Croydon: Fujamade, Beckles, Beauchamp, Anderson (Burrell-Grant 76), Rufus, Chin, Powell (Baze 75)), Fischer, Green, Adamson (Noiki 87), Chin (Wealthyland 87)
Subs (unused): Taylor
Feb 18th: Croydon failed to reach the final, despite a comeback in the second half and forcing their Romford based opponents to a penalty shootout. It looked like the Trams would be ahead after only five minutes when Uli Fischer was taken down, but Eldi Baze’s free kick went straight to the Petrocub goalkeeper. The home team responded with a shot that went wide of the post. Then FC Petrocub got a corner, and their centre forward chipped the ball into the top corner, past Tiwa Fujamade after 15 minutes to take the lead. Croydon got a free kick, deflected off a team mate, and the Petrocub goalkeeper held the ball. The remainder of the first half saw both teams with chances but unable to capitalise.
The second half saw several changes, and from the off there was a result when substitute David Green’s free kick went over the defensive wall, then Jordan Anderson’s volley went over the crossbar. From a subsequent Croydon corner, the Petrocub keeper had a hand to the ball, but then Fischer managed to shoot from the rebound, only for the ball to be cleared by a defender. After a challenge and a booking for Petrocub’s centre back, Croydon got a free kick that was also cleared.
Tiwa Fujamade almost got caught out of his area, but luckily, his team mates in defence kicked the ball to safety. Lauris Chin was taken down when breaking through the defensive line. After lengthy discussion the referee sent off an opposing player but had to change his decision after learning it was the wrong player. After all the deliberations the resulting free kick was ultimately cleared but soon after, David Green was able to score on 65 minutes. Cameron Beckles passed to Baze, who passed to Green who controlled the ball, went past opponents and successfully equalised
Green hoped to get a second five minutes later. A shot from Fischer was saved before Green’s shot went wide of the post. Croydon got a corner a short while later, only for Fischer’s header to be caught by the keeper. The keeper also kept out a shot from Green, and this was followed by a cross from Joey Wealthyland, but Green’s shot went wide of the post. Next came a cross from Green to Lauris Chin, whose shot was cleared. There was controversy with the end of the second half when a Croydon free kick was defended and the referee missed a possible booking when a Petrocub player’s hand touched the ball whilst in the box.
The match went into extra time with both teams adopting an understandably cagey approach. There was a short pass from Green to Chin, but was offside. Anderson was close to scoring with a header and at the other end, a Petrocub winger crossed to a team mate, but his shot went over the bar. A Petrocub midfielder also went past the Croydon defence, only for his shot to go high over the bar. With 107 minutes on the clock, there was a run from Green and his shot hit the bar. After a Petrocub cross nearly went in, Croydon had another close chance. Green passed to Hanif Charles-Berry, who passed to Wealthyland whose shot was saved by the keeper. Croydon’s keeper Fujamade deprived Petrocub twice
Unfortunately, Fujamade wasn’t able to make any saves in the penalty shootout, conceding four goals. For Croydon, Chin and Green missed the first two penalties for Croydon, whilst Charles-Berry and Fischer scored theirs.
Croydon: Fujamade, Beckles (Antwi 65), Charles-Berry, Beauchamp, Anderson, Rufus (Burrell-Grant 45), Chin, Powell (Taylor 45), Adamson (Green 45), Baze (Wealthyland 64), Fischer.
All subs used
Next for Croydon is a League match away to Lewisham Borough on Wednesday 22nd February (7.45pm kick off) before travelling to Faversham Strike Force on Saturday 25th February, KO 3pm. This is followed by a Surrey Premier Cup Semi final on Wednesday 1st March at Croydon Sports Arena against Dorkinian FC, KO 7.45pm
Match Report: Suniel Bhardwaj
Pictures: Courtesy of PC Petrocub. Full album: https://glamourmaternity.co.uk/disk/petrocub-18-february-2023