AFC Croydon Joint top after Comfortable victory
By dean Jacquin
Rams 2-0 Rustics
This fixture seemed to have come to soon for a below par Rusthall side, who were suffering from their efforts in the FA Cup on the previous Saturday.
Just seeing the two sides warming up, it was obvious it was going to be physically tough afternoon for the Rustics. AFC were a powerful looking outfit. The game got underway and Rusthall were knocking the ball around ok, and when AFC got the ball their approach was to get it forward quickly and direct. Im not saying they were just long ball, they had good players up top, and it made sense to get it too them swiftly.
After 8 mins the deadlock was broken. Its clear that Rusthall's achilles heel at the moment is the inability to deal with set balls into the box. And it was from a corner AFC powered the ball home at the near post. 1-0 and period of midfield battling took place. AFC were still a threat, and Rusthall were having trouble making the ball stick in the opponents half. Half time 1-0.
The 2nd half followed a similar pattern, but Rusthall were sloppy in possession, often giving it away when under no real pressure. Or hitting Pete Shaw, who seemed a loan figure for most of the half.
Jake Cornish was making his 1st team debut in goal, and made an excellent save mid way through the half, diving high to his left. This was shortly followed by an even better save, low to his left, which he managed to turn round post for a corner. So once again it was disappointing that the resulting corner was converted, although Jake did save the initial Header.
The game became a bit more end to end in the last 15mins, and both sides had chances. Robbie Bissett who was probably MOTM for Rusthall, took charge at a free kick just outside the box. Although it did not seem to suit a left footer, he arrowed it top corner, only for AFC keeper to make an excellent save. 2-0 Full-time.
In Summary if Rusthall can sort their Set piece defending out, and take care of the ball more, particularly when under no real pressure, we will give ourselves a much better chance of taking something away from games like this.
AFC have the typical SCEFL template to get out this division. Strong physically all over the pitch, direct to their talented front men and generally a solid unit throughout.