Carshalton Athletic came up against the seemingly unstoppable force of Bostik Premier table-toppers Dorking Wanderers last weekend and they didn’t flinch from the task, writes James Barrett-Sterling.
Dorking took an early lead last Saturday as they were looking to register a twelfth straight league win, but a second-half fightback saw the Robins eventually run out 3-2 winners. That impressive victory moved Carshalton up into sixth place and just one point outside the play-off spots ahead of a match against Brightlingsea Regent this coming weekend.
And assistant manager Keith Boanas has been pleased with how the squad has overcome recent disappointments to put themselves firmly in the race for promotion.
“No other club in or around the play-offs would relish playing us right now, we are the team to fear,” Boanas said after the game.
“We’ve dropped so many points recently by conceding late goals or not converting penalties but, since Margate away (where Carshalton led for 90 minutes before the game ended 1-1), the boys have responded well and we’ve now won four in a row.
“It’s a cliché to say but we need to treat every game as a cup final and perform as we did against Dorking, particularly in the second-half where we were fantastic.”
It appeared Carshalton had a mountain to climb as they trailed at Meadowbank as Luke Moore converted a low cross from close range on 14 minutes. But, as the Robins got on the front foot after the break, Bobby Price headed them level on 50 minutes and a brace by Tommy Bradford put Carshalton firmly in the driving seat.
Elliott Buchanan’s spectacular 86th minute half-volley for the Wands set-up a frenetic finale but this time Carshalton kept their nerve to secure three points.
“We had an idea of how Dorking were going to play so we worked on our pressing game which I thought, bar a couple of moments, worked well,” added Boanas.
“But the most pleasing aspect was how the players took on-board what we said at half-time.
“We wasted some good dead ball opportunities and needed to be calmer when in possession. The boys went out second-half, turned things around and we are really proud of them.”
Carshalton beat Brightlingsea Regent 2-0 back in November and the pair clash again at Colston Avenue this Saturday 23rd March (kick-off 3pm).