Crawley Town 0, Brighton 6: Ryan has quiet debut as Albion give plenty minutes in rampant friendly victory

Brighton & Hove Albion ran riot over League Two Crawley Town as their Premier League preparations began on English soil this afternoon.

Saturday, 22nd July 2017, 5:55 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 4:09 am
Goalscorer Solly March in action from Brighton & Hove Albion against Crawley Town
Goalscorer Solly March in action from Brighton & Hove Albion against Crawley Town

A rampant Seagulls crashed six goals past former Liverpool and Leeds United midfielder Harry Kewell's side as his fellow countryman Maty Ryan was handed his debut for the visitors.

The goalkeeper came through 45 minutes with very little to do as Albion fielded virtually two different XIs in each half at the Checkatrade Stadium.

They led 4-0 at the break as the outstanding Solly March put them ahead, before further strikes from Markus Suttner, Tomer Hemed and Jamie Murphy.

Solly March gives Brighton & Hove Albion the lead against Crawley Town

In the second half Connor Goldson headed home from a corner and Glenn Murray got off the mark as he tucked home a penalty in front of a sizable Albion traveling contingent in the away end.

It was Albion's second friendly of the pre-season calendar with a 2-0 victory against Fortuna Dusseldorf during their training camp in Austria already under their belts.

Crawley, however, came into the warm-up game with plenty more match fitness having played four already and being unbeaten against Oakwood, East Grinstead, Chelsea and Dulwich Hamlet.

For Reds, Thomas Verheydt returned and started for the home side after a short spell back in the Netherlands for personal reasons.

Albion celebrate one of their first-half goals against Crawley Town

The visitors took charge from the off and led in the fourth minute as Beram Kayal picked Joe McNerney's pocket after a short goal kick and teed up for Solly March to tuck home.

The rain seemed as relentless as the Seagulls' attack as they moved the ball quickly and sharply around the chasing defenders in red. March's goalbound effort from the edge of the box being blocked away on 13 minutes.

The home side tried to work themselves into the game, but failed to test Ryan, while Albion lacked a cutting edge in front of goal, spurning numerous chances until the half-hour mark.

The lead was doubled as Albion's summer signings combined with Gross finishing on the half volley from 16 yards after Markus Suttner fired in a cross from the left wing.

Josh Yorwerth on the ball for Crawley Town

Reds were at sixes and sevens at the back shortly after and Beram Kayal put two defenders on their back sides, but was denied by a great save by Glenn Morris, who soon after also pushed a Bruno effort wide.

It was 3-0 seven minutes before the break as March's effort from range crashed against the top of the post and came back out to Hemed, who tapped the ball from from six yards.

After their early wastefulness in front of goal Albion had fully found their stride and it was 4-0 before the break as Dunk slid Murphy through on the left flank and he drove forwards and curled into the bottom corner.

Albion made wholesale changes at the break with Shane Duffy the sole survivor of the starting XI, while Crawley in comparison made just one as Chris Arthur replaced Addison Garnett.

Reds improved after the break and Billy Clifford came closest to beating Niki Maenpaa, before he blasted over when well placed after a good move between Dean Cox and Dennon Lewis.

Albion had a fifth on 68 minutes as Connor Goldson headed home a Jiri Skalak corner, before Skalak, Steve Sidwell and Richie Towell all had further chances.

Striker Murray then got off the mark as he tucked away a penalty after a Kaby Djalo foul in the box to make it 6-0.

The friendly spirit seemed lost on Josh Yorwerth and Kazenga LuaLua in the closing stages as both were booked after a coming together.

Crawley Town: Morris, Garnett (Arthur 45), Yorweth, McNerney (Lelan 68), Blackman, Clifford, Djalo, Sanoh (Boldewijn 80), Cox, Lewis; Verheydt (Camara 58). Subs: Young, Connolly, Harrold, Roberts, Mersin, Bulman, Randall.

Albion (first-half): Ryan, Bruno, Dunk, Duffy, Suttner, March, Norwood, Kayal, Murphy, Gross; Hemed. Subs: Sanchez , White, Molumby.

Albion (second-half): Maenpaa; Rosenior, Goldson, Duffy (Huenemeier 62), Bong; LuaLua, Stephens, Sidwell, Skalak; Towell; Murray. Subs: Sanchez, White, Molumby.