WGC 1st half line up:
1) Green 2) Hunt 3) Sexton 4) Endacott 5) Corran 6) Payne 7) Rolfe 8) Close 9) Clements 10) Ironton 11) O’Connor
City visited a Crawley Green side featuring former Citizen Brandon Carney up front for “The Dirty Clarets”. Green have recruited extensively in the close season signing a clutch of players with Step-4 experience mainly from Arlesey Town and Barton Rovers.
City were missing the injured duo of Yasin Boodhoo (Neck/Back) and Ashley Kersey (Ankle) and absent were the unavailable Nick Elliott, the influential Ben Spaul and keeper Ollie Leslie.
For The Citizens Jonny Sexton made a welcome return from his holidays and Jay Rolfe started in a right midfield role and scored the pick of The Citizens goals. Adam Fisher fielded the experienced duo of Lewis Endacott and Dave Corran in the centre of defence. Jonny Sexton and Adam Hunt filled the full-back berths. A five-man midfield anchored by team captain Danny Payne which featured Lee Close and George Ironton, with Brett O’Connor and Jay Rolfe in the wide midfield roles.
Things didn’t go to plan for City when they fell behind to an early goal following a defensive mix up and it is unclear who got the final touch, a City defender or a Green striker. Crawley Green then added a second against the run of play with most of the possession falling to City in their opponent’s half. A long punt from the home keeper beat the City offside trap and a home striker finished comfortably for 2-0. Almost immediately City hit back with a fine Jay Rolfe strike from 25 yards. Switching wings with Brett O’Connor, Rolfe hit a first time shot which gave the home keeper no chance.
Just as things looked likely to swing City’s way, and with some lovely approach work from Lee Close, (who was arguably City’s best player on the night) George Ironton and Brett O’Connor. City produced some slick moves which should have resulted in a goal, but for a timely interception by the home keeper.
As the half drew to a close, Crawley Green added a third largely against the run of play.
WGC 2nd half line up including sub’s:
Green, Hunt, Holmes (Trialist), Endacott, Payne, Close Clements, Ironton, O’Connor, Ferrigno (Trialist), Pappadopolus (Trialist), Joy, Bronti, Bond, Trialist, Bennett
Sadly, for City things didn’t get any better in the second half as Crawley Green added further goals. However, two of the trialist’s did get on the score-sheet and gave the score-line a slightly more respectable score-line. Former Hertford Town midfielder Dan Ferrigno and fellow trialist Tony Pappodopolus both netting from close range. Charlie Joy made a return to the club following earlier indications he had left to join Baldock or Stotfold but had little time to make an impact. Same for Dan Bond, whose introduction in the second half against Wingate/Finchley on Saturday saw the striker make some lovely runs into the Wingate/Finchley half but tonight saw him lack the same incisive runs.
On the upside it was another chance for the squad to get vital minutes under their belts. Lee Close, a close season signing from AFC Dunstable looks to be an astute singing and ran the midfield, giving an energetic performance. Dan Green in the City goal will be left wondering how he conceded five goals. However, another bright spot was the performance of Adam Hunt at right back who went on to have a fine game too.
Attentions now turn to Saturday’s friendly against local rivals London Colney at their Cotlandswick home for City’ third friendly in 7 days.