23s on the brink
By Gary Brigden
The 23's took a giant step towards securing the John Bennett Development Division title, when they eked out a hard-fought 3-2 win over AFC Croydon Athletic on Tuesday night.
Tyler Chambers drafted in a couple of experienced heads, in the shape of Craig Bradshaw, Aaron Bogle and Phil Page, whilst there was also game time for 21 year old first team striker Marlon Pinder. As it turned out, AFC Croydon had numerous older heads themselves, and it made for a tough game.
AFC took the lead on only five minutes, when former Rovers man Reece Payton was on hand to put the visitors ahead, but the lead did not last long as on 11 minutes, a ball towards Page squirmed through legs onto Pinder and he fired home from seven yards.
Bradshaw was forced into several good saves during the half, whilst at the other end Page and Pinder continued to cause problems for the AFC backline, but half time came with the scores level.
We took the lead for the first time on the hour, when AFC were caught over-playing at the back, and the keeper ended up slicing the ball to Page, and he did what he does to put us 2-1 up.
The lead lasted barely a minute, from kick off the ball found its way to Bradshaw, he looked to set up play giving the ball to Bogle, but his no-look return pass only found the forward who tapped into an empty net.
We made several changes replacing Alfie Carney with Sam Brown, and Marlon Pinder with Sam Blake as we looked to tweak things. We were rewarded five minutes from time when Blake flicked on a cross, Seagroatt lifted the loose ball over the advancing keeper and Page volleyed into an empty net.