Football: Relief for fans as Rusthall lift themselves off bottom

LIFT THE SPIRITS: Rusthall celebrate Steve Camacho’s penalty PHOTO: Joe Croker

Football: Relief for fans as Rusthall lift themselves off bottom

20th February 2019

Rusthall 3 AFC Croydon 2

RUSTHALL finally won at home for the first time this season to move off the bottom of the Southern Counties East League Premier Division.

They started brightly but it took only five minutes for them to concede. Rusthall failed to clear the ball from a mêlée in the box and Dominic Obun pounced to open the scoring.

Rusthall pressed after the goal, playing some neat football with Louis Clarke putting in dangerous crosses.

But Danny Carpinini, the Croydon goalkeeper, pulled off a magnificent double save and then tipped Clarke’s fine shot over.

In the 23rd minute Steve Camacho launched a free kick into the box, Charlie Clover met it and drove the ball into the net to level the scores.

Both teams enjoyed periods of possession in the second half but Rusthall looked the more dangerous and took the lead in the 72nd minute.

Croydon failed to clear their lines and the ball came out to Paul Butler, the Rusthall captain, who scored through a crowded penalty box for his first goal of the season.

Five minutes later, a mistake in the Croydon defence allowed Camacho to run into the box and, bearing down on goal, he was brought down for a penalty.

Camacho took the kick himself, placing the ball firmly into the net for a 3-1 lead.

It wouldn’t be Rusthall if they didn’t give their supporters cause for concern. In the 90th minute they gave away a free kick on the edge of the box from which Obun duly scored to make it 3-2.

But the home side managed to hold on and record their second win of the season – and first home victory since April 4.

Now Rusthall face a derby against resurgent neighbours Tunbridge Wells at Culverden Stadium on Saturday [February 23, kick-off 3pm].

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