A fiery pre-season friendly on a blisteringly hot day at the enclosed ground saw the Hawks run out as deserved winners.
It didn’t start how Hawks would of wanted with Crawley moving the ball around with pace and confidence, taking an early lead in the 7th minute through a quick whipped in cross that was neatly headed into the corner of the net by Gwion Edwards. Crawley nearly doubled their lead a few minutes later when a back pass to keeper Craig Ross was picked up by Crawley attacker Roarie Deacon, but he then proceeded to put it high over the Din end of the Enclosed Ground.
As the match progressed, Hawks found their stride and started to move the ball around creating space for Nick Arnold to make penetrating runs deep into Crawley’s half. Twenty minutes in, Arnold placed a beautifully weighted cross at Jake Robinson’s feet. He then expertly played it through for Danny Mills to collect and place into the net.
Soon after Crawley captain Sonny Bradley floored one of the Hawks trialists and Arnaud Mendy stepped in to try and resolve the situation, a mass of players from both sides rushed in before the Crawley player was booked for the initial tackle. Bradley carried through out the match making questionable tackles.
In the second half, Hawks grew in confidence and class and you would be forgiven for thinking they were the full time football league team in this clash. In the 55th minute Jake Robinson found himself played on side by an injured Crawley player, then passing across the Crawley keeper for Sam Deering to smash into the roof of the net.
A few minutes later, Crawley attacker Edwards found himself through on goal before Nick Arnold could make the saving tackle. After that, Crawley seem to lose any forward movement as their stamina ran low and the Hawks expertly kept possession, further frustrating their opponents. The Hawks ended the match on top as the proved they are more than ready for the challenge of the upcoming season.
Man of the match: Nick Arnold
Next up is the last pre-season friendly away at Merstham FC on Tuesday 4th, hope to see you there!
Match Report by David Hunt
Photos by Dave Pillman