Cronin robbed of chance to make 200 Club

Chester’s expungement means Fleet goalkeeper Lance Cronin will not reach his 200th club appearance this season…


Ebbsfleet United goalkeeper Lance Cronin, hero of Monday’s win over Eastbourne Borough after saving a penalty and making several first-class saves, has been denied the chance of making his 200th appearance at Tamworth on the final day of the 2009-10 season.

The 24-year-old Sussex-born stopper joined the Fleet in August 2006 as a late replacement for injured Craig Holloway and made his debut later that month at Aldershot Town. In almost four years he has amassed 195 games for the club and but for Chester’s expungement and subsequent loss of two fixtures would have been expected to play game number 200 at Tamworth.

Cronin, ever-present this season in 43 league and cup games, has won several England C caps in his time at Stonebridge Road and picked up an FA Trophy winner’s medal after keeping a clean sheet at Wembley. Surprisingly, however, despite playing in every game this season, it will turn out to be his least busy after he played 47 games in his first year, 48 in the Trophy-winning season and a massive 57 last term.

Reflecting on his heroics in Monday’s victory, the Fleet number one is convinced he and his teammates can guide the club to safety, telling BBC Radio Kent, “The guys we’ve got in the dressing room, we’re not a relegation side. Two wins and a draw… I think we’ll be all right…”

Only Jimmy Jackson, who broke the 500-game barrier in 2005, and Craig Wilkins who completed his 240th game in 2003, have played more games than Lance Cronin since the turn of the century.

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