A valiant second-half display wasn’t enough as Carshalton Athletic’s historic FA Cup campaign came to an end last Saturday, writes James Barrett-Sterling.
Despite only being 2-1 down against higher league opposition with 15 minutes to go, the Robins were twice caught on the break in added time as Boston United put a sheen on their victory. But this season’s cup run had caught the imagination of the local community as over 1,850 fans witnessed the electrifying clash inside Colston Avenue.
And, as Carshalton look to get back on track in the league this weekend, player/boss Peter Adeniyi wants his players to shrug off the disappointment of losing as quickly as possible.
“I’m really proud of the effort and performance the boys put in at the weekend,” said Adeniyi. “The scoreline doesn’t reflect the match itself but credit to Boston and what an occasion to play in front of so many fans.”
“We can’t afford to dwell though as we have a big league game coming up on Saturday and we have to get back to picking up three points.”
The cup tie was played in wet conditions throughout as Boston asserted their dominance during the opening exchanges.
But Carshalton defender Bobby Price thought he’d opened the scoring on 29 minutes as he beat keeper Peter Crook from 12 yards, but midfielder Brad Abbott had raced back to block the ferocious shot on the line.
That galvanised the Pilgrims who opened up a two-goal lead by half-time via Andi Thanoj’s 20-yard free kick and Kevin Shiels’ close range header. The Robins introduced two attackers for the start of the second-half and it got them on the front foot.
But chances for Kershaney Samuels, Ricky Korboa, Ernold Haxhiu, Tommy Bradford and Paris Hamilton-Downes were all spurned until Christie Pattisson’s 73rd minute finish, following up after Crook could only parry a shot by Bradford, lifted the roof off Colston Avenue.
The Pilgrims stood firm however and they exploited space in the Carshalton defence in added time as Thanoj and then sub Jake Wright ensured victory.
“We could’ve been smarter in relation to their first two goals but the last two came because we were chasing the game,” reflected Adeniyi.
“We had excellent opportunities to reduce the deficit before we did. Had one of those gone in, or Bobby’s one in the first-half, then it could’ve been a different game. But, overall, I’m really proud of the boys.
“We need to take heart from this cup run as we focus back on our league campaign.”
Carshalton travel to struggling Cheshunt this weekend (Saturday 16th November, kick-off 3pm) hoping to win a first league match in six attempts. The Robins have drawn their last five Isthmian Premier games which has seen the club fall to eighth in the table and five points off the play-off places.