A stunning goal by Paris Hamilton-Downes settled this Bank Holiday derby in favour of Carshalton, writes James Barrett-Sterling.
Carshalton Athletic 1 - 0 Leatherhead
Isthmian Premier League
Monday 26th August 2019
Last five results: LLWWW
Our 'Man of the Match': Peter Adeniyi
There were three changes from the side that beat Cornthian Casuals - Patrick Ohman remained injured so there a debut for goalkeeper Kleton Perntreou, while Danny Dudley and Michael Kamara came in for Daniel Pappoe and Jerry Amoo.
The tempo of the game wasn't high as the match began in stifling heat and a first half-chance eventually came on the quarter hour, but Dudley blocked away Eddie Dsane's angled drive from inside Carshalton's area.
Leatherhead also registered the first real strike on 19 minutes but Craig McGee's effort from 20 yards rolled past the far post.
A couple of chances then fell to Omar Koroma but, firstly, the striker couldn't guide a flying header on Paris Hamilton-Downes' corner kick on target.
But, on 27 minutes, he neatly took down a long Luke Read pass inside the Tanners' area and shaped to shoot. A goal seemed odds on but Jerry Nnamani did just enough to get back in and force Koroma into rushing his effort wide.
The half ended with some drama however - Koroma managed to get a deep Hamilton-Downes cross down into the path of Korboa, but Zaki Oualah turned his low drive around the far post.
From the resultant corner, Read turned the delivery back in and Dudley had a stabbed effort blocked. While some calls went up for handball, Ernold Haxhiu kept the ball alive and Hamilton-Downes eventually forced Oualah into a low save at his near post.
HALF-TIME: 0 - 0
Perntreou endeared himself to the home fans just after the break as he turned away a curled Travis Gregory effort from 18 yards at full stretch.
And the visitors kept on the front foot and they should've opened the scoring on 58 minutes - Dsane did well to keep the ball in on the far side and he turned Dudley to head goalwards. He squared for Charlie Hestor-Cook but his miscued shot fell to Jack Skinner who, despite having the whole goal to aim at, drilled a low shot back across Perntreou and wide.
But Carshalton weathered the storm and began to put some pressure on the Tanners' back four, but you always felt it would take something special to break the deadlock.
Enter the skipper - a corner kick on 68 minutes was only half-cleared, Peter Adeniyi eventually returned it with interest and Hamilton-Downes met it full on the volley to beat Oualah and open his account for the season.
That knocked the stuffing out of the game in all honesty, but Leatherhead came to life near the end as they put some pressure on the home side's back four. Carshalton fans' hearts were in their mouths in stoppage time however as Dsane managed to block a clearance by Perntreou, but his defenders got back to make sure the moment didn't become anything worse.
Watch out for match highlights and post-game reaction via robins.tv
Carshalton Athletic: Perntreou; Read, Dudley, Kamara (Sogbanmu - 75), Hamilton-Downes (c); Haxhiu, Adeniyi, Samuels; Pattisson (Bradford - 69), Koroma (Phillips - 59), Korboa
Unused subs: Sterling-Parker, Amoo Goal: Hamilton-Downes (68) Assist: Adeniyi Booked: Samuels
Leatherhead: Oualah, Ikebuasi (Ufuah - 37), Djemaili, McGee, Salmon (c), Nnamani (Hestor-Cook - 45), Gregory, Seager, Skinner (Blake - 77), Gallagher, Dsane
Unused subs: Office, Davanou Booked: Seager, Oualah