It was late heartbreak as an added time penalty gifted Worthing victory, writes James Barrett-Sterling.
Carshalton Athletic 1 – 2 Worthing Isthmian Premier League Saturday 1st February 2020 Attendance: 550 Last five results: WWLDL Our ‘Man of the Match’: Luke Read
Team news There were four changes from the side that drew 2-2 with Haringey Borough last time out – Ricky Korboa and Kershaney Samuels were out injured, Ernold Haxhiu dropped to the bench and Lenny Hein missed out as Bobby Price, Ola Sogbanmu, Daniel Pappoe and Christie Pattisson all started.
Kick-off The Robins got off to an absolute flyer in this one – just 10 minutes on the clock as Paris Hamilton-Downes got down the left and his low cross was only cleared to Lewis White whom whipped a shot beyond Carl Rushworth and into the top corner.
It took the league leaders a further five minutes to register their first effort on Carshalton’s goal, but top scorer Ollie Pearce shot wide of the target.
Carshalton were looking the more likely going forward but stray passes or wayward through balls meant they couldn’t build on their lead and Worthing equalised just after the half-hour mark.
A cross from the right was only headed out as far as Finley Stevens and the full back’s effort took a wicked deflection off Daniel Pappoe to wrong-foot Kleton Perntreou.
The Robins responded by winning a quick corner which Pappoe flicked on, but Sogbanmu put his free header over from close range.
The home fans were applauding Perntreou on 41 minutes as the goalkeeper got a big hand to Ricky Aguiar’s 25 yard thunderbolt to turn it round the post.
And he was in action again in stoppage time, beating away an Aaron Racine header on a corner delivery which Alfie Young then hit wide via a small deflection.
HALF-TIME: 1 - 1
Haxhiu replaced the injured Harry Ottaway during the break and, one free kick which hit the Robins wall aside, Carshalton began to create some great chances.
White showed good pace and skill to beat two opponents down the right on 55 minutes but Omar Koroma slipped just as he began to pull the trigger on the winger’s square ball and it sailed high over the crossbar.
Two minutes later and a Hamilton-Downes corner wasn’t properly cleared by the visiting defence. Tommy Bradford knocked it back into the mix and eventually Luke Read let fly with a sweet half-volley which rattled back off the crossbar.
Worthing made two substitutions but still Carshalton came forward – White put Bradford away on goal but he didn’t travel with the ball smoothly and defenders got back in to eventually snuff out his shot.
Then Haxhiu put in an inswinging cross which deflected off a defender into the path of Koroma but, from six yards, the striker only cushioned the ball at Rushworth.
The visitors did threaten on 76 minutes as Perntreou’s punch on an Aguiar cross fell to Stevens, but this time the defender shot just over the crossbar.
Sogbanmu made way for Peter Adeniyi but the next glorious chance fell to Koroma on 84 minutes – Pattisson got down the left and his cross was smashed over the goal by the striker.
It seemed the game was going to peter out at 1-1 but there was a late sting in the tale – Aguiar burst into the Carshalton box in added time and Pappoe bundled into the back of him. The referee pointed to the spot and sub Lloyd Dawes sent Perntreou the wrong way to ensure his side took all three points.
The result, coupled with others elsewhere, means Carshalton stay in sixth place and outside the play-off spots on goal difference ahead of a Tuesday night trip to Bowers and Pitsea.
Watch match highlights and post-game reaction via robins.tv
Carshalton Athletic: Perntreou; Price, Read, Pappoe, Hamilton-Downes (c); White, Bradford, Sogbanmu (Adeniyi – 76), Pattisson; Ottaway (Haxhiu – 46), Koroma Unused subs: Perez, Dudley, Cheadle Goal: White (10) Booked: Hamilton-Downes, Pappoe
Worthing: Rushworth, Colbran, Raccine (c), Young, Myles-Meekums, Aguiar, Pattenden (Pammett – 61), Starkey, Stevens, Armstrong (Barker – 66), Pearce (Dawes – 81) Unused subs: Tutt, Budd Goals: Stevens (33), Dawes (90+2 pen) Booked: Racine, Rushworth