Carshalton Athletic defender Luke Read enjoyed a humdinger of a 50th appearance as his side put in a five-star last weekend, writes James Barrett-Sterling.

The Robins thumped visiting Potters Bar Town 5-1 in stormy conditions and climbed up to third in the Isthmian Premier League. And Read, whom joined the club 12 months ago and had yet to register a goal before kick-off last Saturday, got two including the opener and a sweet half volley after the break.

He was ecstatic to break his personal duck but even happier that it meant his side solidified their promotion challenge with a third win on the spin.

“It was a great overall performance, we handled the conditions by making right decisions in all areas, and it was just a shame we conceded a goal when they barely had a chance on target,” said Read.

“It’s getting exciting up the top of the table now and there’s no room for many slip-ups from anyone. We just have keep doing what we are doing, keep winning and hopefully someone else will make a mistake along the way.”

Read opened the scoring on Saturday with a close-range header after skipper Paris Hamilton-Downes had knocked back a corner delivery at the far post.

“I made my initial run too early during that first goal, but Paris’ header dropped back to me and it was a fairly simple finish in the end,” he smiled.

A more familiar face doubled Carshalton’s lead before the break as Ricky Korboa side-footed home following fine work by Lewis White. The Robins flew out the blocks after half-time and, on 48 minutes, more positive forward play from White ended with Christie Pattisson grabbing his thirteenth of the season with a clinical finish.

Read then astonished the home fans as he came onto a clearing header 20 yards from goal and smashed a left-footed shot beyond the dive of beleaguered Town keeper Ravan Constable.

“I surprised myself with that one a bit,” he laughed. “I had to yell at Ricky to get out of my way, I’ve got my head over it and it was a great feeling to see it go in.”

Striker Omar Koroma got in on the act just after the hour, a sublime solo goal starting from the halfway line being his first since mid-November, meaning Charlie Barker’s strike for Town 19 minutes from time was mere consolation.

Next up for Carshalton Athletic is an away game at Margate on Saturday 22nd February (kick-off 3pm).

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