Friday, 22 September 2017

THE TRAMS BEAT THE RAMS TO WIN THE CROYDON DERBY IN THE FA YOUTH CUP


There was an intriguing tie in the FA Youth Cup on Wednesday evening as The Trams (Croydon FC) entertained The Rams (AFC Croydon Athletic) in a local derby at The Croydon Sports Arena. The home side had already won the senior game 0-2 at AFC's ground in August in the Southern Counties East League Premier Division.  

The Arena is located to the North East of the town in the South Norwood area with AFC's home around 4 miles away North West of Croydon - In between the two grounds in the more well known home of Premier League Crystal Palace. Some Croydon FC' fans playfully joke they play 'Wandsworth & Norwood'  in a nod to the rival club's origins - the original 'Croydon Athletic' were formed in 1986 as a result of the merger of the two clubs. 

This was a game, played in front of a crowd of 73, which will live long in the memory of two of Croydon FC's team. Levi Shango (who played for Merstham in last season's competition) scored two goals during the first half - the second of which was superb. He received the ball just inside his own half and then ran with pace at the defence which is something that all football fans want to see. He danced past the away defence and with only the keeper to beat he was audacious and confident enough to perform a delightful piece of skill with a foot over the ball piece of skill and pass the ball into the net via a very slight deflection from an AFC player - it was a goal which had it of been scored by a more famous player in the higher leagues would of been replayed many a time. Check it out on the highlights below. 

Khalid Raymond-Callender who had assisted his team mate with a cross into the box for the first goal the nearly scored a better goal in the second half. The word 'nearly' and looking at the replay of the incident may give him some nightmares but deep down I'm sure he can laugh about it now. He received the ball in his own half and went on a mazy run past many players rounding the keeper to give himself a free shot at an open goal - I think it was easier to score than hit the post which he did to the amazement of the supporter's watching. Just seconds later Ryan Galvin made the score 3-1 with Raymond-Callender still rightly showing some frustration at his miss whilst others celebrated. AFC had made it 0-1 in the first half which was slightly against the run of play - it was their keeper who kept the score down with some good saves during the game. 

AFC had a penalty well saved by Lochlan Greenwood in the second half and made it 3-2 with another excellent goal scored from outside of the box (unfortunately not captured on camera) in injury time but it was The Trams who held out for a memorable victory. 

I was also impressed with the home side's two central defender's Marco Soroyo and Tricky Wilson (a decent name for future headlines) and Brian Akongo who sat in from of them in a holding/attacking midfielder role. 

A mention must go out to the programme editor at Croydon FC who issued a nice four page edition for this game. It detailed the history of their youth team's games in the FA Youth Cup which includes victories over Portsmouth, Brighton & HA, Charlton Athletic and Brentford and a memorable run in 1985/86 when they beat Sutton United, Bognor Regis Town, Enfield FC to set up a home tie with West Ham United at The Arena. The Hammers won 3-6 with a young Paul Ince running the midfield. 

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS 
including that miss and that goal - apologies but i missed AFC's second goal as battery ran out 



LEVI SHANGO'S GOAL WAS SO GOOD I THOUGHT IT NEEDED IT'S OWN YOU TUBE CLIP WHICH HOPEFULLY WE CAN GET A LOAD OF HITS FOR - IT DESERVES IT



GROUND PICTURES 










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