Chatham Town 1 Carshalton Athletic 2
Carshalton Athletic got back to winning ways as they left Kent with all three points, writes James Barrett.
Team news: Bobby Price, Mekhail McLaughlin, Jordan Hibbert and Brendan Murphy-McVey all came back into the side, while there were places on the bench for the returning Kalvin Morath-Gibbs and Kingsley Aikhionbare.
The game kicked off in mild and sunny conditions and our first half chance arrived on eight minutes; a McLaughlin cross was only cleared upwards by Abdul Lyoubi but Mickel Miller headed over from six yards.
We kept on the front foot as Peter Adeniyi read a forward pass on 11 minutes, stole in and put Miller away into Chatham’s half. We won a corner from his eventual shot which was headed out into the path of Sekou Kaba but his volley from just inside the area was blocked in front of keeper Alex Hyde.
We kept possession on the right-hand side and Price eventually teed up Murphy-McVey but the midfielder’s angled 15 yard drive rattled the far post.
Miller then bent an effort from 20 yards towards the top far corner which just failed to dip on target.
But we took the lead on 16 minutes after Price flicked on a clearance by Alex Kozakis and Miller returned a pass which allowed our captain to gallop clear of the home defence before smashing the ball past Hyde from close range.
We could’ve doubled that lead three minutes later as Hibbert returned a poor defensive clearance back into the mix. Price helped the ball on over the last man to give Korboa the chance to head for goal but perhaps our top scorer thought he was offside as he plonked the ball tamely into the arms of Hyde.
The first of three penalty shouts came on 22 minutes as Miller again got free to head for goal. Jon Difford tracked him for over 40 yards before appearing to bundle our man over inside the area but the officials waved away the calls.
Chatham then created their first two chances in quick succession but both Junior Kaffo and Luke Medley failed to hit the target.
That gave the home side some confidence, however, and the game became a more even affair as we now had to do some defensive work as well as continue looking to extend our lead.
That almost happened in the 35th minute as Korboa’s back heel put Kaba in on goal but he curled a shot directly at Hyde.
Town’s Ryan Flack got some space down the left shortly after that and managed to get a ball in across our six yard box, but Adeniyi threw himself at it and deflected the ball out for a corner which Kozakis then confidently claimed.
Murphy-McVey had to be replaced with Ryan Healy before the end of the first-half after coming off worse in a tumble with Okosieme as the pair battled for possession.
And our last good chance of the half came on 42 minutes as Jonathan Tadafe held up a Korboa cross inside Town’s area before teeing up Hibbert, but he thwacked an 18 yard effort off target.
HALF-TIME: 0 – 1
Chatham started on the front door after the break and they equalised just five minutes in; we failed to pick up Medley as a corner swing in and the forward volleyed home from about 10 yards.
It was a cheap goal to concede and our hosts tried to capitalise by enjoying a spell of possession, but our defensive line stayed stout.
Price won and subsequently delivered a free kick on the far side just before the hour but McLaughlin, among the crowd, couldn’t guide his header on target.
Aikhionbare was then brought on for Miller and, just after the hour, he had a good sight of Town’s goal following good build up play by McLaughlin, Tadafe and Korboa but he was slightly off-balance and shot wide from 12 yards.
Chatham’s pitch was both bumpy and dusty in places and this led to them losing both their centre backs to injury with 20 minutes to go – the pair catching their feet and going down in separate incidents.
That seemed to give us renewed heart and we began to push forward in earnest, only to be foiled in and around their box by some good last ditch defending and clearances.
Price forced a corner on 78 minutes which was played short and Korboa pinged an inswinging cross that found McLaughlin unmarked at the back post, but the defender wildly volleyed over the angle of post and bar.
We retook the lead just five minutes later however as Healy threaded a through ball for Aikhionbare to run onto and he was felled by a lunging Aboagye. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Korboa confidently blasted the penalty home low past Hyde.
We held firm for the rest of the game, with Morath-Gibbs and McLaughlin making good interceptions as Chatham tried to probe forward, but the home side wanted a penalty late on as Jackson took a tumble inside our box, only for the referee to instantly wave away the claims.
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