Southampton 4 Crawley 0: Reds suffer hefty defeat at St Mary's

Crawley Town celebrate scoring a goal earlier in the season
Crawley Town celebrate scoring a goal earlier in the season

Crawley Town suffered a 4-0 defeat against Southampton Under-23s in the Checkatrade Trophy.

However they had already qualified for the knock-out stage following previous wins in the competition against Colchester United and Charlton.

It proved to be a poor night for the Reds fans on the field, despite being treated to an appearance at the impressive St Mary's Stadium.

Reds were 3-0 down at half-time through two goals in the first ten minutes, an own goal by keeper Yussuf Mersin plus a strike by Siph Mdalose.

A third by Callum Slattery followed in the 34th minute, then a fourth 13 minutes before the end netted by Olufela Olomola.

Reds made six changes from the side which drew 1-1 with Bristol Rovers.

In came keeper Yusuf Mersin, Chris Arthur, Jason Banton, Aryan Tajbaksh, Adi Yussuf and Danny Pappoe.

Glenn Morris, Lewis Young, Alex Davey, Mark Connolly, Jimmy Smith and James Collins were all rested.

Jordan Roberts made his return to the squad on the bench with Addison Garnett and recent signing Conor Henderson.

Reds got off to the worst possible start when they conceded an own goal in only the third minute, the ball punched into his own net from a corner by keeper Mersin.

Crawley nearly responded immediately through captain for the night Billy Clifford had a shot from the edge of the area which hit the side-netting.

The poor start was compounded just six minutes later with a poor goal when Danny Pappoe lost possession and Josh Sims set-up Mdlalose to head in Saints' second goal.

Southampton found the net again when Lloyd Isgrove supplied Sims to shoot, but the goal was disallowed for off-side.

Reds managed to press for openings and Kaby Djalo put Yussuf through, but he hit the side-netting.

Bobson Bawling then cut in to set-up Clifford for an attempt which he lifted well over the bar from the edge of the area.

Saints went 3-0 up on 34 minutes with a goal from short-range taken by Slattery after Mdalose had cut-in from the left.

Reds brought on Addison Garnett in place of defender Chris Arthur at half-time.

In the second half Boldewijn paved the way for Bawling to have a go on goal from the dar post, but his header flew wide.

Matt Harrold came on for Clifford as Bawling switched to right back, with Tajbaksh groing to central midfield.

Jordan Roberts came on after a long spell out of the side with a fractured toe, replacing Boldewijn.

Blackman supplied Harrold for achance at the far post but he could not get the better of keeper Harry Lewis, then Yussuf lifted another ball over the bar.

Southampton went 4-0 up after 77 minutes when Sims won the ball, crossed to Olomola who volleyed in a shot, which keeper Mersin got to but could not stop.

Overall Crawley had enjoyed some decent possesion without creating clear-cut chances.

REDS: Mersin, Arthur (Garnett 46), Boldewijn (Roberts 64), Banton, Blackman, Bawling, Clifford (Harrold 53), Tajbaksh, Yussuf, Pappoe, Djalo

Unused subs: Beeney, Henderson

SAINTS: Lewis, Gardos, Isgrove, Olomola, Jones, Sims (Johnson 86), Valery (Flannigan 46), Rowthorn, Mdalose (Smallbone 81), Slattery, Vokins

Unused subs: Parkes, Wood, Willard, Cook

Referee: K Stroud