Croydon are out of the SCEFL Challenge Cup after a defeat at an increasingly wet Meridian VP.
Christian Ibitoye opened Meridian’s account after only five minutes, going past Jordan Anderson and crossing towards the far post behind George Kamurasi. James Ayetine then had an attempt and was taken down in the penalty box only for the referee to decide for a goal kick. Ryan Palmer had the next opportunity but his shot was saved by Meridian keeper Harry Graham.
Later on, after a corner, the home custodian punched the ball out, and it was cleared. Palmer then took a free kick, and a chance by Anderson went wide of the post. Then, after a Meridian free kick went wide of the post, at the other end Harvey Morton had a shot that went very high over the crossbar.
Jahquan Springer made a run down the right wing, and the Meridian goalkeeper felt threatened to the point of going way out of his box near the touchline, and making an interception to concede a throw in. David Green made a pass to Aaron Bogle, but his shot was caught by Graham. Croydon had another chance heading towards the goalmouth only to be headed out by a defender. There was a deja vu moment afterwards, but the ball this time reached Morton who hit the side netting.
A minute into time added on saw a Croydon free kick, only for Jahquan Springer’s shot to go past the wall but end just over the crossbar. Kamurasi had to work overtime, just as he thought the ball was safely going wide of the post, it was still in play, and before a forward could reach it, James Fray cleared the ball. Croydon got a free kick, and Meridian were lucky that they didn’t concede an own goal from Ibitoye. Springer had a couple of chances as the first half ended, whilst one shot was wide of the post the second was on target.
An early free kick from Palmer came to nothing, but Morton was closer to scoring. He took a free kick from near the corner flag, only for the ball to be saved by Graham. But at the other end, after an hours play in a blink and you’d miss it incident, Zach Jacobuwski doubled Meridian’s lead. Green was taken down but Morton’s free kick was saved by Graham.
Croydon got a corner which reached Green, but was then cleared by an opponent. Croydon had another corner, but Bogle’s header was saved by Graham. After Cameron McGovern was taken down, Croydon got a free kick, but Palmer’s shot landed on top of the net.
This was followed soon after by a shot from debutant Kiarn Asafu-Adjaye that ended high and wide of the post. Croydon got some possession, and Freddie Merrett’s shot was punched out by Graham. With five minutes to go, Green’s free kick went wide of the post, and the game ended after McGovern’s long shot was saved by Meridian’s keeper.
Croydon make the short journey to AFC Whyteleafe on Saturday and kick off is 3pm.
Croydon: Kamurasi, Anderson (C) (Merrett 45), Bogle, Ayetine (Smith-Joseph 45), White, Brown, Fray (McGovern), Morton (Noiki), Palmer, Springer (Asafu-Adjaye 62), Green..
All subs used.
Match Report: Suniel Bhardwaj