Carshalton Athletic match report
We dropped our first points of 2022 as a contentious penalty proved the difference at Colston Avenue, writes James Barrett-Sterling.
Team news: It was 'as you were' from the trip to Brightlingsea Regent, although Simon Cooper came back onto the bench in place of the departing Aaron Lamont.
The match begun intensely as both sides looked to get on the front foot, with our hosts winning a couple of early corners and Daniel Ajakaiye's pace worrying their backline.
But the first real chance fell to a former Ks player on 18 minutes - Carshalton capitalised on some defensive hesitancy and Bobby Price found Dan Bassett who curled wide from 15 yards.
The home side almost struck again three minutes later as Harry Ottaway nodded a deep free kick back across Serine Sanneh's six yard area, but Luke Read's acrobatic volley fell narrowly off target.
Ks got into their stride finally on 25 minutes as Rhys Murrell-Williamson foraged forward and played a neat one-two with Elliott Buchanan to get in behind the Carshalton defence. Ajakaiye read the situation and gambled at the near post, but his neat flicked finish was chalked off by an offside flag.
Kenny Beaney was the only outfield player who hadn't scored for Ks this season but his eyes lit up on the stroke of half-time - another Murrell-Williamson run was halted, but the midfielder latched on to the loose ball and hit a half volley that was comfortably caught by Lloyd Wright.
HALF-TIME: 0 - 0
Carshalton started the brighter after the break and our defence had to be alert to deal with a couple of dangerous crosses early on, plus Jerry Puemo bravely threw himself at a Luke Read strike on 49 minutes.
The Robins got in again five minutes later as Bassett burst through onto a Ottaway flick on to bore down on goal, but Sanneh saved the eventual shot with his feet.
It started to show that our boys had played four games in nine days and boss Hayden Bird made all three substitutions by the 66th minute, while Sanneh had to deny Lewis White at full stretch as Carshalton pushed.
Beaney came so close to that elusive goal on the hour with a speculative chip from 30 yards that whistled millimetres wide of Wright's right-hand upright, but the deadlock was finally broken with 20 minutes to go.
A goalbound effort inside our box was yet again blocked by Puemo but this time the referee blew for a handball. It seemed harsh as the effort hit our man at point blank range but, unfortunately, Sanneh couldn't repeat his debut spot-kick heroics as White sent him the wrong way.
We huffed and puffed after that but couldn't work a chance to seriously test Wright again, while a late back pass by Ollie Cook was penalised with a free kick 15 yards out, but Luke Read blasted it wide of the target.
Next up: We are at home against both Wingate and Finchley on Saturday 15th January and then Enfield Town on Saturday 22nd January.
Carshalton Athletic: Lloyd Wright, Bobb Price, Ezechukwu Ebuzoeme, Luke Read, Kwaku Frimpong, Dan Bennett, Bradley Williams, Harry Ottaway, Tommy Bradford, Dan Bassett, Lewis White.
Subs: Peter Adeniyi (for Bobby Price, 90m+4), Abdul Sankoh, Marc Gbaalou-Lida (for Dan Bennett, 80m), Ore Bello, Omar Koroma (for Tommy Bradford (90m+4).
Kingstonian: Serine Sanneh, Nyren Clunis, Rhys Murrell-Williamson, Jerry Puemo, Ollie Cook, Kenny Beaney, Daniel Ajakaiye, Gus Sow, Elliott Buchanan, Jason Banton, Kershaney Samuels.
Subs: Jay Barton (for Jason Banton, HT), Calvin Ekpiteta (for Kershaney Samuels, 57m), Olly Allen (for Elliott Buchanan, 66m), Lewis Pearch, Simon Cooper.
Goal scorer: Lewis White (69m pen, 1-0)