Croydon 2 Tunbridge Wells 3

Croydon played the first game in a busy week on Easter Monday. There was disappointment that Saturday's game away to Rochester was postponed, meaning an additional fixture in an already hectic April for Croydon. But there was more disappointment for Croydon who conceded the first goal with Tom Laurence scoring from a free kick and goalkeeper Alex Hewitt grasping for air as the ball was out of reach. Then Jared Trespadarne, who earlier barged into Hewitt, injuring the goalkeeper and not getting booked, doubled the lead with a shot from close range. The first half saw Croydon attempt to respond with a couple of chances from corners but failed to reach their targets.

By now, Croydon wished they had Emmanuel Maja currently on trial at Manchester City. Croydon brought on Ashley-Paul Robinson, newly signed from Forest Hill Park, as substitute in the second half, and after only five minutes on the pitch, scored a great goal from a free kick past Cameron Hall who had no chance. Tunbridge Wells scored their third goal six minutes later when Jack Harris slotted the ball past a crowded goalmouth. Croydon were very soon after a man down when Bryon Akongo got a second yellow card but despite this, Croydon had a few chances that usually hit the side netting. Croydon managed to get a goal back, thanks to Lauris Chin, who earlier had missed chances each side of half time, but finally got a header past a gap and past Hall to make it 3-2.

Croydon celebrate their 65th Birthday on Saturday and have a game against Cray Valley PM at the Arena KO 3pm. This is followed by the rearranged game at Crowborough Athletic on Tuesday night KO 7.45.

Croydon: Hewitt, B Wilson, Johnson (Mott 61), Campbell (C), N Wilson, McGeoghegan, Hector, Akongo, Chin, Sontan (Robinson 50), Bailey-Allen (Bruce)

Subs (not used): Brown

Croydon FC 2 Erith Town 0

After a 3-0 defeat in midweek to leaders Sevenoaks Town, the Trams bounced back with a convincing 3rd consecutive home win that maintained their position in 5th place in the table but without much realistic home of any realistic progression that would push them into the promotion places.

Erith Town, wallowing in the lower reaches of the table set their stall out early, keep plenty of men behind the ball and hope for a chance on the break, Croydon kept to their plans, playing out from the back and probing the opposition with perhaps overcomplicated play that relied heavily on a nimble, skilful but somewhat light weight attack. First half chances were at a premium but Lauris Chin did force the Dockers keeper Adam Molloy into a sharp save and later showed his blistering acceleration to create an opportunity to unleash a shot from an oblique angle that ran along the goal line to safety. The lively Daniel Hector flattered to deceive at times but he came close when his free kick hit a stanchion as he tried to capitalise on the foul he had garnered for himself on the edge of the box.

Lochlan Greenwood replaced Alex Hewitt between the sticks for the Trams and he impressed mightily with his pinpoint distribution. In fact the Croydon team’s set up seemed to mirror that of England’s versus The Netherlands from the night before. I’m sure that Gareth Southgate with his local connections will be aware that any Croydon player could slip seamlessly into his team if the need arose! Greenwood was only tested once in the game and he was on his mettle to make a fine save from Erith striker Mayowa Olufeko. After about an hour the Trams suddenly found their range and started turning possession into chances. Bradley Wilson’s corner was met with a powerful James Fotheringham header that was blocked on the line in dramatic fashion by an Erith defender, the ball fell to Jamie McGeoghegan who drilled the follow up wide.

The deadlock was broken in the 63rd minute when Hector’s shot was deemed to be handled in the box by a defender. Emmanuel Maja stepped up and buried the spot kick emphatically. It only took the Trams 3 minutes to score again as Hector jinked past a couple of markers and tucked the ball into the net making up for some earlier profligacy. A 2-0 lead was always going to be too much for the visitors and Croydon eased to victory, there was still time for both Hector and substitute Fidan Fejzi to hit the bar before the final whistle.

The Trams play Rochester United away next Saturday at the start of a ridiculous run of 4 games in 8 days that also sees Croydon have 3 consecutive home games in 6 days and that could have a significant bearing on the team’s final position in the table.

Croydon: Lochlan Greenwood; Bradley Wilson; Sam Johnson; Nathan Campbell; James Fotheringham; Jamie McGeoghegan; Aidan Brown (Daniel Pepple 59); Emmanuel Maja (Nick Wilson 74); Lauris Chin (Fidan Fejzi 78); Daniel Hector; Raewon Bailey-Allen.

