Croydon Football Club had invited students from Croydon College to the match, only to get an education on goalkeeping from Meridian’s Frankie Leonard. The 19 year old, a former Charlton Athletic goalkeeper, made so many saves for the visitors that despite Croydon’s attempts, the ball only went past him once.


Croydon’s goalkeeper Tiwa Fujamade, had already conceded a goal after four minutes. Tiwa did well to keep one ball out only for Julius Roy-Macauley to score off the rebound. Croydon’s first chance came soon after, only for the player to be taken down, and to cap it all, the referee said to play on. Later, Zach Powell’s pass to David Green went in vain as Green was dispossessed by an opponent. After a Croydon free kick, shots were coming from all directions towards Leonard but to no avail.

A minute later, there was an incident inside the Croydon box and Meridian got a penalty, Duanne West scored, and the visitors were now 2-0 up after 22 minutes. Croydon attempted to make a comeback with Lauris Chin taking a shot that came off Leonard, and David Green’s attempt going over the crossbar. Leonard also kept out a shot from Richard Pingling, while at the other end, Kieran Rufus cleared what could easily have been a third Meridian goal before another Meridian shot went wide of the far post, Later in the half, Chin almost scored, hitting the side netting and followed this up with a shot that was held by Leonard. Pingling also had a couple of attempts on goal towards the end of the first half, both saved by Leonard.


After the break, Croydon were desperate to come back, and created a few more chances. Captain Zach Powell crossed to Henry Swann, only for his shot to go wide of the post, as did another attempt by Pingling. Croydon also got a free kick, but Kieran Rufus’ header went wide of the post before a cross to Hanif Charles-Berry, whose shot went straight to Leonard. A Chin cross went to Swann, who wasn’t on target, and then there were two chances for Pingling, and both attempts were cleared.

Again, Pingling was denied a goal by Leonard who made more saves after attempts from Rufus and Swann. The 90 minute mark saw Croydon win a penalty which Pingling took and finally put the ball into the net. Croydon pushed for an equaliser in injury time but conceded again via Gideon Sorko who got Meridian’s third goal.


Croydon are away to SC Thamesmead on Saturday, KO 3pm. 


Croydon: Fujamade, Beckles, Charles-Berry, Powell (C), Burrell-Grant (Anderson 72), Rufus, Chin, Swann, Pingling, Green (Wealthyland 65), Baze (Fischer 72)

Subs (not used): Graham, Mbola



Match Report: Suneil Bhardwaj

Pictures:Banue Abdullah (Film/Photography Student at Croydon College)