Written by: Chris Brenta
After a less than ideal start to October, with away defeats in both the FA Cup and league, the return to the comfort of home was very much welcomed by Peter Adeniyi’s men, as 600 fans sold out Colston Avenue for the visit of the Corinthian-Casuals yesterday afternoon; a fixture two years in the making due to it being postponed in last year’s cut-short season.
Corinthians, who themselves were also knocked out of the FA Cup a week ago, bounced back with a solid 2-0 victory at home to Brightlingsea on Tuesday and they were looking to carry that momentum into yesterday’s game.
Peter Adeniyi made three changes from the side that lost to Bognor Regis in the week, with Omar Koroma and Patrick Ohman both returning to the side following short injuries, and Jordan Cheadle coming back in at left back having also missed out during the week. Bobby Price had a knock, so he continued his spell on the bench with Ernold Haxhiu filling in at right back.
Within the first few minutes it was obvious that this wasn’t going to be easy for the Robins, Casuals had clearly come to frustrate the home side and were set up with two deep banks of four leaving minimal gaps for the Robins to play through. Carshalton had plenty of the ball, but most of it was in their own half which Corinthians seemed more than happy for them to do. The reds did get chances though; they were just unable to make them count. Kelvin Manuel, who was making his second successive start, hit the post after some great hold up play from Omar Koroma, and Koroma himself had the ball in the back of the net only for the linesman to flag him offside. Corinthians looked dangerous on the break however, and Proctor and Read had to be on hand to deal with the likes of Cadogan and Checklit who both looked lively for the whites.
As the first half came to a close, the game felt very reminiscent of the trip to Bedfont one week prior – lots of possession but little in the way of opportunities to break the deadlock and it felt very much like a 0-0.
The Carshalton management had clearly had a word with the team in the break as they came out much more direct in the second half, utilising the strength of Koroma, and the pace of Clunis and Manuel on the wings to get in behind the Casuals defence, something they hadn’t managed in the first 45. This then led to Corinthians getting even tighter and actually more difficult to break down though. The 57th minute saw the first change of the game with Harry Ottaway coming on for his first home appearance of the season with Omar Koroma making way.
With the game entering the final ten minutes, there seemed to be an acceptance from those in attendance that this was destined to finish goalless, but Robins captain Paris Hamilton-Downes had other ideas. In the 83rdminute the ball fell to him on the edge of the area and he absolutely smashed it past keeper Daniel Bracken it into the bottom corner to make it 1-0. It was clear from the celebration just how much that goal meant to him, the team, and the Robins faithful.
A couple of defensive changes were made to make sure the Robins saw the game out, with Adeniyi and Dudley replacing Bradford and Manuel, and see the game out they did. A first win of the month which sees Carshalton rise to fifth in the table and means they can put the previous two results behind them as they look ahead to three home games in the next four in October.
Carshalton are back at home tomorrow night with the visit of 11th placed Horsham to look forward to. Tickets for this game and our next two home games are still available to buy on the website but be sure to get them quick before they sell out.