City again come from behind to secure another 5-2 triumph
By Dave Morgan
For the second successive Saturday City allow a Croydon-based side a two goal cushion but still don't lose
City were made to work incredibly hard for the three points at a rain soaked Salters Lane. With Croydon having started with 8 successive league defeats but under a new management team few should have failed to anticipate their battling qualities but it was the confidence they showed on the ball in the opening half hour or so that truly belied their current predicament. Following a protracted administrative nightmare for City, they were finally able to give a debut to Remell Davis and he lived up to expectations putting in a very solid performance.
Both sides looked to get the ball down and play attractive football but early on the home side seemed the more incisive and were unlucky not to open the scoring after just 8 minutes. Some neat interchanges of passes put Josh Froggatt clear down the City right and when he slid the ball across the Croydon area Jordan Casey slammed the ball gleefully home. Celebrations were, however, cut short when the raised flag of the assistant referee signalled that the City striker had narrowly strayed offside.
The visitors made the most of this escape when in the 21st minute they took the lead. City backed off the advancing Malik Nosike who took full advantage firing a shot from the edge of the area that skidded over the rain sodden turf and into the corner of Jack Delo’s goal. Things were looking much brighter than the Faversham weather for Croydon just fifteen minutes later when Nosike doubled the lead bundling home from around 8 yards after Akonko had played in a peach of a cross from the right wing.
Croydon thought they had effectively sewn up the points three minutes before the interval when they again found the back of the City net. This time it was the hosts who were relieved to see the assistant’s flag chalk a goal off. As things turned out it proved to be a massive turning point as right on the stroke of half time Dave Pilcher held off the Croydon defence to send a twenty yard strike high into the corner of the despairing Annaike’s goal. The suspicion is that goal may have lowered the tone of manager Ben Smith’s half-time team talk by a decibel or two!
Whether it was the result of the team talk or the effect on the fragile confidence of the Croydon side that the goal had, the second half was a far more one-sided affair. The visitors rarely troubled City’s defensive line and once Liam Quinn had nodded home on 62 minutes with the aid of a slight deflection from one of the many corners that his side forced most inside the ground believed it was only a matter of time.
Indeed it only took another two minutes before City’s third goal arrived and it again came from a corner. Pilcher’s in-swinger was just behind Casey but the striker instinctively adjusted to be able to meet the ball and direct a powerful header into the corner.
Davis then missed a glorious chance to surely wrap things up when he failed to beat Annaike when one-on-one with the keeper but more than made amends on 88 minutes. It was his control, creation of space and superb pin point cross from out on the City left that presented Pilcher with the relatively simple task of side footing home on the volley from 8 yards.
There was still time for a City fifth and what a goal it was. Second half substitute James Turner had barely been on the field 10 minutes when he ran on to a bouncing through ball and from the angle of the penalty area smashed a dipping volley high over Annaike and into the far corner. Truly the icing on the cake as City followers witnessed their third 5-2 result of the season.
Terrace talk is now focussed on acquiring patio table and chairs or a hot-tub for what has been christened the lucky decking platform at Salters Lane!
City: Jack Delo, Michael Turner, James Nurden, Dan Keyte (Rob Lawrence), Liam Quinn, Gary Sayer, Adam Woolcott, Remell Davis, Jordan Casey (Max Brunetti-Leach), Dave Pilcher, Josh Froggatt (James Turner). Unused Subs: Tom Barton, Josh McCallum