There were plenty of thrills and spills against the league leaders despite this game ending goalless, writes James Barrett-Sterling.
Carshalton Athletic 0 - 0 Dorking Wanderers
Bostik Premier League
Monday 26th November 2018
Last five results: WWLWD
Current league position: 8th (with 25 points)
Injury and suspension had swept through the camp - Daniel Pappoe and Jordan Cheadle were serving one-match bans, so Michael Aziaya came in for his first full start in almost a month. Player/manager Peter Adeniyi also started as both Ola Sogbanmu and Michael Onovwigun were only deemed fit enough to be on the bench. Ex-Robins Lewis Taylor, Niall McManus and Reece Hall were in the visiting squad.
Dorking began purposefully and, on eight minutes, they probably should've taken the lead as James McShane burst onto a through ball and found himself one-on-one with Patrick Ohman, but our keeper stayed big and managed to deflect the ball narrowly wide of his right-hand upright.
We weren't afforded much time and space when in possession and so found it hard to create any early chances.
And we were indebted to Ohman again on 15 minutes as Sam Beard took aim from just inside our area and our keeper pushed away the angled drive, with Danny Dudley putting off Giuseppe Sole on the rebound.
Then, just two minutes later, Jason Prior - who had 16 for Wanderers before this match - got free and met a Jerry O'Sullivan cross, but he skewed a first-time volley back across the box.
We began to get some more joy going forward after that - Jacob Mendy almost slipped Tommy Bradford in on goal, while Ricky Korboa hit a cross/shot on 22 minutes that Jerson dos Santos almost slid onto at the far post.
Another move saw us completed around 30 passes as we tried to pick our way through the Dorking rearguard, ending with Korboa taking aim from 20 yards but Slavomir Huk parried the ball away at full stretch.
Korboa was at the heart of our next promising move just after the half-hour, starting with a couple of keepy-uppys and turning his marker midway inside the Dorking half. He drove towards goal but, yet again, Huk was equal to his low shot. The lurking dos Santos, whom perhaps should've trusted his left foot rather than his right, then knocked the loose ball high over the crossbar.
A deep Dorking cross was met by an acrobatic Sole on 35 minutes but Ohman comfortably plucked the overhead kick from 18 yards out of the air.
And both teams ensured the first-half remained goalless at the break as a lot of energy went into closing down and challenging for the ball when out of possession.
HALF-TIME: 0 - 0
We came back out positively, began taking the game to Dorking and the visitors started to become more physical.
A nasty incident occurred on 52 minutes as Bradford was slowing down after a stray pass was quite obviously going out for a throw-in, but Taylor came across and rammed our man into the outer fencing. It looked bad and it sparked a small melee - once the dust had settled, the referee only booked the Dorking midfielder when a red wouldn't of been a surprise.
But we stood our ground in the face of several questionable challenges and created a great chance on the hour - Korboa and Mendy got at the visiting defence before the latter arrowed a shot on target that Huk pushed away. Price was coming in at the back post but Beard had read the situation and managed to just beat our man to the loose ball.
Dorking made a double substitution and we introduced Mike Dixon for dos Santos as the game ebbed and flowed, but we were still more on the front foot with 20 minutes left to go.
We won a corner on 72 minutes which Huk initially punched away. Price got onto the ball 20 yards out but his eventual shot dropped harmlessly into the keeper's arms.
But, just two minutes later, Korboa earned us a golden chance to take the lead - his pace had frightened the visitors in spells across the evening and this time, after being found by Bradford, he zoomed past Isaac Philpot who proceeded to bundle our man down inside the area.
In lieu of Cheadle and Koroma, Korboa himself stepped up to take the penalty but his weak effort was pushed away by Huk whom guessed to dive the right way.
Our heads didn't drop however - Dixon did well to keep the ball in on the far side on 78 minute. He managed to turn and squeeze in a low cross but it frustratingly flew just behind Korboa and just in front of an oncoming Bradford.
But Dorking aren't current league leaders for no reason and they almost took the lead out of the blue on 80 minutes - a deep cross by Hall was knocked down and Prior's subsequent header was brilliantly blocked away by Ohman at the near post. The striker recovered to get the ball back into the mixer and, during an ensuing game of pinball, Kalvin Morath-Gibbs cleared a stabbed effort off our line.
Another deep cross caused our fans to panic three minutes later as Taylor got off a powerful volley that forced Ohman into another fine block.
Then Korboa's night took another turn for worse - he was on the receiving end of a rash challenge by McManus on halfway. It left our man in a crumpled heap, he had to go off and we've since learned Korboa suffered a broken collarbone which will keep him on the sidelines for quite a while.
The ground came to life as the shape of Billy Bishop came on for the unfortunate Korboa however and the shot-stopper got right involved as we delivered a couple of good balls into the Dorking box late on, but alas neither he nor his teammates could force a winner.
View all the action (with commentary) and post-match reaction soon via robins.tv
We host Enfield Town on Saturday 1st December before travelling to Burgess Hill Town on Saturday 8th December.
Carshalton Athletic: Ohman; Price, Dudley, Morath-Gibbs, Hamilton-Downes (c); Bradford, Aziaya, Adeniyi; Mendy, dos Santos (Dixon - 68), Korboa (Bishop - 86)
Unused subs: Koroma, Sogbanmu, Onovwigun
Dorking Wanderers: Huk, Philpot, boulter, El-Abd (c), Taylor, McManus, O'Sullivan (Hall - 61), Beard, Prior, Sole, McShane (Lavery - 61)
Unused subs: Sheridan, Tolfrey, Beckles
Booked: Taylor, Philpot, McManus
Our 'Man of the Match': Patrick Ohman