Written by: Chris Brenta
September was a rather good month for Carshalton Athletic. Four wins and one draw with 16 goals scored and only four conceded has given the Robins a near perfect start to both their league and cup campaigns. The first test of October, a trip to Bedfont Sports FC in second round qualifying of the FA Cup.
Bedfont have had a mixed start to their season, yet to pick up a point in the league, but two 3-1 victories in the previous rounds of the cup have seen them reach this stage for the first time in their history.
Carshalton were without a couple of first team names, Patrick Ohman, who has been ever present between the sticks, was ruled out following the injury he picked up against East Thurrock on Tuesday night and Dan Bennett was still side-lined after taking a knock during the warmup before the 2-2 draw with Margate. The biggest miss however had to be that of David Fisher, the club’s top scorer this season with five, including a hat-trick in the previous round’s 5-1 win over Faversham Town.
Bedfont had obviously done their research on the attacking prowess of Carshalton and were clearly set up to frustrate Peter Adeniyi’s men. Two banks of four sat deep within their own half and at times the two attackers joined in as they were content to let the Robins back five have the ball with little interest in pressing. Despite having the majority of the play Carshalton struggled to break down the Eagles in a first half that had limited chances. They will feel hard done by when they were awarded a freekick right on the edge of the area after a handball that both players and fans alike felt was inside the area and should have been a penalty.
The second half brought with it a change for Carshalton as they altered the formation to try and open up this watertight Bedfont defence, Danny Dudley making may for Tommy Bradford, who didn’t play during the week due to his one game suspension.
In the 60th minute Bedfont made their first change with Ricardo Andre entering the fray and it only took him three minutes to make the difference. Picking the ball up on the right-hand side he played a wonderful ball across to Shamal Edwards on the left who outpaced Bobby Price to coolly slot home past Eddie Allan and send the home team 1-0 up.
Peter Adeniyi reacted instantly and brought on Harry Ottoway to add some further attacking threat with Omar Koroma but five minutes later Koroma pulled up holding his calf and his afternoon was over as he was replaced by Adeniyi.
Carshalton pushed on to try and grab an equaliser and had countless free kicks from all around the box but failed to make them count. Dimitrios Kyriatzis made some decent saves in the Eagles goal but Carshalton will feel they should have done better with the sheer number of set pieces they had.
With 12 minutes left on the clock Bedfont put the game beyond Carshalton, and it was that man Edwards again. In a similar position to where he picked up the ball for the first, he glided towards the Carshalton box leaving a couple of defenders in his wake with some impressive skill and hammered the ball into the roof of the net to make it 2-0.
The Robins continued to press but Bedfont defended well, Kevin Diomande being the stand- out player for a well organised Eagles side that may not have played pretty but were incredibly effective in how they set up. The Robins will rue some of those free kicks that went astray, but it never really felt as though they were going to score and Bedfont were deserving of their win as they continue to make history in the world’s most famous cup.
The Robins return to league action on Tuesday with another trip to the coast when they take on 11th placed Bognor Regis in the Isthmian Prem. Peter Adeniyi will be looking for a big reaction from his team after suffering their first defeat of the season.