well with Marcel Lavinier’s tempting cross finding Max Robson, but his header was safely gathered by Morris.
This saw the Reds finish their final home pre-season game 2-1 winners in front of 1,449 fans inside The People’s Pension Stadium.