Carshalton fell to a first defeat of the new year as Leatherhead came from behind to take victory, writes James Barrett-Sterling.
Leatherhead 2 – 1 Carshalton Athletic Isthmian Premier League Wednesday 1st January 2020 Attendance: 489 Last five results: WDLDL Our ‘Man of the Match’: Kleton Perntreou
Team news Boss Peter Adeniyi named a strong line-up for this one – himself and Ricky Korboa came back in, while Harry Ottaway was given his first full start since his return from injury.
Kick-off The first chance of the game fell to the Robins as Christie Pattisson got in behind Jerry Nnamani, but his guided effort was blocked away by goalkeeper Zaki Oualah.
And, just a minute later, Charlie Hester-Cook put a 20 yard sighter just wide of Carshalton’s goal and it was game on.
Pattisson and Korboa both had shots blocked away by the home defence before the deadlock was broken on 25 minutes – a half-cleared corner fell to Paris Hamilton-Downes and the skipper expertly curled the ball inside the top far corner for his sixth of the season.
But that lead didn’t last long – just three minutes in fact – as the Tanners won a free kick 20 yards from Carshalton’s goal and Travis Gregory stepped up to beat Kleton Perntreou with a curling strike.
Perntreou wasn’t found wanting on 32 minutes however as a corner kick flicked off the head of Kershaney Samuels and the keeper acrobatically pushed the ball onto the crossbar. A melee ensued, with a claim for handball being made by the home side, but Perntreou was alive to another effort from 18 yards which he tipped over.
Both sides had chances just before the break as Ibrahim Olutade, Leatherhead’s top goalscorer with 13, headed over a Hester-Cook cross, while nice approach play by Korboa and Ottaway ended with the former shooting wide of the far post.
HALF-TIME: 1 -1
Olutade put an early pot-shot straight at Perntreou a minute after the restart, but the striker did give his side the lead on 51 minutes.
Leatherhead broke from a Carshalton attack and suddenly it was two-on-one as Gregory charged up to halfway. Olutade held his run before being played through onside and he kept his nerve to eventually bury the ball past the exposed Perntreou.
The buoyed the home support whom then saw the linesman disallow a Finlay McNab goal for offside, while Hamilton-Downes did well to block away an on target effort by Simon Mensah.
The Robins were finding it difficult to breakdown the stubborn home defence as Nnamani and Will Salmon in particular kept their forwards quiet.
Jordan Cheadle did get on the end of a Luke Read cross on 68 minutes but his header lacked the power to really trouble Oualah.
On loan Derby County striker Jauvan Splatt and Jerry Amoo were thrown on for the last 20 minutes and the former almost robbed the ball off a dithering Oualah whom took in a back pass, but the keeper breathed a sigh of relief as he managed to clear the ball away.
But Carshalton couldn’t seriously test the home keeper again and Perntreou did well to keep the scoreline respectable by pushing Olutade’s low shot on 88 minutes onto his near post.
Catch match highlights and post-game reaction via robins.tv
Carshalton Athletic: Perntreou; Read, Pappoe, Hamilton-Downes (c), Cheadle; Bradford (Dudley – 79), Adeniyi, Samuels; Korboa (Amoo – 69), Ottaway, Pattisson (Splatt – 69) Unused subs: Kamara, Dudley, Sentamu Goal: Hamilton-Downes (25) Booked: Pappoe, Adeniyi
Leatherhead: Oualah, Driver (Seager - 38), Lema, Mensah, Salmon (c), Nnamani, Hestor-Cook, McNab, Olutade (Dawkins - 90), Gregory, Ikebuasi Unused sub: Correira Goals: Gregory (27), Olutade (51) Booked: Hester-Cook, McNab, Dawkins