The magic of the FA Cup finally comes to Colston Avenue this season as Carshalton Athletic look to make the first round proper, writes James Barrett-Sterling.
The Robins have made it to the fourth qualifying round by beating Bracknell Town, Harrow Borough and Lowestoft Town all away from home.
The club’s reward for making it this far is now a home tie against full-time opposition as Dagenham and Redbridge of the National League make the 40 mile trip down to Surrey.
But, ahead of this exciting clash, Carshalton’s last two league games have ended 2-2 which has given player/manager Peter Adeniyi food for thought.
“On the one hand we’ve shown great resilience to twice come from behind against Horsham and then Kingstonian recently,” Adeniyi said.
“But we need to take the good spells from those games and apply that from minute one because that’ll lead us to better results.
“Dagenham is going to be a tough test but it’s an exciting occasion for everyone associated with the club. We’ll do our best to make our fans proud.”
The local derby against Kingstonian last Saturday was packed full of thrills and spills as the Robins rose from staring down the barrel of defeat.
Well-taken strikes by Louis Theophanous and Reece Hall had seemingly put the visitors in complete control by the hour mark.
But Carshalton responded with a 25 yard screamer from defender Danny Dudley before Ricky Korboa’s sixth of the season on 75 minutes ensured a share of the spoils.
The Robins have only conceded once in their previous three FA Cup matches but Dagenham and Redbridge represent their biggest challenge of this season to date.
The Daggers currently sit twelfth and just three points off the National League play-off spots, with striker Angelo Balanta top-scoring with five to date.
Carshalton’s goals have been shared around more recently as defenders Dudley and Bobby Price both notched their firsts last week, while Korboa and striker Omar Koroma currently have six and five respectively.
The winner of this tie will receive £18,750 in prize money plus that prestigious place in the first round of the world’s most famous domestic football cup competition.
Carshalton Athletic vs Dagenham and Redbridge is on Saturday 19th October at Colston Avenue (kick-off 3pm).