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Trams Continue Moles Misery

by David Morgan

Croydon 3-2 Molesey  

Scored :McShane '3 Bent '73

Molesey made the mid-week trip to the Trams with the supporters saying that this was a must win game, even though the season is just a few weeks old. The Moles poor run of results through August and the first half of September had meant they were one of the few teams without a win and looked more likely to compete with the bottom five, rather than the top five, where the majority of fans really expect them to be.

Molesey made three changes to the squad that lost against Chertsey a few days earlier with Joe Yeates, Moses Spencer and Phil Dexter coming in for Ollie Dicks, Rob Lewis and Steve Brown.

The Moles couldn't have wished for a better start than they got when, after just three minutes, James McShane managed to find enough space in the box to convert an inviting cross. Thus making this the first time Molesey have taken the lead in a league game.

However, Molesey were soon hampered when despite lengthy treatment Luke Elliott was unable to recover from a knock he received in the 21st minute and was replaced by Steve Brown, due to the problem of having no defenders on the bench. This forced James McShane into a slightly more defensive role for the rest of the game as he tried to attack and cover the vacant left-back slot.

Molesey were dominating the early stages though as just after Peter Adewumi-Martin shot over the bar from 20 yards, Martin made one of his dazzling runs into the opposition penalty area but his attempted pull back was easily intercepted by the Croydon defence.

Just one minute later Sam Lampard made an equally impressive run into the box but this time his pull back went to far back and missed the on rushing Matt Baxter completely.

Sheikh Ceesay had his first bit of goalkeeping to do in the 29th minute when Grant Cunningham hit a powerful strike from within the area which Ceesay did well to hold.

If things weren't already going well enough for the Moles the Croydo left back got booked for a challenge and then managed to talk himself into a second booking to get himself sent off.

This sparked a huge brawl at half time involving most of the players from both clubs and did nothing but embarrass the fans and officials from both sides.

Molesey came out for the second half looking to improve their lead and, within three minutes of the restart, they nearly managed it when Sam Lampard hit a great curling effort which didn't quite curl back in enough and went just wide.

But Molesey were made to pay for their lack of ruthlessness in front of goal when Tim Mudoch got enough space 25 yards from goal to hit a piledriver beyond the reach of Ceesay and bring the ten men level.

The game descended back into controversy ten minutes later when a Croydon player was fouled, the referee gave advantage and as Cunningham put the ball into the back of the net decided to bring play back for the earlier foul! The Croydon players were furious and Molesey had been given a major let-off.

Molesey heeded the warning, went back on the attack and managed to drag themselves back into the lead in the 73rd minute. Ceesay took a long freekick from just inside the Molesey half which fell to Moses Spencer who shielded the ball and allowed Owen Bent to round the Croydon number one and slot home to give the Moles the lead for the second time in the game.

Moleseys celebrations were short lived though when Darren Delandro hit a speculative lob from 35 yards which went beyond Ceesay and dropped into the net. Whether he meant it or not is something only he can answer, but it mattered very little to the Molesey fans who saw Molesey leaking goals like they had been all season.

Molesey nearly struck right back when Matt Baxter found himself in but his close range shot was superbly blocked for a corner which came to nothing for Molesey but gave Croydon an excellant chance to take the lead. As the ball was cleared Grant Cunnigham charged up the pitch and was only stopped when he tripped over the advancing Ceesay. The referee gave the penalty and the Molesey fans watched on with their hearts in their mouths as they saw Cunningham step up. However, Ceesay was to redeem himself with an excellant double save which kept the scores levels and Molesey hopes alive.

With six minutes to go Steve Webb made the only change of the game with the creative Ross Defoe replacing the hard working Peter Martin.

But it was all for nothing as with just four minutes left on the clock Moses Spencer tripped the on-rushing Croydon forward leading to Croydons second penalty of the game and Moses getting sent off. This time Cunningham made no mistake and his penalty went past Ceesay who had guesed the right way.

Molesey now go into their FA Cup game on Saturday in the worst circumstances and will need to pull a rabbit out of the hat to beat their higher opposition, Bashley