So, the day has arrived. The day of el Croydon Clásico: AFC Croydon Athletic v Croydon FC, at Mayfield Road tonight.
Croydon FC will be keen to show that they are still worthy of being called one of Croydon’s top non-league sides after going out of the Kent Senior Trophy on Saturday in what amounted to a game of park football, losing 4-2 up on Corkscrew Hill to amateur team West Wickham.
It was the worst of starts on Saturday at West Wickham, with two own goals from Jamie Lyndon in the second and eighth minutes.
Although only 13th in the league, Athletic will be pleased that they are edging ahead in trying to re-establish themselves as Croydon’s leading non-league team following last season’s promotion.
Bragging rights are important and so tonight’s tie in the Macron SCFEL Challenge Cup (who makes up these ludicrous competition titles?) will be keenly contested.
Athletic were also in action in the Kent Trophy at the weekend, with Danny Penfold scoring twice as they saw off Kent Football United (yes, that is a team’s name) 4-2.
Having already conceded 19 goals in the league this season, FC will be wary of Penfold and his team mates tonight.
FC remain stuck firmly to the bottom of the Southern Counties East Football League, or what our loyal reader still calls the Kent League, but will have been encouraged by their recent away win at fellow strugglers Deal Town.
FC will hope that they can regain some of the cup magic that they are enjoying in the FA Vase and have enjoyed in the FA Cup.
One thing is certain, they can’t wait for their all-conquering under-11s side to graduate to the senior team: Croydon FC’s junior side has just won a cup game 21-0.
Just a smattering of that goal magic will be needed when they play by the Croydon cemetery in Thornton Heath tonight.
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