Robins rue missed chances as they fall out of FA Trophy on penalties

Updated: Jan 1

Written by: Chris Brenta

After Carshalton comfortably overcame Barking 3-0 despite playing two thirds of the match with ten men following Eddie Allen’s red card, they had a tougher challenge in Southern Prem souths Swindon Supermarine to face off against in the FA Trophy 2nd round. Marine had won both their previous rounds 3-2 including a win over Dorchester on Tuesday and currently sit sixth in the league.

Adeniyi made two changes from the team that won earlier in the week with Ernold Haxhiu replacing Kershaney Samuels and despite having his red card overturned, Eddie Allen dropped to the bench with Lloyd Thomas coming in to make his Carshalton debut. Dan Hector retained his place in the XI after impressing against Barking and Lewis White was on the bench despite grabbing the third on Tuesday night. Marine manager Lee Spalding name an unchanged line-up from that that beat Dorchester earlier in the week.

After a pretty even opening few minutes it was the Robins who had the first chance of the game, the ball falling to Clunis on the edge of the area and his effort just fizzing over the crossbar. Not a couple of minutes later Thomas was forced into his first save of the afternoon when Henry Spalding cut in off the right and hit a low shot towards the near post.

Marine should have taken the lead in the 25th minute when a perfectly placed cross from Campbell found an open Conor McDonagh but he headed into the ground and Thomas gratefully gathered the ball up. The Robins had a few decent chances over the rest of the first half but nothing clear-cut enough to worry Marine keeper Martin Horsell and the game went into the break 0-0.

Carshalton made one change at half time, Bobby Price, who had picked up a yellow in the first half made way for another debutant in Thomas Hanfrey. Harry Ottaway, who has scored in both the previous rounds forced a good save from Horsell on the 50-minute mark when his looping header almost snuck in at the back post. Seven minutes later and it was the home team that could have pulled ahead, Spallding’s effort was well saved by Thomas but the ball fell perfectly for Pierce Mitchell, who, if not for Haxhiu’s sliding block would likely have given his side the lead.

With 22 still on the clock Adeniyi made another change to try and break the deadlock with White replacing Hector but it was the home side that looked more likely to score as the game entered its final phase, Thomas being called upon several times to keep the Robins in the tie. Despite that it was the Robbins who nearly won it right at the death when Cheadle’s ball found Harry Ottaway inside the box, but he was unable to get it out of his feet and fired over.

The referee blew the final whistle which meant penalties awaited, and it was the Robins who went first. Kershaney Samuels (a late sub for Nyren Clunis) stepped up but his effort was well saved to give Marine the perfect start. This was followed by Zach Kotwica placing his straight down the middle giving the home team the lead.

Haxhiu was next up but his effort was saved too and now the pressure was really on, but Harry Williams was unable to beat Thomas and it remained 1-0. A goal from Hanfrey and another save from Thomas tied it up 1-1 after three pens taken. Both teams scored their next two to take it into sudden death, Ottaway and White the scorers for the Robin. Penalty number six was scored by both and then Luke Read stepped up to take the seventh, his effort was saved which meant a goal for Marine would win them the game. Ryan Campbell dispatched well sending Thomas the wrong way and sending his side into the third round where they will meet either Bath city or Chelmsford City – their game is being played tomorrow night.

So that’s it for competitive football for the Robins this year, with the league currently on pause due to Covid19 restrictions. They will however be playing a number of behind closed doors friendlies to make sure they stay fit for hopeful return of football in the new year.