It was a game of two halves yesterday at Hartsdown Park in every sense of the word. The first half was dominated by the Robins who scored twice to open up a good lead, whereas the second saw Margate fight back with two of their own, including a last-minute penalty to make sure the points were shared on this very wet and windy Saturday afternoon.
Danny Dudley returned to the side to partner Proctor in the heart of defence, and Kersaney Samuels missed out for Bennet. Unfortunately, after Dan Bennett took a knock in the warm-up, he was subsequently ruled out and Koroma came into the team in his place.
In far from perfect conditions, it was the Robins who started as the brighter of the two teams, taking only four minutes for that brightness to turn into a goal. Koroma found Clunis on the right, who’s scuffed shot fortunately landed at the feet of Fisher, who had the simple job of sticking the ball in the back of the net from only five yards out.
Carshalton pressed on in the first half with Fisher and Sogbanmu both having opportunities to extend the lead, though the best chance of the opening 30 fell to Gate striker, Ufuah. A fantastic cross from Moncur found him in acres of space in the box, but he couldn’t connect properly with the header and it was gathered up by Ohman. This chance was made doubly agonising as within five minutes the Robins had got their second. A low cross from Clunis, who was starting his first league game for Carshalton after grabbing four assists on Monday, found Koroma sliding in-between two defenders to put it past Bailey Vose. Carshalton saw out the remaining fifteen minutes of the first half, taking a deserved two-goal lead into the break.
Margate started the second half well and just after the hour mark, their pressure paid off. Ufuah broke free down the right and managed to get a good shot away that was equally well saved by Ohman, however the ball bounced straight off the chest of Archie Proctor and into the back of his own net. With 30 minutes still to play suddenly the Gate had something to fight for.
The home team had the bit between their teeth as Carshalton got pushed further and further back into their own half. With 15 minutes to go, Peter Adeniyi brought on Luke Read for Omar Koroma to try and sure up the defence, and it seemed as though it had worked as time looked to have run out for the Gate.
But, as the clock struck 90, a freekick was played into the Carshalton box and Jordan Cheadle brought down Toby Bradford. Referee Scott Rudd pointed immediately to the spot and suddenly, in a game that at one point looked dead and buried for Margate, they now had an opportunity to steel a point. Ufuah stepped up and coolly dispatched past Ohman to make it 2-2.
And that was that, a point away at Margate is no mean feat but the Robins will feel as though it was two points dropped having had such a commanding lead at half time. They have another away day to look forward to on Tuesday night when they travel back to the coast to take on East Thurrock United. The Rocks have lost both their opening games of the season and find themselves in 18th place in the table.
Unfortunately, coach travel this season is limited to players due to Covid-19 social distancing rules, meaning fans will not be able to travel on the club coach. So, make sure to check out our twitter for live updates of the game.