|Date||4 January 2020|
|Result||L 2 - 4|
|Time played||Normal time|
4 January 2020
AFC Croydon Athletic 4 Green 13, Nwoko 37, 82, Oloyede 45
Erith and Belvedere 2 Pope-Campbell 44, Quan 86
FORTUNE FAVOURS THE RAMS AS DERES LABOUR IN VAIN
Away to one of the four teams below them, Erith & Belvedere might have been looking to capitalise on last week’s fine result against Glebe on a beautifully sunny first Saturday of the 20s, but ended up on the wrong end of the scoreline and a number of misfortunes.
Deres gave Bruce Muchenje his first start of the season, and were nearly rewarded when he shot wide after just 25 seconds when the ball wouldn’t quite sit right for him. Seven minutes later Eric De Melo, dangerous as ever, had a shot tipped over. But it was the Rams who took the lead in the 13th minute in freak circumstances, when a Dan Teeley clearance hit a forward and rebounded for Nahum Green to bury.
Joe Nwoko cut in from the left soon afterwards and shot over, while de Melo tested Croydon keeper Nic Taylor on 20 minutes. Deres were creating the better chances, with Lake just failing to capitalise on a good turn on the half-hour, but eight minutes from half-time fate took a hand, literally. A Rams defender handled a pass which disrupted a Deres attack: Croydon sped downfield and Nwoko, rounding the advancing Teeley, was able to tuck the ball home for 2-0.
In the 44th minute Deres were back in it when De Melo, jinking in the box, made space and fed Kameiko Pope-Campbell who scored from eight yards. Yet Deres were unable to spend half-time planning the comeback as a quick throw-in at the other end led to Emmanuel Oloyede sending a drive into the far corner. Teeley protested that he had been fouled in the buildup, which led to him being sinbinned over the half-time interval and George Jones having another brief spell in goal.
Even at 3-1 down the Deres’ play in the second half suggested they could still be dangerous, but their enterprising approach play came up against a stout defence and in the end they weren’t incisive enough. Lake came closest with a 63rd-minute effort, but at the other end Reggie Yembra was robbed rather too easily and Dominic Ogun shot just wide.
The visitors’ hopes of getting back into it ended when Nwoko turned skilfully and shot past Teeley in the 82nd minute. Chan Quan finally got the goal his efforts deserved on 87 minutes, and although he had another effort saved in the dying minutes Deres had to concede second best, and lost the two-place gain the previous week’s win had earned them.
RAMS: Taylor; Richards, Penson, Santos, Harwood, Agoro, Ogun (Jones 74), Oloyede, Nwoko, Rose (Coates 68), Green (Bada 84)
DERES: Teeley; Hill, Dobson, De Melo, Yembra, Jones, J Wade (Miller 59), Quan, Pope-Campbell, Lake, Muchenje (Edwards 74).