What is it with the third minute? Meridian, who have faced an internal upheaval of late, charged at the visitors from the start, penning Trams back in their own half and not giving them time to draw breath.
As is their wont, Croydon made their usual poor start failing to close down their hosts and clear their lines. And in the third minute, the ball was played to the right of Trams penalty area to be side-footed low across the face and inside the far upright. One-nil to the home team and fully deserved.
Meridian had the upper hand for most of the first half but Croydon did have their moments as they sought to redress the balance. On eight, David Green created space to shoot but the ball was blocked and cleared. On seventeen, the home side were awarded a free-kick “in the D” but the ball was charged down, half cleared and hammered back in but deflected for a corner.
Cameron Beckles created a chance on twenty-three but his pass was hit wide of the target and then Green headed the ball into space only for it to be hit against the post and go to safety. Green found the home custodian with unerring accuracy with a free-kick on thirty-four and three minutes later, Jerry Antwi leant back and skied his shot over the bar.
Manager Liam Giles clearly imparted some words of wisdom during the interval as his charges emerged and definitely looked the more determined. Again, three minutes after the restart. Green restored parity with a powerful shot to the goalkeeper’s right.
With Trams in the ascendancy, it looked as though it would only be a matter of time before they added to their tally. They were bitterly disappointed not to be awarded two penalties, firstly on seventy-seven when Green appeared to have been upended and then when substitute Errol Mundle was taken down.
Jordan Anderson pushed up towards the end and saw a powerful shot blocked and deflected for a corner and Mundle almost repeated his last ditch heroics but the ball hit the upright and rebounded clear. So two vital points lost in Croydon’s quest to cement their position in the division.
Croydon: Green, Beckles, Antwi, Beauchamp (c), Anderson, Burrell-Grant, Bogle, Powell, Adamson, Springer, Green.
Subs: Walker, Wealthyland, Noiki, Scurfield, Mundle
Match Report: Steve Tyler
Picture: Courtesy of Meridian VP