Croydon put on a brave fight against table toppers Leatherhead at the rain-soaked Club Langley. With players returning from injury, Croydon fielded probably their best line up all season.
In the first match Coach Lenin Nadison, decided to play Matylda Katana in goal and Lucy Casey at the left of a midfield of five, with three at the back.
The tactic looked to be working as Croydon contained the opening green wave of assaults from Leatherhead. There was little goal mouth action for the opening 20 minutes, with both defences standing solid.
Croydon’s Emma Dyduch was first to get a shot in. She tuned well and shot over following good work on the wing from Olivia Gregory. Leatherhead seemed content in pinging long shots against Kantana, who held one and parried another with her knees.
The pace of Georgina Fangawa was troubling the Greens, and resulted in the Trams taking the lead. Lucy Casey sent a grass cutter down the line for Fangawa. She cut inside her marker and crossed low and hard to Gregory on the far side. Gregory first attempt was blocked, but it bobbled up and her left foot lob beat the leatherhead keeper and Croydon were 1-0 up.
Croydon then soaked up the pressure that followed and the ref blew for half time 1-0 to the trams.
Leatherhead changed tactics for the second half. They began utilising their full backs as over lapping wingers and with the very impressive Number 8 in the midfield, started to dominate midfield, switching play at will. Yet again they were reduced to long ball shots, two flying over the bar in the opening exchanges. The eventual equaliser was well deserved as the right back overlapped and put a low hard cross into the box, perfectly timed for an on-rushing attacker and the game was level 1-1.
Croydon retaliated with Gregory catching the ball from a lofted clearance on her instep and as she beat her marker, they handled it giving the Trams an ideal free kick. Kacie Nadison Singh hit a nice curler, that the Greens keeper did well to parry out. It was end to end, as Leatherhead hit a shot wide and then Megan Webster shot was saved for a corner which was passed short to Singh, whose shot was just wide.
Shortly after Leatherhead took the lead. Some nice skill from their left footed striker saw players twisted and turned before finding the bottom corner from the edge of the box. 1-2.
The flood gates then looked like opening as a long shot moments later found the net 1-3.
Jade Asagba was formidable at the back and intercepted a 3 on 1 chance for a corner. Unfortunately, the corner was headed home 1-4.
Katana did well to keep the score down with a low save and Kamilla Øvrevik rose well to thwart another corner by heading well clear of danger. Croydon had few attempts, with Yolande Oke replacing Fangawa up front, and linking well with Dyduch who was barged by the keeper as she ran through. The game ended 1-4 and first blood to the Table Toppers.
POM: Jade Asagba – another colossal performance.