Jimmy Smith fires Crawley to opening-day victory
Skipper Jimmy Smith hit the winner as Crawley clinched a first victory under head coach Dermot Drummy with a 1-0 success at home to Wycombe.
Crawley finished last season with eight successive defeats but midfielder Smith struck on 60 minutes to maintain their record of never having lost on the opening day since entering the football league six seasons ago.
Wycombe winger Myles Weston was forced off injured on his Wanderers debut before Crawley were fortunate to survive when a shot from Dayle Southwell was dropped by giant keeper Yusuf Mersin.
The ball was played to Luke O'Nien who had an effort cleared off the line by Joe McNerney before Aaron Pierre saw a deflected effort go wide.
Crawley, fielding seven debutants, threatened when James Collins and Jordan Roberts both had goal-bound shots saved by keeper Scott Brown.
Former Liverpool development squad keeper Mersin got down well to save a header from Pierre following a Joe Jacobson free-kick shortly before the interval.
Mersin failed to hold a shot from Anthony Stewart cleanly when Wycombe threatened after another Jacobson corner.
Crawley broke the deadlock on the hour when skipper Smith cashed in on a mistake by substitute Matt Bloomfield to fire past keeper Brown.
Wycombe introduced new signing Adebayo Akinfenwa for the last quarter of the game but the "Beast" could not spark a revival as Crawley clinched a hard-fought win in soaring temperatures.
Crawley finished with 10 men after defender Andre Blackman was dismissed for two yellow cards in stoppage time.
Source : PA