By Tim Hodges
Crawley Town 2 Brighton & Hove Albion 2
Albion were held to a 2-2 draw at Crawley’s Broadfield Stadium yesterday evening (Friday 1o August).
The Reds are now just one division below the Seagulls in the Football League pyramid.
Former Albion favourite Richie Barker, who played for the Seagulls during their years in exile at Gillingham, managed the Reds for the first time. And of course Tuesday night’s Albion man of the moment, Michel Kuipers, was on the bench for the home side.
Hope Akpan put Crawley one up inside 12 minutes, then Billy Clarke doubled the advantage on 23 minutes as he ran through Albion’s inexperienced defence and planted a low shot into the bottom corner of Casper Ankergren’s goal.
Almost immediately Ben Dickenson pulled one back for the Seagulls. Then on the half hour Charlie Oatway, the namesake and son of coach Charlie Oatway, put the Albion level with a superb chip.
Matt Sparrow and Toby Agdestein had chances for Albion in the second half as did John Akinde for Crawley. But what will please Seagulls most is that loan star Wayne Bridge came through 90 minutes unscathed.
Tommy Elphick, who made his Albion debut in 2005 and played for the club 180 times, has joined Bournemouth for an undisclosed fee, although it was thought to be in the region of £200,000.
Elphick who came to prominence in the Dean Wilkins era, leaves the club without ever playing a first team game at the Amex.
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