Ward strikes as new boy Edwards impresses on debut
New signing Gwion Edwards caught the eye in his first appearance in a Town shirt after signing from Peterborough.
The winger came off the bench at half-time and caused his former club problems with his pace and willingness to run at the opposition.
Grant Ward scored the only goal of the game early on, with Martyn Waghorn close to adding a second before the break.
Freddie Sears was denied by ‘keeper Glenn Morris from point blank range inside the first five minutes but soon after Town were ahead, Ward finding the net after an excellent pass from Waghorn.
It needed a superb reaction save from Dean Gerken to keep out a header from Reece Grego-Cox as Crawley responded, then Ollie Palmer’s shot was blocked by Luke Chambers.
Waghorn volleyed over from Tristan Nydam’s cross, then Town’s leading scorer from last season escaped the home side’s offside trap to get on the end of Cole Skuse’s pass but couldn’t convert.
Waghorn would have found the net though with a vicious left foot effort if Mark Connolly had not been on the goalline to block the shot on the stroke of half-time.
Edwards joined the action for the start of the second-half, the signing from
Peterborough showing a rapid turn of pace with his first touch of the ball, then trying his luck from distance with his second.
Luke Chambers came to Town’s rescue with a block on Dominic Poleon’s shot as Crawley threatened an equaliser, Edwards’ direct play again causing a threat at the other end for Blues as Ward’s early strike proved decisive.
Gerken, Woolfenden, Chambers, Spence, Kenlock (Emmanuel 78), Ward (Folami 85), Skuse, Dozzell (Downes 46), Nydam (Roberts 78), Sears, Waghorn (Edwards 46). Subs not used: Wright, Folami. Booked: Nydam.