Subs not used: Bryan Akonga; Andy Mott

Croydon 2 Beckenham Town 0

Croydon did the treble over Beckenham when the Trams beat their near neighbours for the third time this season. Playing in difficult conditions, the high winds made passing difficult and many a time the ball was out of play for a throw in. There was an early chance for Beckenham before Croydon gained possession. A Fidan Fejzi cross went inside the box, but it was too high and was caught by keeper Max Overton anyway. A pass from Bradley Wilson went towards Andy Mott, and his shot was stopped by Overton, and a follow up attempt was also cleared. However, Matt O'Donoghue put the Trams ahead, making a run down the right channel and his shot went behind Overton. Beckenham responded very quickly, a cross to the forward went wide of the far post. Beckenham were close to scoring when they got a free kick that Fedji failed to clear but O'Donoghue did conceding a corner. When that was taken, the ball was kicked over the crossbar by Beckenham's Harry Ottaway.

Lauris Chin was unfortunate not to score early in the second half. With a wide open space to run and only a defender to chase him, Chin's shot ended wide of the post. Beckenham were putting pressure on Croydon with free kicks a plenty. One free kick saw Alex Hewitt tipping the ball over the bar after a shot from close range, followed by a Beckenham header that ended wide of the post. But Chin made amends on earlier when he had a run through the middle, and this time round the ball did go past Overton. Then came desperation tactics in the form of three substitutes for Beckenham, but to no avail. Croydon's own substitute, Daniel Hector, went round several opponents only for his shot to be blocked by Overton, and then another chance came a little later when his shot went over the crossbar. Raekwon Bailey-Allen had an attempt with his shot going past the far post, as did Bradley Wilson whose shot was blocked by Overton. Sadly for Wilson, he got a yellow card four minutes into stoppage time, just as it was looking that Croydon wouldn't get a booking today.

Croydon: Hewitt, Bradley Wilson, O'Donoghue, Campbell (C), Fotheringham, McGeoghegan, Fejzi (Hector 54), Akongo, Chin, Mott, Bailey-Allen

Subs (not used): Nicholas Wilson, Davidson-Phipps, Sims, Pepple

Croydon 0 Glebe 1

A single goal separated Croydon from their near neighbours from Glebe. The crowd of 53 was higher than usual, there to mark a minute's silence in memory of Dave West who ran the club shop and was the club photographer.

The game itself was not memorable. David Owusu had a chance go wide early in the game and Fiden Fejzi got in the box twice only for defenders to clear the ball. Glebe responded with a few chances followed by a cross from Andy Mott that went past the goalmouth and not in the far post as hoped. Then on 31 minutes, a Peter Sweeney free kick went past Alex Hewitt to put Glebe in the lead. Hewitt did make a save towards the end of the first half but thanks to Croydon's defence but bar a couple of catches had nothing to do in the second half.

Croydon had two chances to equalise, the first came after 53 minutes when a Fejzi shot curled past the far post. After 76 minutes, Ross Obazee's shot was held by Glebe's keeper Dean Nash. On the stroke of 90 minutes, Glebe's Brian Zepo almost doubled the lead when his shot hit the post.

Croydon are without a game this Saturday, but the following Saturday sees the Trams host Beckenham Town in another local derby.

Obazee on for Owusu 54 mins ,Davidson-Phipps on for Raymond-Callender 61 mins, Nicholas Wilson on for James Fotheringham 80 mins

Bookings Campbell 43 Fotheringham 79.

Chatham Town 1 Croydon 1

Ben Nourse wasn't supposed to be in goal for Chatham, indeed his name wasn't even in the programme. However, Ryan Nicholls was supposed to be in goal as usual, but was injured in the pre-match warm up and so the under 21 goalie made his debut instead for the home side.

After an early attempt from Chatham, Croydon responded with a number of chances. First a Jamie McGeoghegan cross to Andy Mott whose shot was saved by Nourse. A Croydon corner went to James Fotheringham but his header went wide of the post. Daniel Hector's shot went straight to Nourse. Soon the keeper pushed out away a shot from Bradley Wilson, as well as a header from Mott. The last shot of note in the first half saw a cross from Mott to Hector, only for Hector's shot to be held outside the near post.

The start of the second half saw Croydon keeper Alex Hewitt, forgotten until now, make a couple of saves, followed by a chance for Croydon at the other end. However, Chatham's Jamie Miller made a challenge on Raekwon Bailey-Allen, and after Miller's booking, Bailey-Allen easily scored the penalty after 63 minutes. From now on, Chatham tried to put pressure on Croydon. In doing so, Chatham showed their frustration gaining three more yellow cards in the process. Towards the end of normal time, there were a couple of chances, one from from Lauris Chin, and another that was palmed away by Nourse, and afterwards Chatham had a couple of chances go wide. However, just as it looked like Croydon would get away with three points, four minutes into stoppage time, Chatham got a free kick, and Nourse ran up front, and a with the free kick going towards his direction, Nourse headed the ball past Hewitt before the final whistle blew.

Croydon: Hewitt, Wilson, O'Donoghue, Campbell (C), Fotheringham, McGeoghegan, Hector (Fejzi), Akongo, Chin, Mott, Bailey-Allen (Williams 75)

Subs (not used): Nicholas Wilson, Owusu

Yellow card: Mott 49