Rams crash on the Kent coast

First published in Ryman One South by

After two straight wins, Croydon Athletic travelled to Whitstable Town, full of confidence and optimism - but came back 4-1 losers.

The game began with Croydon on the front foot with both Elliott Jones and Peter Afolayan having shots saved by home keeper Scott Chalmers-Stevens.

However, with their first real attack, Whitstable forced a corner and the kick was hit deep to the far post where it was met by James Simmons, who out jumped the defence to send his header just out of the reach of Colin Hartburn on the line, and the home side were ahead in the 16th minute.

Croydon responded and Tony Cuff set up Jordan Cheadle who shot but it was deflected wide.

Connor French set up Jones in the penalty area who was crowded out but as the ball was cleared it cannoned of the referee to Afolayan but he hit his shot over the bar.

Whitstable had a couple of chances but their efforts where easily saved.

Just before the half time interval in the 44th minute a mistake in the Rams defence allowed Stuart Vahid to rob a defender and play the ball through to Danny Williams, who coolly slotted the ball past Dave King to put the home side 2-0 up.

Croydon began the second half in determined mood and James Fray shot across goal in the first few minutes.

In the 49th minute, Cuff won the ball and fed Afolayan who battled his way into the area and shot home with the aid of a deflection.

It looked like game on but, in the 69th minute, more slack play at the back meant Vahid broke into the area and he was tripped resulting in as penalty.

He picked himself up and sent King the wrong way to make it 3-1.

Again, the Rams tried to respond and Jones was unlucky when he met a corner with his head but the ball struck the post and was cleared.

Croydon were dealt a further blow when David Graves landed awkwardly after an aerial challenge and had to be carried off on a stretcher.

Soon after, Whitstable put the game beyond reach when the ball was flicked on by Vahid to Williams, and although his initial shot was saved by King he was able to score with the rebound in the 75th minute.

4-1 was harsh on Croydon but they now have to dust themselves down and get ready for a trip to Chipstead.

Croydon Athletic: Dave King, Colin Hartburn, Peter Wedgeworth, Jordan Cheadle (83 mins Billy Marshall), Justin Hemmings, David Graves (66 mins Rob Carter), Tony Cuff, Elliott Jones (60 mins Kery Kedze), Connor French, Peter Afolayan, James Fray. Subs not used: Michael Corbett, Prince N’Gokumu.

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