Carshalton Athletic won a potentially pivotal game against play-off rivals Horsham on Saturday, writes James Barrett-Sterling.
Carshalton Athletic 4 - 0 Horsham
Isthmian Premier League
Saturday 29th February 2020
Last five results: WWLDW Our 'Man of the Match': Kershaney Samuels
Team news The only change from the side that drew 1-1 at Margate last time out saw goalkeeper Kleton Perntreou return after illness.
Carshalton got off to an absolute flyer in this battle between fifth and sixth - just 75 seconds were on the clock as Lewis White got away down the left before squaring in a low cross and Christie Pattisson side-footed it home from six yards.
Omar Koroma's afternoon sadly came to an abrupt end shortly after that - the striker left the pitch on a stretcher after going up for a header and, because of landing awkwardly, suffering a concussion. He was subsequently discharged from hospital later in the evening.
The visitors, by manager Dom di Paola's own admission, were struggling with the wet and windy conditions and a hanging cross by Pattisson on 17 minutes was met by Korboa, but his header thumped away off the crossbar.
Horsham's first clear opportunity of the game came on the half-hour as Alex Clark's cross wasn't cleared but Lee Harding scuffed a snapshot wide of the target.
But the Robins eventually doubled their lead however as Bobby Price bust a gut to get down the right and Pattisson played him in beyond Harvey Sparks. The full back whipped across a first-time cross that Haxhiu swept in from close range.
Korboa had a glorious chance to make it three before the break - Paris Hamilton-Downes' through ball got him beyond the Horsham defence but, with only goalkeeper Bentley to beat, the forward took an early shot and the ball rolled wide of the right-hand post.
HALF-TIME: 2 - 0
The visitors introduced Charlie Harris at the start of the second-half and the weather became clement, thus Horsham came more into the game.
Perntreou was called into action on 50 minutes as Harding guided an inswinging free kick on target, but the goalkeeper managed to change his trajectory and get a hand on the ball.
Horsham were now dominating possession as Carshalton defended stoutly - Danny Dudley and Luke Read made great blocks inside their own six yard box around the hour mark.
And the Hornets thought they'd reduced the arrears on 69 minutes as Harding turned in a loose ball following a right-wing cross, but the referee ruled it out for a foul on Perntreou as the two players clashed on the high ball.
But the Robins took the wind out of Horsham's sails by making them pay for not turning their pressure into goals - Kershaney Samuels took down a Jordan Cheadle throw-in on 73 minutes and unleashed a sweet half-volley from 25 yards into the top corner of the net.
The icing on the cake came five minutes from time - sub Peter Adeniyi chased a lost cause and kept the ball on the far touchline. He found White who played a one-two with Price to burst free over halfway and he eventually picked out the unmarked Korboa who side-footed home from close range.
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Carshalton Athletic: Perntreou; Price, Dudley, Read, Cheadle; Samuels (Adeniyi - 82), Hamilton-Downes (c); White, Korboa (Pappoe - 87), Koroma (Haxhiu - 13), Pattisson Unused sub: Perez Goals: Pattisson (2), Haxhiu (32), Samuels (73), Korboa (86) Assists: White (2), Price Booked: Read
Horsham: Bentley, Mills, Sparks, Kelly, Shelley, Miles (c), Clark (Charman - 72), Dawson (Brivio - 82), Smith, Cundle (Harris - 46), Harding Unused sub: Metcalfe Booked: Miles