Corinthian FC 2 Croydon FC 0

There was only one change to the side that played against Whitstable in the cup last week. Unbeknown to those who watched the Whitstable game, captain Nathan Campbell had an eye socket injury caused in the game, and he carried on right to the end of the game. However, the injury was why he was absent in today's game, and Danny O'Rourke played in his place.

SAT 12TH AUGUST 2017 - Corinthian kicked off and the first chance of the game came after only 82 seconds but Alex Hewitt was happy to see his opponent hit the side netting. He wasn't happy though when a pass from the right channel went to Michael Hurcomb whose shot went over the defenders and past Hewitt to give the home side the lead after 13 minutes. Croydon's first chance came five minutes later when Brad Wilson went through the middle, the ball went to Jeff Duah-Kessie and his shot went wide of the post. Ten minutes later came an attempt from Stephane Bombalenga, only for him to be blocked by a defender. Then came a couple of chances in a couple of minutes, first came a long cross from Craig Davies, then some good passing to Bombalenga but nothing went past goalkeeper Aiden Prail much to Croydon's frustration. Hewitt was lucky not to concede a second goal at one point when he didn't hold on to the ball, and at the other end Croydon could have equalised when Jamie McGeoghegan's free kick was saved. Duah-Kessie had a shot on goal blocked and a corner saved, Prail saving the day again. On the stroke of half time, Prail saved again this time a shot from Marvin Armstrong.

Although it sounds as if Croydon had done a lot, Corinthian had done so much more, both possession wise and passing the ball. The first twenty minutes of the game were Croydon's best in the game. Early in the second half, Davies had a couple of shots saved, and Sam Johnson had a shot that was cleared by the goalkeeper. Armstrong was tripped and Davies got a free kick which went wide of the post. With over an hour gone came a through ball from Wilson to Johnson that was saved by Prail. Then came a Croydon corner and another chance, this time from Duah-Kessie, was saved. Lorenzo Cuzzou took down Duah-Kessie and McGeoghegan's free kick was saved by Prail. Now Corinthian had possession and would hold on to the rest of the game. Corinthian got a corner, and Hewitt saved the shot. Hewitt saved another shot, but in between conceded Corinthian's second goal after 73 minutes courtesy of Conor Johnson. Croydon did have a chance of getting one back when the ball deflected off Prail, looks like going in, but ended in the side netting. The 84th minute saw Davies dribbling around the edge of the box, and took his aim at goal only for Prail to save the ball. Towards the end, Croydon did get one last chance from close range, again saved by Prail, but the game ended with three corners for Corinthian, two were cleared by Croydon and the last ended wide of the far post.

Croydon: Hewitt, O'Donoghue (McAllister 58), Johnson, Weller, O'Rourke, McGeoghegan (C), Bombalenga (Fejzi 45), Wilson, Duah-Kessie, Armstrong, Brown (Davies 26)

Sub (not used): Bryan

Yellow card: Fejzi 76

Croydon FC 2 Rusthall 1

Rusthall were promoted from SCE Division 1 and this was their first visit to Croydon Sports Arena. The game saw the return of captain Nathan Campbell after his injury at Whitstable Town, wearing an eye mask. The first chance for the Trams came after eight minutes from Matt Weller which went over the cross bar. Six minutes later came chances from Craig Davies and Jeff Duah-Kessie, and his shot came off the post. Then Duah-Kessie had another chance that was cleared by Rusthall and then a corner, which reached Fiden Fejzi whose header gave Croydon the lead after 25 minutes. However, soon afterwards Jamie McGeoghegan took possession of the ball from an opponent and Rusthall were given a penalty, duly converted by Dan Powell whose shot went towards Alex Hewitt's left just inside the post. Bouyed by this, Rusthall kept possession for a while, getting a free kick albeit cleared by Croydon and a chance from Steph Harper saved. Before the half time whistle blew, Croydon got a corner taken by Sam Johnson, but Davies' shot was saved by Joe Cullipi.

7 wasn't a lucky number tonight. First Rusthall's No 7 Drew Crush was booked, then Croydon's number 7 Fejzi was booked when going for a 50 50 ball that could've gone either way. Ten minutes into the second half, Johnson had a chance that went across the goalmouth. Then came one of the great goals at Croydon Arena. McGeoghegan ran the length of the pitch, past the opposition and smashed the ball with his left foot out of reach of Cullipi. The defender became Croydon's top scorer so far. At the other end of the pitch, Hewitt made sure Rusthall didn't equalise, John Sebbar took a deep cross from the left wing, and Hewitt tipped the ball over the crossbar. With 90 minutes on the clock, Johnson passed to Lauris Chin, but a finishing touch wasn't there. The final shot, four minutes into stoppage time, came when Marvin Armstrong crossed to Chin, whose shot went over the bar, before the final whistle blew.

Team: Hewitt, Johnson, O'Donaghue, Weller, McGeoghegan, Campbell (C), Fejzi (Armstrong 73), Wilson, Duah-Kessie (Chin 68), Davies (Brown 58), Bombalenga

Subs (not used): Bado, McAllister

Yellow cards: Weller 52, Brown 77, Johnson 80

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.