- Albion seal 3-0 victory over Crawley Town
- Bernardo opens the scoring from long distance
- Tomer Hemed extends Albion’s lead
- Markus Suttner volleys a third for the Seagulls
Brighton & Hove Albion secured a comfortable 3-0 victory over Crawley Town at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre this morning, as the Seagulls played their League Two opponents behind closed doors.
Goals from Bernardo, Tomer Hemed and Markus Suttner sealed Albion’s first victory of pre-season, as Hughton’s men collected further minutes in preparation for their second season in the Premier League.
Hughton included under-23 defender Ben White in the starting line-up alongside Lewis Dunk, while Bernardo made his second pre-season appearance, as the teams played two halves of 30 minutes on the south coast.
The visitors created the first opportunity of the game when Andy Driver turned his marker inside the box, but Hugo Keto was there to make a fine save from the midfielder’s close-range effort.
Jiri Skalak found himself on the end of a free-flowing move from Albion down the left wing, but when the ball arrived at the back post, the Czech winger’s firm strike was blocked in front of goal.
Panutche Camara had a great chance to break the deadlock when Crawley worked the ball to the striker inside the penalty area, but with just Keto to beat, his right-footed effort drifted wide of the target.
Albion’s next opportunity fell to Skalak again, after Oliver Norwood and Richie Towell combined well, but the winger’s low-driven attempt was saved, before Harry Kewell’s side managed to clear.
Lewis Dunk struck the crossbar moments later when Markus Suttner whipped a free-kick into the penalty area, but the defender’s firm header crashed back off the woodwork.
But Albion found themselves in front in the 27th minute when Bernardo fired towards goal from outside the penalty area, and with a deflection on its way, the ball nestled into the top corner to open the scoring.
It took the Seagulls just five minutes to double their lead once the sides had returned for the second half - Davy Propper slipped a pass through for Hemed and the forward side-footed past Yusuf Mersin.
A third goal was added in the 48th minute when Bruno picked out Suttner with an impressive rabona cross, and the Austrian volleyed into the bottom corner with a powerful finish.
Albion continued to dominate the contest, enjoying the majority of possession and pinning Crawley deep into their own half, but Suttner’s goal proved the final clear-cut opportunity of the match, as the referee blew for full-time.
Hughton’s side will now head to the Cherry Red Record Stadium for tomorrow’s friendly against AFC Wimbledon, with the remaining members of his first-team squad likely to feature.
ALBION: Keto; Bruno, White, Dunk, Bernardo; Skalak, Norwood, Propper, Suttner; Towell; Hemed.
Subs not used: Collings (GK), Moore, Tilley, Gyokeres.