Carshalton Athletic match report
Match report by Rupert Cane, photos by Simon Roe.
The spoils were shared after an entertaining local derby on Non-League Day ended 2-2, Carshalton having staged a comeback midway through the second half at the War Memorial Ground.
K’s were looking to build on the excellent midweek FA Cup win at Weston-super-Mare against a side lying sixth in the table at the start of the day.
It was a third consecutive wet away day for Hayden Bird’s side, but the artificial surface in south London is a good one and both teams used the slick surface to their advantage.
K’s brought in debutant Harry Osborne at right-back in place of the suspended Jerry Puemo, while Tutu Henriques returned in place of Tom Kavanagh, allowing Gus Sow to move back into midfield.
The yellow-shirted visitors started brightly in front of an impressive crowd of 709, and Louie Theophanous had the first shot in anger, volleying well over on his left.
Carshalton’s Tommy Bradford curled a 20-yarder against the inside of the post and away to safety on 17 minutes, and not long after it was an effort from almost twice as far out that gave us the lead.
Theophanous received the ball a good 35 yards from goal, and with nothing else on he took the shot early, catching Kleton Perntreou out with a fierce strike that skidded off the turf and in.
He nearly doubled his tally immediately. Collecting a slide-rule pass from Dan Bennett, Theophanous showed deft feet to slip inside the two Carshalton centre-backs, and looked set to score until Perntreou atoned for his error with a fine one-handed save as our striker attempted to take it round him too.
The danger wasn’t over. Louie back-heeled the ball back into the danger zone, it bounced out to Dan Hector who picked out the lurking Reece Hall. He chipped the ball up for himself and thumped a volley against the right-hand post.
Carshalton had more of the ball from then until the interval, but we restricted them to half-chances with Rob Tolfrey making a couple of comfortable saves.
Shortly after the restart Bennett curled wide, and then we did go 2-0 up with possibly the goal of the season so far.
Hall started it in midfield, finding Theophanous on the left wing. His cross was exquisitely back-flicked by Bennett in the direction of Hall, who slammed home on the half-volley from 18 yards. It was a fine team goal lit up by a couple of moments of individual brilliance. The galloping celebration that followed didn’t hit the same heights!
Half-an-hour remained, but alas K’s couldn’t hold on to the lead. Two goals in seven minutes did the damage. First Carshalton defender Danny Dudley tried his luck from 25 yards, and looked as surprised as anyone to see it skip off the turf and into the far corner.
On 76 minutes it was 2-2. Sub Omar Koroma collected a loose ball, cut inside and drove across goal. Tolfrey did well to parry but Ricky Korboa swept home the rebound.
The final 10 minutes were end-to-end and excellent. It is not often you want non-league football matches to continue beyond the regulation 90 minutes, but this was certainly one of those occasions when a period of extra-time to find a winner would have been most welcome.
As it was, Fabio Saraiva had our best two attempts before the final whistle, skimming the outside of the post with a daisy-cutter of a free-kick, and then calling Perntreou into action from even further out. For the Robins Korboa blasted over and so, in the end, a draw was probably the right result.
Carshalton Athletic: Kleton Perntreou, Luke Read, Jordan Cheadle, Danny Dudley, Michael Kamara, Kershaney Samuels, Ernold Haxhiu, Peter Adeniyi, Tommy Bradford, Ricky Korboa, Christie Pattisson.
Subs: Bobby Price, Daniel Pappoe (for Michael Kamara, 67m), Ola Sogbanmu, Paris Hamilton-Downes (for Jordan Cheadle, 60m), Omar Koroma (for Ernold Haxhiu, 47m).
Subs: Calum Davies, Dan Thompson (for Louie Theophanous, 90m), Ben Harrison, Youssef Bamba (for Dan Bennett, 75m), Tom Kavanagh (for Reece Hall, 75m).
Goal scorers: Louie Theophanous (22m, 0-1), Reece Hall (58m, 0-2), Danny Dudley (69m, 1-2), Ricky Korboa (76m, 2-2)