Two weeks ago the U18’s took on Crawley Town at Harlington and lined up as follows:-
Trani, McDonnell, Walker, Champion, Downes, Sendles-White, Sutherland, Comley, Andrade, Monthe, Webb
With Gareth Deane still unavailable, it was an opportunity for Tommaso Trani to finally make his debut, all six foot seven inches of him. Although Crawley had lost 3-4 to Peterborough the previous week, but they were soon to reveal what a good side they were. However, the R’s made a decent start though and created a number of chances, including Manny Monthe going close with a header.
It was the visitors who took the lead after 25 minutes from the penalty spot when Freddy Champion was adjudged to have handled the ball. Up stepped Crawley’s leading scorer, Jonte Smith, to notch up his 20th goal of the season. Steve Gallen brought on defender Ben Brown towards the end of the 1st half to replace Manny Monthe upfront. Half-time: 0-1.
Crawley then went further ahead ten minutes after the interval when a loose ball was stuck away after it came off the crossbar following a free kick. The R’s pulled a goal back with a close range header from Ben Brown ten minutes later and towards the latter stages of the game, Jonte Smith scored his 21st goal of the season. I have to say that Crawley were a very good all-round footballing side and deserved their win and were probably the best side I have seen visit Harlington this season.
The Harlington Crew also included Alan Barnes, Robbie Bennett, Roger Stokes, Clive Kingham and Gordon Macey.
The following week the U18’s drew 0-0 against Millwall at Bromley which saw the return of Gareth Deane and Marcel Henry-Francis. Millwall were awarded a harsh penalty in the 2nd half which they failed to capitalise on as the ball hit the crossbar from 12 yards,
Finally, last Tuesday, Steve Gallen’s side recorded an excellent 1-0 victory at Luton. Marcel Henry-Francis was the scorer and I hear that it was a very good team performance. On Saturday the U18’s will be entertaining Leyton Orient at Harlington.