CRAWLEY 0ALBION 4Kayal 18
Brighton & Hove Albion kicked off their pre-season campaign with a comfortable 4-0 victory over Crawley Town at the Checkatrade.com Stadium.
- Albion begin pre-season with a victory
- Ben Hall and Glenn Murray make their Albion debuts
- Beram Kayal, Tomer Hemed, Murray and Elvis Manu all on target
- The Seagulls are next in action against Fulham on Tuesday
Goals from Beram Kayal, Tomer Hemed, Elvis Manu and a debut strike from Glenn Murray secured a resounding victory over the League Two side.
The hosts made a lively start and created the first chance of the game when Jordan Roberts exchanged passes with Enzio Boldewijn, but saw his subsequent effort saved by Niki Maenpaa.
Albion had their first opportunity to break the deadlock when a Dale Stephens through ball split the Crawley defence, but Hemed slid his attempt wide.
Chris Hughton’s men grew into the game as the half wore on and Lewis Dunk saw his close-range strike blocked following Jamie Murphy’s inviting corner.
Sam Baldock then exquisitely laid the ball off for Hemed on the edge of the box, but his attempt went well over the target.
The deadlock was broken in Brighton’s favour on 18 minutes when Kayal ended a superb free-flowing move by shimmying through the Crawley rearguard before tucking the ball beyond Mitchell Beeney.
The Reds carried a threat going forward though, and Jordan Banton’s long-range strike went narrowly wide, with Maenpaa scrambling across to his far post.
The Seagulls doubled their advantage in the 33rd minute when Dunk’s long ball over the Crawley defence was met by Hemed, who took a touch before firing home past Beeney.
Albion made a total of ten changes ahead of the second half, with only keeper Robert Sanchez remaining on the bench.
Among the substitutes was Murray, who came on to make his second debut for the club, and newly-appointed club captain Bruno.
There was a debut goal for Murray four minutes after his introduction as his unstoppable left-footed strike flew past substitute keeper Yusuf Mersin.
The hosts rallied after their setback, and Banton fired a shot over the bar.
Manu then had two opportunities to add a fourth for Albion, the first of which came after he was played through by Anthony Knockaert, only for Mersin to make a low save.
The Dutchman was then set up by Henrik Bjordal inside the box, but his close-range strike clipped off the post.
Under-21 shot-stopper Sanchez was given his chance to impress after replacing Maenpaa on 67 minutes, and he comfortably saved a Roberts free-kick.
Manu should have extended Albion’s advantage after he was set up by Knockaert once again, but fired over the bar.
The forward did, however, get his name on the scoresheet with five minutes remaining, as he capitalised on a terrible defensive error to score past Mersin.
Knockaert saw a free-kick blocked in the closing stages, but the score remained 4-0 in what was a good opening work-out for the Seagulls.
ALBION (first half): Maenpaa; Hunt, Hall, Dunk, Bong; Murphy, Stephens, Kayal, LuaLua; Baldock, Hemed.
ALBION (second half): Maenpaa (Sanchez 67); Bruno, Dallison, White, Rosenior; Knockaert, Ince, Sidwell, Bjordal; Murray, Manu.