NON-LEAGUE NEWS: Crystal Palace might be flying high in the Championship, but even they couldn’t match Croydon’s non-league clubs, Croydon FC and AFC Croydon Athletic, who on Saturday between them managed to score 16 goals.
Croydon FC – The Trams – had scored six in their midweek league game at Epsom. At home at Croydon Arena on Saturday in the FA Vase, they hit nine past a shell-shocked Newbury side.
What made the final 9-2 scoreline all the more remarkable was that Croydon did not score in the opening quarter of the game, and were even 1-0 down.
John Fowler, Croydon’s manager, said, “For the first 20 minutes, Newbury were the better side but once we settled and scored our equaliser there was only going to be one winner of the game.”
Sean Rivers got that equaliser on 36 minutes with a powerful header. Young Taylor Smith was a major contributor to Croydon’s fortunes, collecting his hat-trick, including the goal that took the Trams into the lead just before half-time in a great connection with a ball in from the right from Rivers
The London FA officials came out for a second half prepared for the strong, physical Newbury side’s approach, and just two minutes after the re-start Jason Thompson struck direct from a free kick. The Trams’ fourth, Smith’s second, came just two minutes later.
Newbury threatened a comeback after they snatched their second, but they were undone by their own indiscipline, on the pitch and on the bench: an off-the-ball incident prompted a five-minute delay as referee Peter Zuffa consulted with his assistant, and the uninvited and animated Newbury dugout.
The result was a second yellow card for Newbury’s Robbie Sadler. With the opposition reduced to 10 men, Croydon’s goal glut began in earnest. “Newbury could not cope with the pace of our forward line and the midfield were very good with their first touch,” said senior Trams figure Steve Hutson.
This was a “result that has been coming for the last five weeks”, said Fowler, as now the Trams put away almost all their chances with frequent breaks through Newbury from deep in midfield.
Croydon’s last five games have been won 3-2, won 2-1, won 4-2, won 6-2, won 9-2. A world of difference from the 8-0 thumping they suffered in their opening game of the season at Guernsey.
In the Lemon Recordings Combined Counties Division One Cup, phoenix club Croydon Athletic thrashed lowly Farleigh Rovers 7-0, with Lee Jansen scoring twice. Athletic are now in the competition’s semi-finals.
Whyteleafe won 2-0 at Greenwich Borough in their Kent League match.
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