Crawley Town 1 – 0 Albion

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Creepy Crawley. There’s no other way to describe it, horrible place. But anyway, it’s not their fault and they just happen to be the next stop on the Albion’s pre-season meandering around the south-east of this green and pleasant land (until Scunny on the 1st August, ay up).

Anyway, the Argus reckons Nicky Forster will be back for tonight’s game – that would be nice, but only if he’s 100% fit, I would hate to see him injured yet again before Walsall at Withdean August 8th. I have Forster and Dickinson as my front two this year, or maybe Glenn Murray linking up with Nicky, but he’s first man on my Albion team list after Whingy, no question.

A full xenophon match commentary (4000 miles away from Crawley) on this very interweb site tonight, I’ll see both of you (my readers) later.

So, it’s now 11:15pm in Kabul and 7:45pm in Creepy Crawley. Game on. New face tonight is trialist Andreas Chronis, who AEK Athens want to loan out to an English club, after the departure of Joel Lynch he might be worth watching – Slade is certainly trying every option he can before this season starts.

The theme to The Long Good Friday blasts out over Crawley’s PA before the game, muppets. On five minutes Danny Spiller has a shot on goal, he looks a good signing so far, needs to keep injury-free. Matt Thornhill playing tonight too, on-loan from Notts Forest. Young Chronis looks sure and confident on the ball, he’s a bit of a midget by all accounts, he’ll do alright with Coxy then.

Cox crosses, Dicko heads straight at Crawley’s ‘keeper on 20 mins. Coxy attacks from the right, shoots! Great save. Cox everywhere, crosses for Elphick to miss again. At the other end Kuipers makes a double save, he’s the dogs bollocks at shot-stopping, still 0-0. Murray and Dicko playing well together, but our strikers need to start scoring goals in these warm-up games. We’ll see the main man Forster after H-T.

Second half, trying to get changes (fooking friendlies!). Forster & Dicko up front – my pick for this season, let’s see how they play together. Not much happening this half up to 55 mins. Virgo and Elphick pretty solid at the back. Dicko off for Daaavies on 60 mins, another ok performance, a goal would have been nice. El Abd and Wright on as well.

It’s dead this game. Centre backs changed on 69 mins, the first half defence the only plus point apart from Cox’s performance. Forster looking more dangerous with 20 mins left. Crawley attacking, Albion catching them on the break – who’s League One here? Crawley’s Sam Rents running us about a bit, we need to re-sign him.

Tunnicliffe’s monster, monster throw – one bounce, Forster’s on it, half volley – saved!!! Jesus, I want to see more of those this season. Straightaway Crawley score, Tunnicliffe dithers, Smith saves, Livermore can’t keep it out. Thank fook this is a friendly. Forster nips another one, over the bar, he’s fit alright. Daaavies balloons one, I just can’t see him doing the business for us this year, or any year. Wright volleys!! pushed round for a corner. That’s it, game over, it’s a friendly, nothing to see here, move along.

Final thought – Dickinson, Davies, Murray, Hart (out injured BTW) and yes, Forster, need to put these chances away. Can’t afford to fart about when the season proper begins.

Xenophon’s Albion Team Performance : 5 out of 10

Xenophon’s Albion Man of the Match : Dean Cox

Albion Team (goalscorers in bold):

(4-4-2) Kuipers (Smith 45); Whing (El Abd 60), Elphick (Hawkins 69), Virgo Tunnicliffe 69), Chronis (Livermore 45); Spiller (Crofts 45), Navarro (Dicker 45), Thornhill (J Smith 69), Cox (Wright 60); Murray (Forster 45), Dickinson (Da-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-vies 60)

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