Coming off the back of an FA Cup exit, yesterday’s away game against Bognor Regis Town was a chance for Carshalton Athletic to put Saturday out of their minds and focus back on a league campaign that had seen them go unbeaten throughout September. Bognor suffered a similar fate to Carshalton in the FA Cup, losing 5-0 to Hayes and Yeading United. With this being their first home game of the season, they had a point to prove in front of the over 400 in attendance.
Clearly looking to mix things up following Saturdays loss, Peter Adeniyi made a number of changes to the starting eleven. Cheadle and Price both made way, with Koroma and Ohman unavailable due to injury. This meant a first start of the season for Kelvin Manuel, playing on the left side of a front three with Nyren Clunis on the right and Tommy Bradford up top, bringing a return to the 4-3-3 formation we are accustomed to seeing this season.
From the first few minutes it was clear that Carshalton, back in their traditional red kit, were looking to utilise the pace of their wingers; this nearly paid dividends when four minutes in, a long ball from Proctor saw Bradford and Manuel cause the defence all manner of problems. If not for a good save from Tangara, this would have seen them take the lead.
Unsurprisingly, the most lively for Rocks in the early stages was their top scorer Jordy Mongoy, who had a chance of his own in the 11th minute. After some good footwork saw him get away from Samuels, he put the ball out wide and the return cross flashed just too far ahead of him to get the crucial final touch.
The first goal of the game came in the 22nd minute, arguably rather against the run of the play. In the period leading up to the goal, Carshalton had the majority of the ball and seemed to be quite comfortable, but a good cross whipped in from Flannigan right across the face of goal resulted in a Bognor corner which Leigh Aston placed perfectly on the head of Joe Cook to give the home side the lead.
The second goal came with only seven minutes to go before half time, and again as if out of nowhere. A ball over the top of the defence by captain Harvey Whyte set Dowridge away, who managed to turn Samuels inside out and fire home his first of the season with his right foot.
The Robins had it all to do in the second half if they were to maintain their unbeaten start to the season, but after 60 minutes they still hadn’t managed to break through the Rock’s defence. If not for a fantastic save from Allan, they would have found themselves 3-0 down after he denied Dowridge from point blank range.
That was enough for manager Peter Adeniyi, who instantly made two changes; Price and Ottaway coming into the mix with Dudley and Sogbanmu coming off. Six minutes later came the third change, but this one was forced upon Adeniyi as once more, the Robins were plagued by yet another injury as Kelvin Manuel limped off to be replaced by Jordan Cheadle.
The subs nearly made a quick impact too, as in the 71st minute, Price drove up the right with his low cross finding Ottaway inside the box, but he was unable to turn the ball in and a good chance went begging. He wasn’t going to let his second opportunity slip by though, and in the 86th minute he pulled one back for the away team. Clunis’ ball was poorly cleared and Harry shifted it onto his left and slotted it past the Rocks keeper to give the travelling fans something to cheer about. It was too little too late though, as time was against the Reds and Bognor held out to take all three points, which brings them level with the Robins after four games played.
Carshalton are back at home this Saturday with a local derby against Corinthian-Casuals to look forward to whilst Bognor travel to 5th place Cheshunt.