Whitstable Town 2 Croydon FC 3

After a month of preseason friendlies, the football season proper started with the FA Cup and a visit to fellow SCEFL side Whitstable Bay.

This was a mainly different Croydon side to the one that visited the Belmont Ground and lost 7-0 late last season. The side was a blend of the old and the mainly new, with the starting line up containing six under 18's. There was also a new captain in centre back Nathan Campbell, who was the captain of Isthmian Premier side Grays Athletic and a familiar sight in Kent having also played for Tonbridge Angels and Maidstone.

Jamie McGeoghehan, the sole survivor from that game, took Croydon into the lead. The Trams were given a penalty when an opponent took down Eidan Fejzi and with a little less than two minutes on the clock, McGeoghehan scored with no problem.

Whitstable responded with two goals in the 11th and 13th minutes. Both goals, the first from Harry Goodger followed by Danny Williams, saw a ball originating from the right channel towards the forwards, a cross towards the strikers, goalkeeper Alex Hewitt unable to reach the ball, which ended in the back of the net. Hewitt made a save after 30 minutes, again coming from his left.

Croydon were determined to equalise albeit in difficult conditions. Playing despite heavy rain, a rumble of thunder and a hailstorm. Croydon managed to have a lot of possession in Whitstable's half. Croydon equalised after 42 minutes when a ball deflected off Jeff Duah-Kessie, despite a Whitstable defender's attempt to stop him.

The rain had moved away when the second half started, and Whitstable were bombarding Hewitt with chances in a determined attempt to regain the lead. But Croydon's defence made sure nothing would get past them. With a little over ten minutes to go, after a Whitstable attempt to go in front, Croydon got a free kick. It was half cleared by a Whitstable defender, but Adan Brown volleyed towards Nathan Campbell who scored with a header. Croydon managed to hold on for another 16 minutes, despite the pressure from Whitstable, and are through to the next round of the FA Cup, hosting Faversham Town.

Croydon: Alex Hewitt, Matthew O' Donoghue, Sam Johnson, Matt Weller, Jamie McGeoghegan, Nathan Campbell (C), Eidan Fejzi (Craig Davies 69), Bradley Wilson, Jeff Duah-Kessie, Marvin Armstrong, Stephane Bombalenga (Adan Brown 54)

Subs (not used): Allab Bryan, Danny O'Rourke, Luke Tan, Mothibi Penn-Kekana, Lochlan Greenwood.

Yellow cards: Adan Brown 74, Jeff Duah-Kessie 90.