Croydon FC hope to bring their away form home to the Arena tomorrow, when the Trams will need to reproduce the sort of performance that saw them win 6-2 at Epsom on Tuesday to carry them past Newbury Town in the second round of the FA Vase.
Newbury have been powering their way up from the very depths of non-league football, and now sit in the highest level allowed to enter the Vase. They are eight leagues higher than where they were 10 years ago; if they carry on at that rate, they’ll be in the Premiership by 2022.
Newbury were promoted this season to the Unisport Hellenic Football League Premier Division, the same step 5 level as Croydon play in at the Combined Counties League Premier Division.
Croydon have enjoyed their two away trips so far in the Vase. In the second qualifying round Croydon displayed firm discipline with a 1-0 win at Sussex County League leaders East Preston. East Preston have only lost one league match this season. That East Preston loss was at St Francis Rangers, who Croydon visited in Haywards Heath and where Croydon won 2-0 with an excellent brace of goals from Taylor Smith.
Smith has come through Croydon’s re-invigorated youth set up. Up to half of the senior team is now made up of players who were youth squad players at the start of the season.
The FA Vase away wins have given Croydon some confidence away from home in the league, after an appalling opening sequence of Played 6, Lost 6, Scored 2, Against 24. The recovery away from home was emphasised in this week’s 6-2 victory against Epsom and Ewell.
Newbury’s form has dipped since the beginning of October with three losses and two draws in the league. Their cup form in their two matches though is an impressive one, with an aggregate score of 10-1.
The match kicks off at 3 pm with prices £7, concessions £3.50.
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