Lots of Brighton about and it was a long queue for tickets then straight in to the ground. I would guess at about 700+ Albion fans so a reasonable turn out for the firat game.
We lined up as expected with Kuipers, Whing, Butters, Lynch, Mayo, Fraser, Hammond , El-Abd, Cox, Revell and Forster.
It was a lively start and after about 5 mins I think it was Hammond who hit the post. Luckily not many mins later and Cox cooly slots home from just inside the box after Fraser nodded the ball back to him from a Mayo cross and we are 1 up.
Woo Hoo play offs here we come, or how about direct promotion??.
Just a few minutes later Crewe swing in a cross, hammond clears but the Lino has signalled hand ball and a penalty. Hammond had his back to us so couldnt tell if it was or not. Roberts fired home for them from the spot so 1-1.
It was a good game of football with both teams looking to play football. Forster hunted for the ball all the time and often ended up out wide.
We had a scrammbled chance (far end to us) but somehow couldnt force the ball over the line. Moments later Mayo and Maynard tangle and it looked nasty for Maynard. He was stretchered off (a potential broken leg?).
Second half and we amost re-took the lead but Fraser headed against the bar. Reid replaced Fraser and shortly after that Reid slipped, they broke down the left (our right) swung in a great cross and Roberts beat Mayo to a diving header and it was 2-1.
Then the referee denied us a penalty in the last minute. Cox was pulled down well inside the box (you could see the mark on the pitch where he was pulled down) but the referee gave a free kick on the edge of the box. We wasted the free kick and that was that.
For the last few minutes Savage/Elder had replaced Revell & El-abd as we tried to push for an equaliser but I thought that should have happened 20 minutes earlier.
Oh well, Crewe is not a lucky hunting ground, but we deserved at least a point.
Kuipers - 7 not a great deal to do
Whing - 7 solid start back in the Albion colours
Mayo - 7 solid game, possibly should have defended better for the goal
Lynch - 7 excellent as ever
Butters - 8 great solid display
Cox - 7 worked hard, just give him the ball and see what he can do!
Hammond - 7 a step up from his pre-season matches, harsh pen against him?
El-ABd - 8 had a good game, broke up virtually every attack
Fraser - 6 worked hard, not a creative player IMHO
Revell - 6 worked hard but no real chances
Forster - 6 as above
Reid - 6 needs more matches
Savage/Elder only on for the last few minutes
Sullivan and Elphick not used