Football: Rusthall punished by Erith for missed chances

Football: Rusthall punished by Erith for missed chances
AT FULL STRETCH: Rusthall keeper Aaron McGuigan reaches for a cross

RUSTHALL’S run of seven games without defeat came to a resounding end last week as they suffered back to back losses against Canterbury and then at Erith.

These setbacks have harmed their hopes of avoiding relegation as one of their rivals for the drop, Hollands & Blair, won against high-flying Cray Valley to break away from the bottom of the Southern Counties East League Premier Division.

On Saturday Rusthall had three good chances to score in the first ten minutes, mainly through good link-up play between Revel Powell-Downey and Moses Sunday.

Powell-Downey cut in from the right and saw his shot saved by the goalkeeper. Sunday struck the post after creating space for himself and then had a shot easily kept out.

Erith enjoyed a series of corners but these were ably dealt with by the defence and Aaron McGuigan in the Rusthall goal.

Midway through the first half Rusthall were dealt a blow when Louis Clarke went off injured. Charlie Clover came on to replace him.

The half ended goalless, though Rusthall should have been comfortably in the lead. The start of the second half was a very even affair until the 71st minute.

McGuigan made a good save but the ball fell to Steadman Callander, who curled shot around the keeper to break the deadlock.

Rusthall applied relentless pressure after going behind. Powell-Downey beat his man down the right, drove into the box and crossed but no one could get on the end of it.

Towards the end Charlie Clover broke free with only the keeper to beat but he saved with his legs, the ball went up into the air and Clover headed against the crossbar.

Right at the death Rusthall had a corner and after a melee in the box, Clover hit the bar again with a header.

Rusthall are receiving plaudits for their football from all their opponents and neutrals but at the moment it is not resulting in enough points.

They have a good chance to pick up three valuable points when they face bottom-of-the-table Croydon for the second time inside a month on Saturday [April 6, kick-off 3pm].

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