A spirited fightback was glossed over by the final result as Carshalton’s exciting run in the FA Cup ended on Saturday, writes James Barrett-Sterling.
Carshalton Athletic 1 – 4 Boston United FA Cup first round proper Saturday 9th November 2019 Attendance: 1,859 Last five results: DDWDL Our ‘Man of the Match’: Paris Hamilton-Downes Next up: https://www.carshaltonathletic.co.uk/post/upnext
Team news Ernold Haxhiu came back in for the injured Ola Sogbanmu and he started alongside debutant Lennart Hein who was a surprise selection on the afternoon.
Kick-off Boston started on the front foot and a seventh minute free kick by Martyn Woolford flew narrowly wide of Kelton Perntreou’s goal.
Carshalton began the afternoon with a back three, supplemented by Bobby Price and Paris Hamilton-Downes on the flanks, so Boston were trying to pick their way through a sea of red most of the time.
The Pilgrims’ lively front two of Dominic Knowles and Jordan Thewlis kept the Robins’ defence on their toes, but they rather got in each other’s way on 23 minutes.
Brad Abbott’s through ball was perfect for Thewlis who was galloping onto it from deep, but Knowles, from an offside position, came onto the ball and slipped it past Perntreou as the linesman raised his flag.
It was a let off for the home side whom, despite a couple of well-defended free kick deliveries into the Boston area, hadn’t given their fans much to cheer – so almost inevitably it took an amazing piece of defending to deny Carshalton the lead on 29 minutes.
A long pass by Hein was flicked on by Christie Pattisson into the path of Price who was in oceans of space inside the Boston box. The full back committed keeper Peter Crook and beat him with a strong shot, but Abbott ghosted in at the last second to block the ball on the line.
That seemingly galvanised United as they took the lead four minutes later – a free kick won 20 yards from goal was duly despatched by Andi Thanoj beyond Perntreou. It was the first time Carshalton had been behind in an FA Cup tie this season.
And things went from bad to worse for the Robins on 37 minutes as Tom Platt headed a corner kick back into the mix and Luke Shiels nodded home a second for his side.
Carshalton responded by bringing on Tommy Bradford for Daniel Pappoe to change their shape, but there was no more scoring before the interval.
HALF-TIME: 0 - 2
The home side further increased their attacking options as Omar Koroma was introduced for Hein at the start of the second-half, and the tide of the game shifted.
Carshalton won two early corners, the second of which was cleared to Kershaney Samuels but his pot shot from 18 yards whistled just wide of the post.
Hamilton-Downes then got Ricky Korboa away down the left and he cut inside Shiels before finding Bradford, but a couple of shots were blocked away in quick succession.
A massive chance for Carshalton’s top scorer came on 58 minutes – Demeaco Duhaney’s poor defensive header dropped to Korboa who burst in on goal, but his last touch was so heavy that the ball skipped into the grateful arms of Crook.
Crook was called into more serious action on the hour after Korboa played a one-two with Koroma before pulling the ball back towards Haxhiu. The midfielder mis-hit his shot but it fell for Bradford, but the keeper got down and grasped his weak effort.
Carshalton kept up the pressure however – Luke Read was surrounded by yellow shirts on 63 minutes as he headed a corner kick wide at the far post.
Peter Adeniyi’s last roll of the dice was to bring himself on for Danny Dudley with 25 minutes to go, while Korboa was bundled over by Sheils inside the Boston box, after the defender had kept Koroma from having a shot on goal, but the referee waved away the penalty claims.
Adeniyi then put a free kick up into the visitors’ box on 69 minutes which was only half-cleared. Bradford hooked the ball back into the mix and Hamilton-Downes met it at the back post, but the skipper’s header dropped agonisingly wide of the far post.
But the roof finally came off Colston Avenue on 73 minutes – Adeniyi showed some fancy footwork to beat two opponents and he fed Korboa. The winger eventually teed up Bradford, his shot from 20 yards was only parried by Crook and Pattisson clinically turned the loose ball in on the angle.
The home fans started to believe another comeback a la Barnet last season was on the cards, but they were grateful to Knowles for blocking a goalbound effort by Abbott away.
But Boston tightened up to keep their hosts at bay and they hit them twice on the break in added time.
Sub Jake Wright was surrounded by red shirts as he led a counter-attack, but a square ball found the unmarked Thanoj and he drilled in a low effort to effectively seal the match.
And Wright got in on the action himself on 92 minutes, rounding Perntreou and cutting back inside Price to fire the ball inside the far post.
Catch post-match reaction and highlights via robins.tv coming soon.
Carshalton Athletic: Perntreou; Price, Read, Pappoe (Bradford - 42), Dudley (Adeniyi – 65), Hamilton-Downes (c); Haxhiu, Hein (Koroma - 46), Samuels; Pattisson, Korboa Unused subs: Perez, Cheadle, Kamara Goal: Pattisson (73) Assist: Bradford Booked: Dudley, Price, Read
Boston United: Crook, Duhaney, Whittle, Platt, Ainge (Penny – 46), Thanoj, Abbott, Knowles (Rollins – 79), Thewlis (Wright – 84), Woolford Unused subs: Willis, Jackson, Tuton, Wafula Goals: Thanoj (33 and 91), Shiels (37), Wright (92) Booked: Platt, Abbott, Wright