football-2Carshalton Athletic 4  Hastings United 4

The crowd at Colston Avenue were treated to eight goals, two hat-tricks and plenty of entertainment as Carshalton Athletic drew 4-4 with Hastings United, writes James Barrett.

Team news: There were two changes from Monday night’s 5-0 victory over Walton Casuals as Sean O’Toole and Tommy Bradford came back into the side.

And the first goal of the afternoon arrived on just five minutes as Sam Cole halted Tommy Bradford’s run into his area illegally and our man sent keeper Lenny Pidgeley the wrong way.

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United responded with Frannie Collin blasting high over Alex Kozakis’ bar and an unmarked Simon Johnson should’ve done better when he connected with a deep cross that he deflected wide.

O’Toole sets off on a forward run
But we were still dominating possession and two through balls for Ricky Korboa and Mickel Miller just carried too much weight, while the former did get in on goal on 20 minutes but he was halted by the linesman’s flag.

Sekou Kaba and Korboa both had shots blocked but the visitors started to put us under some pressure and they equalised on 29 minutes.

A long diagonal free kick by Pidgeley on halfway was met by Steve Watt and his unchallenged header beat Kozakis.

Their tails up, United came again and Jack Harris put a header millimetres over our bar before they took the lead as Harry Stannard cut in on his right foot on the far side and curled a shot beyond the dive of Kozakis on 34 minutes.

And things got worse just two minutes later as we gave away a sloppy corner and Watt again climbed highest to head home his second of the game.

It took us a while to rediscover our composure but, when we did, Pidgeley was equal to efforts by Peter Adeniyi and Korboa just before the break.

HALF-TIME: 1 – 3

The blistering pace of the game continued straight after half-time as Miller gathered possession deep inside our half, rode three tackles as he charged towards goal but eventually blazed a shot over from the edge of United’s area.

The visitors came back and Watt nodded a Stannard cross into the path of Ollie Rowe but he saw his header smack back off the bar and we cleared the ball away.

And, on 51 minutes, we reduced the arrears as Korboa picked out Adeniyi inside their box and he held up the pass before nonchalantly teeing up Miller whom guided a low shot into the bottom far corner.

A Stannard humdinger whistled past Kozakis’ right-hand post as United tried to reinstate their two-goal advantage but, on 56 minutes, we were level as Korboa’s pace drew a foul inside their box and Bradford this time smashed home the spot-kick.

And we were given a third penalty three minutes as Bradford and Pidgeley clashed on a through ball, which the referee deemed as a foul by the keeper, and our man swept home a confident shot to complete his hat-trick.

But we allowed United to get back into it again on 64 minutes – Watt won a long throw into our box before turning and arrowing in from a tight angle to complete both his treble and a mad-cap 19 minutes.

But there was still no let up from either side as each looked to gain the lead yet again and Miller had a goal chalked off for a tight offside, before Kalvin Morath-Gibbs bravely won a tackle near our area and passed the ball to Adeniyi. He set off over halfway before playing Korboa in down the left but, instead of shooting, he checked back inside their box and lost out to a recovering defender.

Brendan Murphy-McVey was thrown on to bolster our forward line in place of Jahmahl King on 77 minutes – it was a bold attacking statement and we began to create more chances, but Adeniyi had a shot blocked by Alex Akrofi and Korboa couldn’t finish off Miller’s neat run and pass.

Good day’s work: Bradford and
his well-earned match ball
We kept up the pressure in and around their box as the clock showed five minutes remaining but both Bradford and Korboa were denied by some staunch United defending.

Our last real attempts on goal came when Miller tested Pidgeley with an angled 18 yard free kick and, from the resultant corner, Korboa eventually fed a pass into Miller whom did well to spin his marker but he rifled a shot into the near side-netting.

More photos from the game can be viewed here.

Next up: We travel to South Park for a Ryman League Cup second round tie on Wednesday 9th November before heading to Greenwich Borough on Saturday 12th November.