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