TASTE OF THE TERRACE: Crawley Town show promise to get off the mark in comfortable style although James Collins' replacement Thomas Verheydt is still to be seen

Crawley Town season ticket holder Geoff Thornton.
Picture by Steve Robards
Crawley Town season ticket holder Geoff Thornton. Picture by Steve Robards

The new season is less than a month away and Crawley Town already have a win under their belt.

Maybe that should be two wins as their pre-season friendly against East Grinstead Town from the Bostik League South was comprised of two separate matches. Both clubs changed their entire line up at the interval.

Results in such matches are of limited importance, provided we get the expected result, and even if defeat occurs the manager may well appreciate the lessons that can be learnt from it. No such concerns arose for Harry Kewell as both his teams eased to comfortable victories against their non-league opponents.

Match practise in a competitive environment is the name of the game and Reds supporters need no more assurance than that their team have pushed on from the training ground in good order. Tougher tests are to come.

The scorers in this game will get most from it and strikes from Enzio Boldewijn, Jimmy Smith and Dean Cox led to a 3-1 win for Reds in the first half. In the second Matt Harrold weighed in with a brace and, importantly, new signing Panutche Camara scored his first goal for the club.

Whilst we shouldn’t read too much into a 6-1 scoreline there is promise in that several players were absent. Despite losing James Collins while trying to formulate his first choice starting line up HK can also consider Josh Yorwerth, Billy Clifford, Kaby Djalo and recently signed Dutch striker Thomas Verheydt.

The replacement for Collins is the man most fans want to see in action. His signing from Dutch second tier club MVV Maastricht is notable for the fact he has been given a three-year contract.

The familiarity of most of the squad evidences that under Ziya Eren’s ownership there is a strong likelihood that Crawley Town’s path in the near future will be settled rather than precarious.

That would be very welcome as would steady progress over the long term.

Much as we all enjoyed it at the time, Steve Evans’ achievement in taking a Conference club into League One was unsustainable but we can now hopefully look forward to a similar, if steadier, level of attainment in the future.

At the moment Verheydt remains a mystery man although one thing seems certain and he will not prove to be a striker from the same mould as Collins.

He looks a bull of a man which might be just what is needed in League Two – an old fashioned striker. We can take heart from the fact that strikers do not progress in Dutch football unless they can actually play.

Verheydt might prove to be the missing link who can give Reds something that recent strikers have lacked.

Thinking of power, isn’t it typical that Port Vale have recruited our former favourite Tyrone Barnett before they visit us on the opening day,