Croydon FC 2 Rusthall 1

Rusthall were promoted from SCE Division 1 and this was their first visit to Croydon Sports Arena. The game saw the return of captain Nathan Campbell after his injury at Whitstable Town, wearing an eye mask. The first chance for the Trams came after eight minutes from Matt Weller which went over the cross bar. Six minutes later came chances from Craig Davies and Jeff Duah-Kessie, and his shot came off the post. Then Duah-Kessie had another chance that was cleared by Rusthall and then a corner, which reached Fiden Fejzi whose header gave Croydon the lead after 25 minutes. However, soon afterwards Jamie McGeoghegan took possession of the ball from an opponent and Rusthall were given a penalty, duly converted by Dan Powell whose shot went towards Alex Hewitt's left just inside the post. Bouyed by this, Rusthall kept possession for a while, getting a free kick albeit cleared by Croydon and a chance from Steph Harper saved. Before the half time whistle blew, Croydon got a corner taken by Sam Johnson, but Davies' shot was saved by Joe Cullipi.

7 wasn't a lucky number tonight. First Rusthall's No 7 Drew Crush was booked, then Croydon's number 7 Fejzi was booked when going for a 50 50 ball that could've gone either way. Ten minutes into the second half, Johnson had a chance that went across the goalmouth. Then came one of the great goals at Croydon Arena. McGeoghegan ran the length of the pitch, past the opposition and smashed the ball with his left foot out of reach of Cullipi. The defender became Croydon's top scorer so far. At the other end of the pitch, Hewitt made sure Rusthall didn't equalise, John Sebbar took a deep cross from the left wing, and Hewitt tipped the ball over the crossbar. With 90 minutes on the clock, Johnson passed to Lauris Chin, but a finishing touch wasn't there. The final shot, four minutes into stoppage time, came when Marvin Armstrong crossed to Chin, whose shot went over the bar, before the final whistle blew.

Team: Hewitt, Johnson, O'Donaghue, Weller, McGeoghegan, Campbell (C), Fejzi (Armstrong 73), Wilson, Duah-Kessie (Chin 68), Davies (Brown 58), Bombalenga

Subs (not used): Bado, McAllister

Yellow cards: Weller 52, Brown 77, Johnson 80