For once, Croydon scored early in a match, and won in convincing style, courtesy of a well taken David Green hat-trick. The team looked well organised and committed, taking the well-deserved 3 points.
The first attempt came from Andy Walker after a cross from Cameron Beckles but failed to reach the target. However, after 16 minutes Springer’s cross to Green put the Trams in front. Talking of the first goal, Green said: “Their left back switched off, and I managed to nip in and hit the corner (of the net).” A couple more chances followed for Croydon, first Green then Eldi Baze had an attempt from close range cleared. Shortly after, Jordan Anderson’s long punt went towards Baze, then to Green and finally Henry Swann whose chance was cleared.
However, the 34th minute saw Green double his goal tally, when he ran through the middle and put his shot coolly past Dan Stevens to make it 2-0 to the Trams. Greenways’ first chance, after a couple of corners, ended with their forward hitting the side netting. With five minutes to go before half time, Green dribbled around the opposition, only for his shot to hit the crossbar. Another attempt far Green came before half time, only to be blocked by an opponent, and Baze’s shot went high over the crossbar.
Green finally got his hat-trick two minutes into the second half. In a carbon copy of the second goal, there was a run and after going around an opponent, Green struck to get his hat-trick. Green almost struck a fourth, when following a cross from the left, taking a shot which went just wide of the post. However, it was time for a well-earned rest, and Green was substituted after almost an hour.
Following this, Joey Wealthyland went around an opponent, and passed to Kieran Rufus, who unfortunately missed from close range. About a quarter of an hour was added, and there was an exciting fourteen minutes. Better late than never, Greenways threatened, and a couple of chances ended wide of the post, the second denied by Tiwa Fujamade. Greenways won a couple of corners and in a crowded goalmouth, the second corner saw Fujamade go down to save what would have been a certain goal.
Towards the end, Greenways’ Rhys Macpoy was going to shoot, but Fujamade closed him down. Unfortunately, in the collision Fujamade was injured but a penalty was awarded to the visitors. Once up, Fujamade couldn’t save Tom Reardon’s shot and there was yet still time for a couple of chances before the final whistle blew, with Wealthyland’s shot saved by Stevens, and Bola Noiki’s effort flying high.
Next for Croydon is a visit from SC Thamesmead on Wednesday 22nd March (7.45pm ko) and then Faversham Strike Force on Saturday (3pm ko), both at Croydon Sports Arena. The latter has been designated National Non League Day, In the absence of Premier League game matches, come over to the Arena to see non league football and support your local club.
Croydon: Fujamade, Beckles, Morgan, Beauchamp (C), Anderson (Wealthyland 59), Bogle, Baze (Burrell-Grant 83), Swann, Walker (Noiki 77), Springer (Mundle 63), Green (Rufus 59)
Subs: all used
Match Report: Suniel Bhardwaj
Pictures: Paul Davis