The Trams were apprehensive ahead of their cup game against South London on Sunday. Having been beaten heavily in the league the week before it was yet another weakened team that had to face South London ladies, who ply their trade a division higher.
With a late injury to the goalie and others unable to attend due to illness, the return of key players Tash Wright and Jenny Brown meant we had more experience in this week’s team. Matylda Katana, also returning, volunteered to cover the goalkeeping position. Pre match warm up from Coach Lenin Nadison revealed that, “She can do a job” was encouraging. Tammie Adekenmbi was given the captains armband with Megan Webster still out with a foot injury. It transpired, that the Reds of South London also had a few players missing and anyone expecting another drubbing were in for a shock.
Croydon started the freshest. Jenny Brown and Yoyo Oke worked well down the right and were awarded a corner. Lucy Casey rose highest to flick towards goal. The Reds keeper was beaten but the ball was cleared off the line. The ball worked out to Kacie whose cross was well held by the South London keeper. The first attack by South London was offside, as the three player Croydon defence looked organised, with Tash Wright sweeping just in front. Jade Asagba was doing a good job in the centre and Gracie Leigh Dunkley was looking composed at left back. There was a mix up in defence however from a loose ball and it went for the Reds first corner. It was hit low and short and Matylda did well to get low to save. This gave her confidence in her new role and also the defenders in front of her. A few moments later South London managed some good left-wing play. The cross over rebounded out but the assailants shot bobbled and again Matylda held safely. Croydon were a match for their opponents in the early exchanges. Jenny found Yoyo who dribbled past her marker to be foiled by the impressive tall Reds sweeper. Another attack from the right involved Kammie Ovrevik pushing forward. Her cross-field pass was well controlled by Tammie and squared to Lou who hit the long shot first time, only for it to sail over the bar. Croydon had the momentum. A Kammie long throw was well flicked on by Lucy to Emma Dyduch. She turned and slipped through to Yoyo who beat her marker and her shot was well saved by the Reds keeper.
The fire went out of the Trams for a while then as South London started to spray the ball around and showed why they were a division higher. A determined defence kept back attacks but the chances started to get nearer and nearer. A red managed to slip through and her rocket from inside the box was well tipped over by Matylda. A good in-swinging corner was well cleared by Kacie Nadison-Singh. As the reds piled on the pressure the diminutive Tash was the saviour with a gutsy sliding tackle at a vital moment intercepting another onslaught. New player Rokeya Gladwin Troy wasn’t long on the pitch before being well paced to thwart another Reds attack. Croydon had survived an onslaught and the ref blew for half time. 0-0
Croydon kicked off the second half and pushed up in numbers. The ball got hoofed clear and suddenly Croydon were outnumbered. Number 42 did well to lose her marker and as Matylda came out she hit a low hard shot. Matylda got a hand to it but it spun into the net. 0-1. Number 42 had stretched to get the shot in and after medical treatment was carried off.
South London had taken the lead but had yet another injury. The goal buoyed the Reds and began a long period of sustained pressure. Jade was a colossus in defence with Matylda able to contain the odd shot and cross that came her way. There was some good passing from the back as Matylda gave more variety to the play. Both full backs made space or long throws or kicks meant the Reds were not sure what Croydon were doing. Where the Reds were far superior in this period was their ability to break up play quickly and counter attack. There was long shot well saved by Matylda, and then a had collision in the centre as Jade won the ball only for a clash of heads. The break in play favoured Croydon. As it resumed Lucy went into the centre back role and acquitted herself very well. This then began a long attacking spell by Croydon. Yoyo linked well with jenny and a corner was forced. This was headed well by Emma but deflected for another corner.
Moments later after Tash battled to win the ball back, released Kacie from distance who belted one that the Reds keeper managed to hold. Jenny had a cross land tantalising on the roof of the net after beating the keeper. Kacie started dominating the match and was everywhere, only to see shots and passes not produce the required leveller required. South London started counter attacking and from one which the returning Jade had slid out for a corner it was remarked how impressive the tracking back by Croydon was with 5 players in the box with three Reds. Time was running out and another long-range effort from Kacie was not enough to get the equaliser. South London it is who march into the next round, but the Croydon players and Officials were encouraged greatly by the team spirit showed, following their demise the week before. Walton Casuals come to Club Langley for Croydon’s next match with still several players hopefully returning things are looking much brighter this week for the Trams future.
Player of Match: Close call today Tash was feisty and worked tirelessly throughout, Matylda a new safe pair of hands, but Jade just wins with her determination to return after the head clash and overall ability to stop the Reds attacks.