Trams may not have won but this performance was generally all that the previous two were not! It was, to use the old cliche, a game of two halves with the team kicking up the slope generally on top.
Croydon kicked towards the stand and from the off, gave a high energy performance and didn’t let the table toppers settle on the ball. As early as two minutes saw Sam Morgan’s low centre met by Ryan Palmer but his low shot was palmed round the post. The corner was headed clear but very soon, Trams nosed in front. Another ball into the area bounced loose to Uli Fischer who larruped the ball home with aplomb.
Lauris Chin found himself unceremoniously upended on nine with the miscreant receiving a yellow card for his trouble and then two minutes later, goalkeeper George Kamurasi followed suit into the referee’s notebook just to the left of his eighteen yard area. Uli dropped a goolie on fourteen, sending a loose ball wide of the target and this was followed by Jordan Anderson being caught in possession forcing Kamurasi to earn his corn.
Fischer fed Chin on twenty-five only for the ball to be hit over the target but two minutes later, the lead was doubled. A foul on Morgan saw another yellow card and the ball was sent into the box, ran loose and Adam Allen gleefully netted.
The home goal led a charmed life on thirty-three their defence blocking a fusillade of shots before the ball ran out for a corner. When Leafe attacked and the ball went towards our goal, Kamurasi was forced to tip over a defensive header. On forty-three, the hosts pulled one back with a well worked goal, the ball being played back from the left wing and slotted home.
Whyteleafe upped the pace noticeably after the restart and kept the pressure on us. Not that we didn’t have chances. Fischer couldn’t get any power on a header in form of goal and the ball was cleared and then on sixty-three, came the game’s talking point.
Leafe chased the ball into the area and Arron Bogle raised his foot to play the ball back over his head to avert the danger. One of the two forwards ran on to it and was caught. Before the resultant penalty, Bogle was red carded and lost any sympathy by a show of petulance before leaving the field which earned him an additional misconduct report. The spot-kick was slotted home and the hosts, with their tails up, sensed that three points were there for the taking.
Trams reorganised as the hosts pace started to cause problems, the winger sending the ball across the face. At the other end, we were guilty of not looking along the line and getting caught offside too often.
Nevertheless, Trams managed to weather the storm and take a hard won point away from the game, something that they would probably have settled on prior to kick-off!
Trams now have a run of four consecutive home fixtures – Saturday sees the resurgent SC Thamesmead come visiting in a League fixture and then on the Wednesday, Lewisham Borough in the Division One Cup, kick-off 19.45 hrs. They will be followed by Meridian in the London Senior Trophy and then Canterbury City in the Kent Senior Trophy.
Croydon: Kamurasi, Allen, Morgan, Anderson (C) (Springer 82), McGovern, Merritt, Fischer, Palmer, Chin, Bogle, Smith-Joseph.
Subs: Rufus, Reber, Morton, Asafu-Adjaye, Brown.
Match Report: Steve Tyler
Pictures: Jason Campbell (from Twitter/X)