City Never Really At The Races At Erith
By Dave Morgan
City will take few positives from a defeat that saw the hosts complete the double having won by the only goal at Salters Lane earlier in the season.
Five changes from the side that dominated AFC Croydon in midweek but, whilst next weeks opponents Cray Valley were putting 5 past Sheppey United, City struggled to cope with the Erith forward line of Razzaq Coleman, Steadman Callender and Shamal Edwards. Add into the mix an injury to Jordan Casey that forced him to hobble off before half time and whack in the face for Luke Wheatley and this was a largely forgettable afternoon.
For much of the first half the hosts were on the front foot and it took just 7 minutes for them to take the lead. Skipper Russell Bedford’s long throw into the heart of the defence caused chaos and when City failed to clear Edwards gratefully slammed the ball into the roof of Jack Delo’s goal. City looked to strike back immediately and after some great possession football and a build-up down both flanks that involved the majority of the side, James Turner fired a shot over the bar. At this point things looked good for an exciting, entertaining game.
However, City were in a generous mood and within five minutes Erith doubled their lead. Coleman stole the ball from the City defence, fed Callender who advanced before firing across Delo and into the net off the far post.
Bola Dawodu shot over, and Casey fired straight at Adam Molloy in the Erith goal before Edwards should have done better when heading wide from Dan Palfrey’s perfect cross. That miss didn’t prove to be costly as just past the half hour Callender got his second, breaking through the City defence to beat Delo to the ball and lift it over him and into the net.
City came out for the second half with a more positive outlook. Big appeals for a penalty were waved away by the referee when after some neat football the ball ricocheted in the Erith area and bounced up striking a defenders arm. No VAR this afternoon; this isn’t the Champions League and, from the stands, it looked like it was the correct decision.
City huffed and puffed. Rob Lawrence had a shot blocked following Josh McCallum’s long throw; substitutes Renford Tenyue and Josh Froggatt combined only to see Molloy save from both players. Moments later Rob Lawrence’s delicate ball inside the defence gave Tenyue the chance to pull a goal back only for Taylor McDonagh to appear from nowhere to block.
The afternoons scoring was completed on 77 minutes following Phil Starkey’s shove on Edwards in the City area and Callender dispatched the penalty with aplomb to complete a hat trick.
City manager Ben Smith will certainly be looking for a significant improvement from his side in their next two games!
City: Jack Delo, Michael Turner, James Nurden, Phil Starkey, Luke Wheatley, Josh McCallum , Kyron Lightfoot (Josh Froggatt), Bola Dawodu, Rob Lawrence, Jordan Casey (Dan Keyte), James Turner (Renford Tenyue), Unused Subs: Adam Woollcott, Dean Grant