21's draw first competitive fixture
The 21's picked up a hard fought point in their first competitive game of the season away at AFC Croydon Athletic, but will rue a late goal that robbed them of the win.
After an even start the 21's burst into life and took the lead on 18 minutes, when Alfie Carney capitalised on a mistake by the AFC Croydon Athletic keeper to fire us ahead.
We continued to hold the upper hand, with the midfield of Sam Brown, Jayden Coleman and Mason Seagroatt getting much the better of their Croydon counterparts, and it really came as no surprise when we increased our lead on 29 minutes. This time, the prolific George Baker producing a smart turn and finish.
We maintained our control throughout the first half, and although skipper Ollie Ellaway had to make a very good save to preserve our advantage, and our opponents were starting to argue amongst themselves.
Tyler Chambers made a change at the break, introducing the livewire Reece Payton for the equally dynamic Alfie Carney, as we looked for the third goal that would go a long way to securing the win.
Our opponents though came out with a much more determined and fired up attitude, and reduced the arrears on 51 minutes. A good run by their forward led to a good save by Ellaway, but Croydon reacted quickest, and slotted for 2-1.
AFC Croydon Athletic saw a man into the book for throwing the ball away, and a couple more followed in quick succession, one for them, and substitute Finlay Carney, on for Brown for us, as the game started to become more fractious.
AFC Croydon were now dominating the proceedings, and we were struggling to match their physicality. With ten minutes remaining Chambers made his final change replacing Baker with Sam Edwards.
The hosts levelled things up with three minutes remaining, when again Ellaway made a decent save and with us at sixes and sevens the ball was poked home.
We almost snatched the win in the dying seconds, when the AFC keeper was dismissed for swearing, but the free kick by Liam Holden was off target and the points shared.