St Albans 0 Crawley Town 0

CRAWLEY Town striker Jamie Cook suffered an injury to his ankle which could rule him out for the start of the season during the Reds' 0-0 draw at St Albans.

Manager Steve Evans used Saturday's friendly against Blue Square Bet South club St Albans City to give game time to squad players he is not likely to start with in their opening game of the season on August 14.

It was a useful exercise which highlighted the ability of his young goalkeeper Nick Jordan who pulled off some useful saves.

The trip also demonstrated the ability of new signing from Salisbury City, winger Chris Flood who showed the pace get forward from the left flank to attack the City goal in the second half with a series of headers.

The high profile new signings such as Matt Tubbs, Sergio Torres and Pablo Mills were allowed a break and only striker Craig McAllister out of his likely XI was present, and he remained on the bench.

Trialist Malvin Kamara, who previously played for Huddersfield in League 1, played on the right wing while Eddie Hutchinson was used in central defence instead of his regular central midfield role to combat some very tall strikers among the opponents.

Both did their job well on a tricky grassy pitch.

Jamie Cook sprained his ankle and was carried off the pitch by a former team-mate of his at Boston Utd, St Albans goalkeeper Paul Bastock after painfully spraining his ankle.

Evans revealed: "Today was about fitness and game time. Players like Barry Cogan, Eddie Hutchinson and Ben Smith needed it so from that point of you we achieved what our aims.

"If we had wanted to win the match we would have brought on Craig McAllister. I gave most of what many might consider to be my first choice players the weekend off because their performances in the pre-season have been fantastic."

Jordan comfortably kept out Chris Sullivan from 25 yards before the break and then eight minutes after the restart he tipped another brilliantly over the bar.

Substitute Mikey Malcolm crossed to Flood for the first of three headed chances to the left of goal.

One of them hit the crossbar, another went wide and the third was saved.

Jordan did his chances of selection for the first team no harm when he denied Glodi Kwembi from short-range and twice saved efforts by Inih Effiong.

Evans added: "If I had to start the season with young Nick Jordan in goal I wouldn't be worried. He came in and played seven games last season and was nothing short of outstanding.

"Chris Flood is very much in contention for the first team. He's just turned 20 and has only been here two weeks and is still getting to know us. He's got great talent.

"Cooky took a knock on his ankle but we don't think it's that serious so he should be fine."

REDS: Jordan, Napper, Ryan, Hutchinson, Akosha, Cogan, Kamara, Smith, Cook (Malcolm 71), Enver-Marum, Flood. Unused subs: McAllister, Brewer, Dodd

ST ALBANS: Bastock, Deaney (Urquhart 64), P.Smith (Chaves 46), Magwood, Everitt, Frater (Ashcroft 66), A.Martin, Fisher, Simpson (Kweme 70), Roberts (Effiong 53), Sullivan. Unused subs: Logon, Johnson, Baronet