We march on in the FA Trophy as we won a tight encounter with Dorking 1-0, writes James Barrett-Sterling.
Carshalton Athletic 1 - 0 Dorking Wanderers
FA Trophy First Round Proper
Saturday 15th December 2018
Last five results: WDWLW
Billy Bishop, Michael Onovwigun and Jordan Cheadle dropped the bench as Patrick Ohman, Kalvin Morath-Gibbs and Peter Adeniyi came back into the side. Ola Sogbanmu replaced Mike Dixon up top. Ex-Robins David Ray, Niall McManus and Lewis Taylor were in the visiting squad.
The visitors started on the front foot and Carshalton were indebted to an alert Patrick Ohman in just the third minute - Taylor met a cross at the far post but the keeper parried away the volley.
As the rain teemed down and they kicked into a strong wind, the Robins replied a minute later as Slav Huk got down to gather a low left-footed attempt by Bobby Price.
But Carshalton had to weather many Dorking attacks during the opening exchanges - the closest they came at the other end was when Jacob Mendy threaded a low cross that flew just in front of the chasing Sogbanmu. The ball was kept alive on the near side and Price managed to deliver a cross, but Tommy Bradford flashed a header wide from about 12 yards.
Sogbanmu clashed with Huk on 18 minutes as the pair chased down a long pass - there was minimal contact but the Dorking players all rushed the referee and some of their bench encroached onto the pitch for quite a while. Once the dust had settled, only Sogbanmu and Adeniyi were cautioned.
James McShane made a good run on 26 minutes and he was picked out with a through pass that skidded up up the surface. The midfielder managed to control the ball around Ohman but the angle was terrible and his shot pinged off the near post.
Then, just three minutes later, another let-off - McManus dinked a ball into our box, Jason Prior rose highest but he guided his header wide of the far post.
Sadly Daniel Pappoe then went down off the ball and he had to leave the field of play with a suspected hamstring injury, Jordan Cheadle coming on in his place.
Dorking kept coming and Ohman again denied Prior with a big save after the striker got on the end of a Sami El-Abd flick on, but the first-half ended goalless.
HALF-TIME: 0 - 0
Carshalton came out the blocks fastest in the second-half and, on 48 minutes, Bradford got beyond the visiting defence on a long ball and managed to stab a shot goalwards. Huk stuck out a foot to block the ball and El-Abd got in the way of Sogbanmu's follow-up. Adeniyi picked up the pieces and, seeing the goal area getting more congested, was millimetres away from putting the ball just under the crossbar from 18 yards.
McManus forced Ohman into a low save but it was Carshalton more on the front foot and one move, as Sogbanmu raced away on a Cheadle pass, saw their number eight cut inside Isaac Philpot before teeing up Adeniyi. His shot was blocked and Mendy's follow-up was deflected wide for a corner.
The first delivery was cleared for a second one which this time saw Cheadle get on the end of Bradford's ball in. The full back's header crashed against the crossbar but the ball landed at the feet of Adeniyi on the far side. He dinked the ball back into the mix and captain Paris Hamilton-Downes rose highest to nod in his first goal of the season and give Carshalton the lead.
The jubilation around Colston Avenue was palpable but the Robins had to keep their heads as Dorking instantly threw on two attacking substitutes and set about trying to get back into the game.
But Carshalton, with the likes of Danny Dudley, Michael Aziaya and Kalvin Morath-Gibbs winning headers and tackles, held firm as the conditions made through balls and intricate passing moves virtually impossible.
Bradford had a good sight of goal on 75 minutes as he worked some space 20 yards out but he put his effort off target, while Dorking sub Matt Briggs got a shot off just after that which was smothered by Ohman at his near post.
Dorking won a free kick on the far side in added time, and Huk raced up to join his teammates in the Robins' area, but the flicked-on delivery was met by substitute Tom Tolfrey whom thankfully guided a free header directly at Ohman.
Catch all the highlights (with commentary) and post-match reaction soon via robins.tv
We visit Haringey Borough on Monday 17th December before heading to Wingate and Finchley on Saturday 22nd December.
Carshalton Athletic: Ohman; Price, Pappoe (Cheadle - 34), Dudley, Hamilton-Downes (c); Adeniyi, Aziaya, Morath-Gibbs; Bradford, Sogbanmu, Mendy
Unused subs: Onovwigun, Bishop, dos Santos, Dixon Goal: Hamilton-Downes (60) Assist: Adeniyi Booked: Sogbanmu, Adeniyi Dorking Wanderers: Huk; Philpot (Sheridan - 73), El-Abd (c), Beckles (Briggs - 63), Dyett; Moore, Taylor, McManus, McShane (Tolfrey - 61), Beard; Prior Unused subs: O'Sullivan, Ray Booked: McShane, Beckles, Dyett, Beard Our 'Man of the Match': Patrick Ohman