Carshalton ended their poor run of form against Merstham as they cruised into the next round of the FA Trophy, writes James Barrett-Sterling.
Carshalton Athletic 3 – 1 Merstham FA Trophy first qualifying round Saturday 26th October 2019 Attendance: 286 Last first results: DLWDW Our ‘Man of the Match’: Christie Pattisson
Team news There was one change from the side which drew at Worthing as Ola Sogbanmu came in for Kershaney Samuels. Ex-Robins Omar Folkes and James Richmond lined-up for the visitors.
Kick-off The match was played in driving rain and strong winds throughout, but Carshalton adapted the quicker and looked the more likely to score.
But, after visiting keeper Mattie Pierson did well to deny Ricky Korboa just before the quarter hour mark, the wet conditions played a part in the opening goal on 18 minutes.
Christie Pattisson got on a lose ball and drove at the Merstham defence before unleashing a 20 yard drive that skidded past the despairing hand of Pierson.
The visiting keeper was called into action again a few minutes later – a flowing move saw Paris Hamilton-Downes find Korboa and he picked out Tommy Bradford, but the forward’s effort was palmed away by Pierson.
And the Robins were so on the front foot that defender Luke Read had time to venture forward on 38 minutes, hitting a rocket from 40 yards that Pierson punched away at full stretch.
HALF-TIME: 1 – 0
Merstham made a change at the break but Pierson was the first keeper called into action as, on 50 minutes, Korboa got on the end of a Sogbanmu flick on and the keeper got down well to save the shot.
Kleton Perntreou had only been bothered by the adverse weather up to that point, but he proved himself alert a few minutes later as he rushed out to beat Folkes onto a through ball into his area.
Much like Read in the first-half, Danny Dudley had a run forward with the ball on 57 minutes and he had a poke from 35 yards out – Pierson again sprang into action and Korboa saw his follow-up deflected over by a covering defender.
Carshalton changed things up just after the hour as Omar Koroma came on Daniel Pappoe, and a nice move involving Ernold Haxhiu and Bradford eventually saw Bobby Price fire over from distance.
Merstham responded by throwing on former Fulham, Leicester City and Sheffield United striker Barry Hayles for the last 20 minutes, but the Robins took a firmer grip on the game on 74 minutes.
Korboa teed up Koroma inside the visitors’ area and he tried to check onto his right foot. The space disappeared but he managed to backheel the ball into the path of Haxhiu whom impudently lifted the ball over Pierson with the outside of his right foot and in-off the crossbar.
Jordan Cheadle was then introduced and his first duty was to size up a 20 yard free kick, but his effort went into the midriff of Pierson.
But Koroma wasn’t to be denied and his notched Carshalton’s third with a 25 yard blockbuster to effectively seal the tie.
Merstham had won the last five encounters between these two clubs and they made life slightly uncomfortable for the home fans in added time.
Firstly, Hayles rolled back the years to spin on a low cross and poach a goal back from six yards.
Then Ellis Brown burst through on 92 minutes and rounded Perntreou, but Cheadle had read the situation and managed to clear the angled shot off the line.
Catch match highlights and post-game reaction via robins.tv
Carshalton Athletic: Perntreou; Price, Read, Pappoe (Koroma – 64), Dudley, Hamilton-Downes (Adeniyi – 83); Haxhiu, Sogbanmu; Pattisson, Bradford, Korboa (Cheadle – 76) Unused subs: Perez, Samuels Goals: Pattisson (18), Haxhiu (74), Koroma (87) Assists: Koroma, Bradford
Merstham: Pierson, Calucane, O’Halloran (Ocran – 46), Dines, Christie, Richmond (c), Brown, Frankie (Hayles – 67), Folkes, Monga, Pina (Rose – 56) Unused subs: Lester, Madu, Mensah, Rapson Goal: Hayles (90) Booked: Dines, Monga