A Jerson dos Santos double was enough to see us finally win through to the second qualifying round of the FA Trophy, writes James Barrett-Sterling.
Match stats Carshalton Athletic 2 - 1 Met Police FA Trophy first qualifying round replay Monday 30th October 2018 Attendance: 128 Last five results: WWWDW
Team news Jacob Mendy and Michael Aziaya came in for Omar Koroma and Tyrese Owen from the first encounter. Courtney Swaby and Rio Davidson-Phipps were back among the substitutes. Former Robin Mekhail McLaughlin was again in the Met line-up.
Kick-off We began the match with a high tempo and a buccaneering Mendy was upended by Oliver Robinson on three minutes. An unmarked Kalvin Morath-Gibbs met Jordan Cheadle's free kick delivery in front of goal but he failed to guide the ball on target - if he had he would've surely opened the scoring.
We threatened again quickly as Ricky Korboa got in front of goalkeeper Tom Williams on a low cross. Mendy got onto the loose ball but his eventual shot was blocked by a recovering defender.
Our visitors began the match playing three forwards high up the pitch, but we were comfortable in possession and not allowing the Met a chance to get forward with any real purpose.
We came close again on 12 minutes as Bobby Price clipped a ball over Nesta Guinness-Walker for Peter Adeniyi to get on. Our player/boss cut inside his marker and teed up dos Santos, only for Tom Williams to get down and smother his shot.
The Met's first serious attack came on 14 minutes as John Gilbert strode into our box and clashed with Price, but the referee waved away the half-hearted penalty claims.
We were dominating possession now but making no real headway - our opponents did well to deny us space inside their half, while some of our distribution and through balls were not up to par.
So it was disappointing to fall behind just after the half hour - a low free kick flew across our crowded area and Adeniyi was first to collect the ball on the near side. He had two opportunities to clear the ball away but Jack Mazzone managed to dispossess him before firing an angled shot in off Dudley whom had backtracked onto our goal-line.
It was a real kick in the teeth after dominating for so long but we created a chance on 35 minutes as dos Santos met a Price cross but couldn't guide his header on target.
Price was at it again two minutes later as he knocked in a low cross this time which Williams could only parry, but the ball fell kindly for the boys in blue.
Just as it looked like we'd be going in behind at the break, salvation - a forward ball by Dudley took a nick off a defender and fell into the path of dos Santos. Williams came out to try and smother the ball but our man rounded him and tucked the ball home from a tight angle.
HALF-TIME: 1 - 1
Owen came on for Aziaya for the start of the second-half, but we went on the attack from the off and a second goal arrived quickly.
Korboa saw a shot deflected wide for a corner and Tommy Bradford's first delivery was headed straight back to him. He cut outside onto his right foot and smashed a low cross/shot in which dos Santos guided inside the far post with his instep for his fourth of the season.
It was the first time we'd been in front across the two games and we seemed determined to have things stay that way.
The Met had another soft appeal for a spot-kick, after Mazzone and Cheadle clashed on 59 minutes, denied, while our left back had another free kick opportunity akin to the one he scored in the first tie a minute later - but this time he crashed a shot just over the crossbar.
Both sides made substitutions, Price bent a left-footed effort over the top and Korboa stung the hands of Williams with an angled drive as we continued to stay on the front foot.
A neat move saw Adeniyi take the ball on the near side and hold off the attentions of Gilbert on 77 minutes. The visiting midfielder then dove in and our man rode his tackle before pulling the ball back from the byline. Bradford took it on and flashed a shot in which Williams had to punch over the crossbar.
Into the last 10 minutes however and the tide changed a little as Met Police started to ask more questions of our backline - Dudley at one point having to bravely block a Max Blackmore attempt on our goal.
Cheadle was then aware to head a dangerous in-swinging cross away and we dealt with a second ball to break forward - Bradford found Koroma one-on-one with Josh Webb and our man drove into the Met box, but his perfect ball across the six yard box wasn't met by anyone in red.
The last real action of the evening came when Mazzone chested a high ball down into the path of Blackmore, but Bishop stopped the low effort with his first real save of the match.
So, this victory sets up a home tie against Harlow Town in the second qualifying round (on Saturday November 10th).
We head to Brightlingsea Regent on Saturday 3rd November before Leatherhead arrive for a Surrey Senior Cup game on Monday 5th November.
Carshalton Athletic: Bishop; Price (c), Dudley, Morath-Gibbs, Cheadle; Adeniyi, Aziaya (Owen - 46), Bradford; Korboa, dos Santos (Sogbanmu - 82), Mendy (Koroma - 72)
Unused subs: Swaby, Davidson-Phipps
Goals: dos Santos (44 and 47)
Assists: Dudley, Bradford
Met Police: T Williams (c), Webb, Guinness-Walker, Robinson, McLaughlin, Birch, Gilbert, Nyama, Mazzone, Blackmore, Hippolyte (Mummery - 62)
Unused subs: Knight, S Williams, Chislett, Arthur
Goal: Mazzone (33)
Booked: Robinson Our 'Man of the Match': Jerson dos Santos