It was honours even after we clawed our way back from 2-0 down to force a replay against Met Police, writes James Barrett-Sterling.
Met Police 2 - 2 Carshalton Athletic FA Trophy first qualifying round Saturday 28th October 2018 Attendance: 129 Last five results: LWWWD
Team news Following our victory at Folkestone, forward Omar Koroma came in for Jacob Mendy while defenders Tyrese Owen (making his debut) and Danny Dudley replaced on-loan pair Daniel Pappoe and Michael Onovwigun. Ex-Robin Mekhail McLaughlin was in our hosts' line-up.
Kick-off We were looking to do well in our third cup competition of the season to date, but started with a Peter Adeniyi effort way off target within the first 60 seconds.
Both sides were looking to get forward quickly during the opening exchanges, with one Met Police move seeing half a dozen passes eventually get Ethan Chislett between our centre backs.
The midfielder lofted the ball over the oncoming Billy Bishop but it dipped over the crossbar and out for a goal kick.
The home side broke the deadlock on 18 minutes however - an inswinging free kick on the far side was met by an unmarked Max Blackmore whom headed home.
We rolled our sleeves up and enjoyed a long spell of possession but the only time we really carved out an opening came when Ricky Korboa picked out a run by Tommy Bradford, but his angled drive was easily gathered by Tom Williams.
Our final cross or pass was lacking as the Met players worked hard to deny us space in their half, but we then fell further behind on 34 minutes.
Owen was caught in possession 25 yards from goal by Blackmore whom then bore down on goal before finishing smartly into Bishop's bottom left corner.
Thankfully we didn't have to wait long to reduce the arrears and it came after Koroma did well to spin in the box before squaring to Jerson dos Santos, whose initial shot was blocked.
The ball fell to Adeniyi who, as he cut inside his marker, was fouled right on the edge of the Met area. Up stepped Jordan Cheadle and he bent home the free kick for his third of the season.
It was game on now - Korboa flashed an effort from 18 yards off target, while John Gilbert hit one into Bishop's midriff from the same distance.
But we began to turn the screw as the half drew to a close and a neat move saw us restore parity on 44 minutes.
Cheadle showed some neat footwork to bustle past an opponent before laying the ball out wide to Adeniyi. He looked up and played a low cross into the Met's area which Koroma swept home first-time from 10 yards.
HALF-TIME: 2 - 2
The opening 15 minutes of the second-half ebbed and flowed - Gilbert thought he was clean through at one point but was halted by an offside flag.
Korboa then broke the Met backline on the right but his low centre was just behind the incoming Koroma, while both Tommy Bradford and Louis Birch fired off target from distance.
We were enjoying plenty of possession but struggling to break down the nine blue shirts behind the ball, while also being guilty of some misplaced passes and through balls when opportunities arose.
We sent on Mike Dixon just after the hour but Bishop had to be on his toes to parry away a 68th minute effort by Gilbert at full stretch.
Our cause wasn't helped by two injuries to forward players with 15 minutes to go - Koroma went off after going down off-the-ball with a leg problem. Then, even more worryingly, Dixon fell awkwardly after going up for a header and he had to leave the pitch on a stretcher*.
On came Michael Aziaya and Jacob Mendy, meaning Korboa moved up as a lone frontman and we now had two defensive midfielders in place.
Danny Dudley managed to get in the way of a thunderous shot as the home side smelt blood, but then a big moment on 87 minutes - Met sub Jack Mazzone burst in on our goal but Bishop came out and blocked the low shot away with an outstretched boot.
We created one more chance in added time as Cheadle found Mendy whom jinked his way into the Met box. Our fans leaned forward with hope but our man could only shoot straight at Williams.
Next up We face Met Police in our replay on Monday 29th October before travelling to Brightlingsea Regent on Saturday 3rd November.
Carshalton Athletic: Bishop; Price (c), Owen, Dudley, Cheadle; Bradford, Morath-Gibbs, Adeniyi; Korboa, dos Santos (Dixon - 66, Mendy - 79), Koroma (Aziaya - 75) Unused subs: Sogbanmu, Hamilton-Downes Goals: Cheadle (36), Koroma (44) Assists: Adeniyi (2) Booked: Cheadle
Met Police: T Williams, Webb, Guinness-Walker, Arthur, McLaughlin, Birch, Knight (Mazzone - 70), Chislett, Gilbert, Blackmore, Mummery (Hippolyte - 66) Unused subs: Robinson, S Williams, Nyama
Goals: Blackmore (18 and 34)
* We are pleased to report both Omar and Mike D left Imber Court under their own steam after the match, but each will be assessed ahead of our next upcoming fixtures.