Carshalton got back to winning ways with an impressive display against Hornchurch, writes James Barrett-Sterling.
Carshalton Athletic 2 - 1 AFC Hornchurch
Bostik Premier League
Monday 21st January 2019
Last five results: LWLLW
Current league position: 14th (with 34 points)
Our 'Man of the Match': Harry Ottaway
The Robins suffered a defensive blow with Daniel Pappoe going down injured in the warm-up. Noe Vendrells came in at right back and there was a debut for defender Luke Read, while Billy Bishop, Peter Adeniyi and Courtney Swaby all earned starts.
After what happened in the build-up to this one, the home fans weren’t too happy to see goalkeeper Billy Bishop on the deck on just four minutes – he collided with forward George Purcell while gathering a cross but, thankfully, was OK to continue after some treatment.
But it was the Robins that started more on the front foot and the first goal of the game arrived on 11 minutes after Tommy Bradford saw a shot deflected out for a corner.
The initial delivery was cleared but Adeniyi kept the ball alive on the near side. Jacob Mendy dummied the square ball played just in front of the area, Bradford found Ola Sogbanmu and his through ball was smartly tucked away by a stretching Taofiq Olomowewe.
It was the defender’s second goal since joining the club three weeks ago – not a bad return so far!
Mendy was next to have a go at Callum Chafer’s goal as he dispossessed George Saunders on the left, but his eventual shot whizzed past the far post.
The home side were in rampant mood and Harry Ottaway chested a long ball down into the path of Vendrells whom made tracks down the right. The youngster’s low cross picked out Adeniyi but his shot was bravely blocked away by Glenn Wilson.
Sogbanmu put a 20 yard effort off target on 27 minutes as Bishop had become a virtual bystander by this point.
And Carshalton almost doubled their lead on the half hour – Bradford moved into acres of space before picking out Adeniyi whom had been tracked. He attempted an audacious first-time flick from 15 yards that bent round Chafer but cannoned back off the upright.
That would’ve been an sublime goal but the ball was still live – Mendy returned it in with interest, Ottaway met it on the volley and Chafer leapt to push it away. Good football all round!
Chafer denied Ottaway again on 36 minutes as the striker took aim from 30 yards and the keeper beat the ball away at full stretch.
But, finally, Carshalton did extend their lead and it came right before the break – Read picked out the advanced Vendrells with a 40 yards pass who in turn played Ottaway into the channel. He managed to turn and get Jay Porter backpedalling towards his own box, so his eventual cross was taken down by Mike Dixon whom spun and tucked home his seventh of the season from 10 yards.
HALF-TIME: 2 - 0
Both sides made changes at the start of the second-half and Hornchurch did begin to show a bit more purpose going forward, Bishop being called upon to claim a couple of crosses.
The visitors won a corner on 55 minutes and the ball dropped to Wilson whom knocked it goalwards, but Adeniyi was on hand to clear the ball away at the far post.
Carshalton went down the other end and won a free kick 20 yards from goal – Mendy stepped up and curled a left-footed effort that was kept out by a combination of post and Chafer.
The game was open for the first time and Hornchurch went back on the attack with Purcell eventually seeing a hit inside Carshalton’s area being blocked away by teammate Saunders.
Then, just after the hour, Olomowewe was harshly booked for giving away a free kick just outside his own area but Bishop got down to clutch Saunders’ effort.
But the Robins were still good value for their lead and they almost grabbed a third on 69 minutes – Ottaway stole in but Porter blocked his shot. The ball flew up and Swaby attempted a left-footed volley that flew over the bar.
As Hornchurch went back on the attack, Ottaway suffered a head injury and was prone in the middle of his own half. The visitors continued to go forward and, as the referee decided not to stop the match, an eventual left wing cross was deftly headed in by Sean Marks.
Ottaway had to be replaced but his performance later earned him the ‘man of the match’ award.
The visitors now smelt a bit of blood and Saunders played a neat one-two with Purcell to break into Carshalton’s box on 75 minutes, but he crashed a low shot wide of the far post.
And, on 82 minutes, a Saunders cross was inadvertently knocked down by Olomowewe and Purcell had the goal gaping from six yards, but Bishop stretched out a leg and magnificently blocked the shot away to ensure his side were victorious.
Catch all the highlights and post-match reaction via robins.tv
Whitehawk (a) on Saturday 26th January (kick-off 3pm); Barnet (h) on Saturday 2nd February (kick-off 7.45pm).
Carshalton Athletic: Bishop; Vendrells, Olomowewe, Read, Mendy; Bradford, Adeniyi, Songbanmu (c) (Aziaya - 46); Ottaway (Cheklit - 73), Dixon, Swaby
Unused subs: Ohman, Sentamu
Goals: Olomowewe (11), Dixon (44)
Assists: Sogbanmu, Ottaway
Booked: Olomowewe, Adeniyi
AFC Hornchurch: Chafer, Bentley (c), Porter, G Winn, Wilson, Clark, Saunders, Prescott (R Winn - 46), Marks, Purcell, Miles
Unused subs: Stimson, Hursit, Dutton
Goal: Marks (71)