City Stretch Unbeaten Run to Eight Games with Draw at Croydon Athletic
Poor game ends in a stalemate as City continue their unbeaten run, but it comes at a cost!
Canterbury City 1 Croydon Athletic 1
A bad tempered game on and off the pitch which is probably best forgotten, so we'll keep the report brief.
Early chances were exchanged with Luis Medina going wide for the home side and another effort going well over the City bar, while some good hold-up play by Darren Marsden saw Jamie Maxted scoot a long range, low effort a yard wide.
City had already seen two attacking free-kicks come and go without forcing a chance but they then took the lead on seven minutes with a third and it was a Dave Pilcher special. From wide left it was fired in heading for the far top corner and that's exactly where it ended up as the rather bemused and confused Croydon keeper looked on and City opened the scoring at 1-0.
Another free-kick for City passed them by as already the foul count was alarmingly starting to build up. Josh McCallum then saw the first card of the game while City defended a couple of dead ball situations well with Gary Sayer and Jack Delo excelling.
Yet another free-kick from Pilcher saw Laurence Harvey arrive round the back and head over, while Danny Lawrence's hurried effort was sliced wide and Maxted almost caught the keeper napping - seeing his goal bound effort just scooped out from under the angle.
On thirty-three minutes, City were reduced to ten men when McCallum was unlucky to receive a second yellow when he collided with an opponent having been unable to stop in an instant on a very wet and stodgy pitch. Then in the run up to the break, Croydon also had two players booked - from one of which a City free-kick was sent into the box but somehow missed everybody and bobbled across and out for a goal-kick after which a very tetchy, argumentative and scrappy first half ended with City a goal to the good, but a man down.
Croydon levelled soon after the break when a corner was swung in and Medina battled to get in front of the defenders around him and head home for 1-1.
For the rest of the game, it is difficult to pick out any highlights. Delo made a couple of saves including one where he had to parry the ball over his own bar, Marsden shot wide from a corner, while Matt Martin's pace was a constant thorn to the hosts, but mainly it was a case of City attacking without really creating anything and Croydon trying to do everything at double quick pace which got them into shooting areas, but frankly their finishing was shocking.
Danny Lawrence and Dan Keyte both fell victim to a couple of poor and late challenges as the match became beset with niggly off the ball incidents, one of which ended with Croydon's Nahum Green also receiving his marching orders.
The game, as bad as it was, was further soured when Danny Lawrence was victim again to another poor and clumsy looking challenge that took away his standing leg and left him in a heap on the ground and needing to be stretchered off, bad enough for any player but to then to be subject to taunts and derision from a section of the Croydon crowd was just about as unpalatable as it can get and one of the worse things I have seen at a football match. Shame on them, I hope their club does the decent thing and disowns them or keeps them in their cages when Croydon visit City in a couple of weeks time.
A poor game played in a hostile and unfriendly atmosphere - final score: Canterbury City 1 Croydon Athletic 1
City; Jack Delo, Gary Sayer, Jamie Maxted, Dan Keyte, Laurence Harvey, Josh McCallum, Darren Marsden (Tom Barton), Danny Lawrence (Will Hadler), Rob Lawrence, Dave Pilcher (Cory Walters-Wright), Matt Martin
Unused sub; Ben Smith