Green suffer opening night defeat to Hadley
SSML Premier Division: Crawley Green 0 Hadley 1
Crawley Green lost out to Hadley in their opening SSML Premier Division fixture on Tuesday night.
Fielding six debutants in Mitchell Howe, Adam Hughes, Isiah Brown-Smith, Tariq Foster, Lewis Osborne and Taylor Rhiney it was a baptism of fire as the visitors dominated the first half.
The speedy Solomon Ofari, who was a threat all night, he had an early shot go wide, while Crawley’s Phil Draycott sent in a cross that was collected by Luke Ward.
Ofari had another effort go wide before Crawley’s Dan Blackman saw his fierce corner punched clear by Ward.
Howe then saved well from Luke Alfano before Ofari and Jordan Edwards both put shots wide, while another Ofari attempt was deflected for a corner which Edwards headed wide.
Crawley relieved the pressure with a quick break and shot from Draycott which was deflected for a corner, Blackman sending in another stinging shot which was cleared off the line.
Back came Hadley and it was Crawley’s turn to clear a Billy Baird corner off the line and Ofari put the rebound over the bar.
In added time Howe tipped a Teddy Stacey shot over the bar and from the corner Stacey headed home to make it 1-0 at the break.
After the break, Green upped their game but the visitors were looking to increase their lead as Mitchell saved well from Baird.
Howe saved a header from Edwards before Crawley came back with a shot from Rhiney.
Crawley were denied a penalty after Hughes appeared to fouled in the box but the referee waved play on.
A good run down the left from Brown-Smith set up Draycott for a shot which was deflected for a corner by Ward.
Sam Holmes and Rhiney both had efforts to pinch a point but the Hadley defence survived the late onslaught to take all three points.
Green’s star man went to Tariq Foster, as Crawley travel to Walthamstow in the FA Cup extra preliminary round this weekend.