Carshalton Athletic 5 Walton Casuals 0
Carshalton Athletic put in a five star performance as they blew away visiting Walton Casuals, writes James Barrett.
Team news: Kalvin Morath-Gibbs and Josh Phillips were reinstated to the starting eleven, while Tommy Bradford was named on the bench after being out injured for a month.
Mickel Miller almost opened the scoring within the first minute as we won a free kick 20 yards from goal, but his low drive fizzed the wrong side of Denzel Gerrar’s left-hand post.
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That set the tone for the evening however; there was a slick top surface and both sides played at a high tempo throughout, with Gerrar getting behind a firm Jordan Hibbert strike and Alex Kozakis claiming a swerving Malachi Hudson effort.
But our first goal of the evening came after Miller won a corner off Gerrar on 16 minutes. Price collected a headed clearance on the delivery and found Sekou Kaba whose measured cross back into the box was headed home by the unmarked Mekhail McLaughlin.
Ricky Korboa then sprang into life a couple of minutes later and he appeared to be hauled down inside the Casuals area but nothing was given.
Our pressing game was also in evidence tonight, led by the continuous instructions of the commanding Jahmahl King and typified by Miller whom lost the ball on halfway but showed tenacity to win it back as Casuals threatened to pour forward, and that complimented our long spells of possession which were met by a stubborn visiting defence until the 34th minute.
Hibbert won a tackle on halfway and played Phillips in down the right. The young striker held up play before putting Price in and our captain slid a pass across from the byline which Kaba bravely met to ram home his first goal for the club.
Casuals won a free kick on the far side five minutes later which Jordan Cheadle whipped in low and it took a slight deflection off the lunging McLaughlin, but Kozakis instinctively palmed the ball round his near post and we went into the break two goals to the good.
HALF-TIME: 2 – 0
Sean O’Toole was introduced for McLaughlin at the start of the second-half and, just after Hibbert fired a shot in from distance that didn’t trouble Gerrar, we grabbed our third of the evening.
We built some pressure down the left before Korboa finally found Kaba whom played a delightful straight through ball for Miller to get in on goal before he delicately dinked it over the oncoming Gerrar.
Casuals created a chance three minutes later as Gabriel Odunaike was left unmarked in our box to latch onto an inswinging free kick but his touch was heavy and he blazed the ball well over with his second.
O’Toole and Morath-Gibbs then both made good interceptions as we quelled any form of positive Casuals play, but the latter had to be replaced by Brendan Murphy-McVey just after the hour mark.
Peter Adeniyi, now filling in at centre back, took the ball over halfway on 67 minutes before Korboa and Miller swapped two one-twos to get the latter in on goal, but the pace of the final pass just took it away from him.
Then it was Kaba’s turn to wow the crowd as he rode two tackles while taking the ball forward over 50 yards before Coleman blocked Murphy-McVey’s attempted through ball with his arm. The free kick was fed into Korboa who spun at the near post and saw his shot blocked and Price’s successful attempt at putting in the rebound was denied by the linesman’s flag.
There was a second disallowed goal just a minute later as Miller tucked home Philips’ cross/shot from the left from, according to the linesman, an offside position.
A huge roar greeted the arrival of Bradford on 71 minutes and Miller almost put his returning teammate in on goal 30 seconds later, but the ball just skipped away from his outstretched foot.
But it was like he’d never been away as on 78 minutes Bradford gathered a chipped Miller pass inside the box. His first shot on the turn was blocked by Gerrar but he reacted quickest to the loose ball to fire his 11th of the season into the top far corner.
We kept our clean sheet intact thanks to the fingertips of Kozakis deflecting away another dangerous Cheadle free kick on 86 minutes and Korboa added the gloss to our victory by thumping home a low 18 yard drive across Gerrar just as the game entered time added on.