Carshalton ended the season and player/manager Peter Adeniyi’s final game in charge before becoming Director of Football with a 2-1 win at Merstham on Saturday that condemned the Moatsiders to relegation from the Isthmian League Premier Division.
Merstham knew they had to win the game to escape the drop after a run of 14 defeats in 15 matches had seen them plummet into the automatic relegation zone. And with Carshalton stuttering after a nine-game winless run of their own, Lloyd Thomas in the Robins’ goal was the busier of the two goalkeepers in the first half as Merstham sought to take advantage of a strong breeze in their favour.
It was Carshalton who went into the break ahead though. Paris Hamilton-Downes was fouled on the edge of the penalty area with 24 minutes gone and got up to take a free kick which found the bottom corner of the net via a deflection off a leg in the Merstham wall.
Merstham showed their intent by bringing on Luke Cook as an additional attacking player at half time and were rewarded with an equalizer after 56 minutes, Tahjae Anderson meeting Josh Hallard’s inswinging corner with a firm header.
As Merstham continued to commit players forward and rain balls into the penalty area at every opportunity, Carshalton’s back line held firm and the Robins began to assert greater control of possession and create the clearer chances. Tommy Bradford and Lewis White both forced excellent saves from home goalkeeper, Sami Tlemcani.
With three minutes of normal time remaining, Danny Bassett ended any hopes of a Merstham great escape. White angled a ball across the penalty area after receiving a short corner and Bassett calmly picked his spot for his team leading 23rd goal of the season and his third in three games against Merstham this season before making a beeline to celebrate with Adeniyi on the touchline.
Despite the win, Carshalton dropped to a final 12th place finish in the Isthmian League after Horsham scored an injury time winner to end East Thurrock United’s own hopes of avoiding relegation and vault the Robins in the league standings as a result of scoring one more league goal in the campaign.
Carshalton Athletic: Thomas, Hyman, Sankoh, Read, Williams, Hamilton-Downes, Frimpong, Bradford, White, Bassett, Bello.
Substitutes: Pappoe (for Bello 72’), Bennett (for Bradford 90’), Masakini (for Hyman 90’), Barradas.
Merstham: Tlemcani, Haire, Hallard, Olarewaju, Lloyd, Mason, Biler, Lovatt, Henry, Anderson, Jacquart.
Substitutes: Cook (for Mason 45’), Makofo (for Anderson 90’), Ohman.
Goals: Hamilton-Downes 24’, Anderson 56’, Bassett 87’.
To all Robins fans that have attended games this season or followed the team’s fortunes on Robins TV, either on the club website or on YouTube, thanks for your support. Enjoy the summer and see you next season.