RUSTHALL made six changes from the team which narrowly lost at Newhaven for their Kent Senior Trophy match but the result was a defeat by the same slim margin.
The fresh legs seemed to work as Rusthall had the best of the early exchanges. But Croydon gradually found their way into the match and they made the breakthrough in the 23rd minute.
Rusthall lost the ball on the halfway line and a through pass found Croydon’s David Owusu with only the goalkeeper to beat and he produced a neat chip over Joe Cullip into the net.
The match remained relatively even as the visitors went in at half-time 1-0 down. The second half was a different matter, with Croydon in the ascendancy but Cullip stopped them from extending their lead.
They did, however, score a second when they were awarded a penalty after Joe Cameron tangled with a Croydon forward, and Owusu notched his second from the spot.
Substitute Regan Corke caused problems for Croydon with his speedy runs down the wing, resulted in a series of corners for Rusthall.
After a scramble in the area at one of the set-pieces, Kerran Boylan, playing his first game for Rusthall, forced the ball home to make it 2-1 with 15 minutes to go.
Even though Rusthall dominated after that, they couldn’t find the equaliser and bowed out of the cup.
The Rustics now return to Southern Counties East League action at home to K Sports on Saturday [October 27, kick-off 3pm].