You will have to go a long way to see a poorer 4-3.
With a bitterly cold wind exacerbating the pain we struggled to master a poor Croydon Athletic side tonight, but at least a win is a win and with trips to Lowestoft, Carshalton and Sutton ahead these were an important 3 points.
I praised Croydon after our game there last month for their energy and desire but didn’t see that so much tonight and thought we should have won far more comfortably. Having been ahead twice we let them back in the game and it took one moment of class from Peter Dean to make the points safe.
The game will be remembered most though for the incident which led to Scott Fitgerald getting sent off in injury time. It seemed clear to me that he did not headbutt their left back who deserved top marks for lying prone for several minutes. Let’s face it, if Scott had made contact that then there would have been blood and probably serious injury. I think most people worked out what was happening except the referee who saw something that deserved a straight red. Scott’s reaction said it all, though I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets him in further trouble.
That said you also have to ask why Scott picked the ball up when it was their throw – especially given he had already been booked – so he was risking a second yellow anyway from the referee who seemed determined to have a say in the game one way or another. After scoring two goals why get involved in the first place? He already has a one match ban coming up for getting to 5 bookings and that will be another 3 on top. You do the math!