NON-LEAGUE NEWS: Athletic won last night’s Croydon Classico at the Arena, beating Croydon FC 4-1 after having gone behind after 15 minutes to Royce Greenidge’s effort. Goals from Liam Harwood, Nahum Green, Emmanuel Oloyede and Junior Kaffo secured Athletic’s third league win from four games and maintained their unbeaten record, putting them second in the South Counties East Premier League.
Here, in the first of a new exclusive feature, the managers of the area’s three biggest non-league sides – Croydon Athletic, Croydon FC and Whyteleafe – give their own insights and updates on their clubs’ progress in early weeks of the season.
Kevin Rayner – Croydon Athletic
“It was great to have the bragging rights last in the local derby.
“We didn’t start well and we’re awful for the first half hour of the match, but in the last hour we dominated. Could have had a few more goals, too. Overall, we were far too strong for them, deservedly winning the game.
“Croydon FC have some good youngsters and I hope Craig can get them going. For us this keeps our momentum up as we look towards the weekend’s big game in the FA Cup against Hanworth Villa on Saturday.
“We had our ambitions as a club in these first three or four games, which we’ve achieved.
“We have had a solid start with a strong squad which are keen to stay as high up the table as they can for as long as they can.
Craig Davies – Croydon FC
“We have had a tricky start to the season, not registering any points in the league.
“We do have to be aware of the physical side of the game that all the teams in this league will bring.
“This week coming is going to be a tough one, with the derby on Wednesday, then the FA Cup on Saturday and also the Beckenham game on Monday night. It will be interesting to see where we are come Monday and go from there.”
Harry Hudson – Whyteleafe
“Our second game of the Isthmian League season, last Saturday away to Herne Bay, was relatively comfortable for a 1-0 away win.
“We were very impressive in the first-half and with our domination we should have turned that into a two- or three-goal lead before half-time.
“Got the goal from a penalty, which is good. We only said to the lads after the game that with the situation we were to put the game to bed. Really good to get the three points and have six out of six points.
“I am very confident with the team and our aspirations for the season to be around the top half and chasing a place in the play-offs. Obviously great to get those two wins at the start which we can take into the two cup games coming up to gain some real momentum that we can take forward.
“Our FA Cup preliminary round game is against Saltdean United, who are a few leagues below us and will be looking for a cup upset.
“But if we can implement our style into the game then we can hopefully get through that game to progress to the next round.
“We won’t change the way we have been playing this year for the cup game on Saturday. Happy and confident with our system and won’t make many changes for the games. We want to progress as far as we can in as many cup competitions that we can this season.
“I hope that Eddie-Louis Dsane can be our key man for the season, off to a great start! Really hope to keep him for the season as he probably should be playing higher up the divisions. He can get himself into positions where you’d hope he can grab 20 to 30 goals in the season.
Sat Aug 25: v Hanworth Villa (H) – FA Cup Preliminary
Mon Aug 27: v Rusthall (H) – SCEFL Premier Division
Sat Aug 25: v Corinthian Casuals (A) – FA Cup Preliminary
Mon Aug 27: v Beckenham Town (A) – SCEFL Premier Division
Sat Aug 25: v Saltdean United (H) – FA Cup Preliminary
Mon Aug 27: v East Grinstead Town (A) – Bostik League South East
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