Published 2nd February 2011
Needing a win at Horsham to climb off the bottom of the Ryman League Premier Division table, they were 2-0 up with goals from Stefan Joseph and Shabazz Baidoo when fog, which had already delayed the kick-off, descended again and forced proceedings to be abandoned.
But that was not the end of the frustration. When other results came in Croydon discovered that victory would not just have lifted them out of last place but would have taken them right out of the bottom four.
They were one of four teams who started the night on eighteen points, with Aveley a point ahead of them after losing on Monday.
Two of the joint cellar-dwellers met at Hastings United and a last-minute penalty by Darren Smith allowed Folkestone Invicta to snatch a 2-2 draw. Consolation for Hastings was their first point since November 13th, ending a run of nine successive league defeats, and it was they who escaped from the relegation places.
Smith had given the visitors a 15th minute lead but Russ Eldridge made a 1-1 by half-time and Sam Adams put Hastings ahead with a 73rd-minute penalty only for Folkestone to reply in kind at the death.
Maidstone United are now twenty-first after crashing 3-0 at home to in-form Tonbridge Angels, for whom Frannie Collin fired a hat-trick to take his total of league goals to fifteen - joint-best in the Premier Division.
The Angels had let a three-goal lead slip against Lowestoft Town last Saturday but were in no mood for a repeat as Collin struck after 15, 38 and 66 minutes.
Tonbridge move up to fourth but perhaps the happiest of the top clubs were leaders Sutton United, who had a night off and saw their main title rivals drop points.
Bury Town, in second place, were the latest victims of the Harrow Borough hurricane, crashing 5-2 at home to a side inspired by Troy Hewitt`s hat-trick.
That result hardly looked likely as Sam Nunn and Sam Reed put the hosts two up in 17 minutes. Hewitt immediately pulled one back and then equalised 12 minutes after the interval.
David Ijaha put Harrow ahead in the 69th minute and further goals quickly followed from Dan McGonigle and Hewitt.
Harrow have been on a scoring spree in the past month, though not entirely consistently. Their rather strange series of results: 6-1, 0-0, 7-1, 0-1, 2-1, 0-0, 5-2.
Third-placed Lowestoft dropped two points for the second game in a row, though it looked as if Dale Cockrill`s 51st minute effort would be enough to see off visiting Billericay Town until Anthony Robinson popped up with a 90th minute equaliser.
AFC Hornchurch, badly hit by injuries, kept their play-off hopes bubbling with a late comeback to send Margate back across the Dartford Crossing on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline.
Laurence Ball put Margate ahead towards the end of the first half and it might have been all over had recent signing Tom Bradbrook taken any of three good chances to open his account for his new club.
Instead, Tommy Black levelled matters with a 77th minute header and Lewis Smith hit the winner in the 89th minute, giving Urchins a much-needed lift as they prepare to face the top two in their next two outings.
The `Terrible Trio` of Marketmen were all on target as Needham Market moved four points clear at the top of Division One North with a 3-2 home win over Enfield Town on Tuesday night.
Craig Parker opened the scoring after 32 minutes, making Needham the first side in the league to reach the seventy-goal mark, and Nathan Stone added another 4 minutes later.
Adam Wallace pulled one back with 20 minutes left and, after Sam Newson restored the two-goal gap, Jordan Lockie kept Town in the contest. They had 10 minutes to find an equaliser but failed.
The Needham marksmen have now netted sixty-four goals between them in all competitions: Parker has twenty-eight, comfortably the league`s highest total, Newson nineteen and Stone seventeen. In league matches alone Parker has twenty-one, one behind Leatherhead`s Greg Andrews in the race for the golden boot, and the others have thirteen each.
Maldon & Tiptree maintained their hold on fourth place with a 3-1 home win over Cheshunt.
The sides swapped goals in the first half, with Grant Cooper`s effort for Maldon answered by Josh Hutchinson, before a pair of Ollie Berquez penalties decided it.
Romford conceded fifth place to their visitors, Potters Bar Town, after a 3-1 home defeat.
Boro went ahead in the 2nd minute through Paul Kavanagh but that was as good as it was to get. Josh Urquhart and Billy Sentence - sent-off on Saturday - turned it round by half-time and Luke Croll netted a late third.
The big match at the other end of the table pitted Tilbury against Waltham Forest, two sides who have been in much-improved form, and it was Tilbury who came out on top with a 25th minute goal by Ben Bradbury.
In a tense affair, it was no great surprise that two players were sent off. Gary Henty and Forest`s Lukman Mojeed both departed after 68 minutes.
Two goals by 16-year-old prospect Jacob Dingli helped Brentwood Town to a 4-0 home win over Great Wakering Rovers.
Handed his first senior start, Dingli repaid his manager`s confidence by netting 3 minutes from the end of each half. Nick Muir opened the scoring after 9 minutes and Ellis Remy got the third in the 77th minute.
Leon Antoine scored the winner for Harlow Town at Thamesmead Town in the other game.
Lee Roache put Harlow ahead after half an hour, Ryan Briggs replied just before half-time and Antoine struck 3 minutes after the restart as Hawks won 2-1.
Bognor Regis Town missed the chance to go to the top of Division One South eight days ago when they suffered an unexpected thrashing at Faversham Town.
But they made no mistake on Tuesday as a 3-1 victory at Chipstead took them to the head of affairs.
Michael Birmingham's opener for Rocks was answered by Jason Pinnock but James Crane restored Bognor's lead before half-time and Jason Prior hit his twenty-fourth of the season soon after the restart.
Walton Casuals moved to within a point of the play-off places by storming to a 5-1 win at Merstham.
Luke Evans and Craig Totton put them 2-0 up after half-an-hour and Charlie Ide added the third 10 minutes after the interval.
Joao Andrade reduced the arrears with 9 minutes to go but Casuals responded immediately through Omar Vassell and Chris Drake completed the rout as time ran out.
Faversham Town looked set to enhance their play-off prospects by winning at Sittingbourne, thanks to Matt Bourne`s goal soon after half-time. They were foiled by Connor Heffernan, who made it 1-1 in added time.
There was also a 1-1 draw at Dulwich Hamlet, where bottom club Horsham YMCA took the lead shortly before the interval through Tony Reid and Nyren Clunis replied 9 minutes after the break.
Chatham Town clinched a 3-1 home victory over Eastbourne Town with a late goal by Billy Shinners.
Aaron Firth had put Chats ahead just after the half-hour mark and Anthony Hogg added a second moments before the break.
Sam Crabb gave Eastbourne hope in the 73rd minute but they then had Joe Goldsmith sent-off and Chats profited from their extra man.
Leatherhead have been slipping behind the top three in the last few weeks but they had hopes of putting plenty of daylight between themselves and fifth-placed Burgess Hill Town, where Jack MacLeod gave them an early lead.
Daylight was certainly not in evidence, however, and fog ended the game in the second half with Tanners still 1-0 up.
It was the same story at Fleet Town, where Worthing had just taken a 2-1 lead when proceedings became invisible.
George Gaskin's 13th minute goal for Worthing was quickly answered by Darren Wheeler. John Lansdale put the visitors in front again on the hour but the action was soon brought to a halt.