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Tonbridge Angels (A)
Sat Feb 24

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Tonbridge Angels (A)
Sat Feb 24 15:00
The Vanarama National League South

Stroll in the sun ends with a jolt

Slough Town

Slough Town

Hammatt (1-0)
Carshalton Ath

Carshalton Ath

Denys (87)
League Attendance: 509 Unknown
The Rebels, in a match where they were in cruise control, unfortunately took their foot off the throttle, slipped into neutral and may have well ended up crashing into reverse.

Slough Town were certainly in the driving seat as they built up pressure in the first half and played with a confidence as they passed the ball around neatly and ended the half with a well deserved goal. Everyone was expecting Slough to build on that in the second half, but they took a stroll in the sun, and a determined Carshalton hit back with a late goal as Slough were caught napping at the back.

There was certainly a late season, mid-table air about the opening quarter, with both sides sizing one another up. With injuries to Mark Hall, Lee Archer Andy Douglas, Mark Pye and Andrew Deaner suspended, manager Graham Roberts — himself injured — opted for a 4-4-2 formation, with Lee Endersby and Bryan Hammatt as wing-halfs.

Fifteen minutes had gone by before Slough created their first chance which came when Simon Line drove a shot in across from the right and Dean Samuels slid in but could not get enough on it.
That spurred them on to put in two more chances in quick succession but neither could offer a breakthrough. Slough, though, were giving nothing away in defence and it was half an hour before Carshalton got a chance to shoot at goal.

That came when Junior Haynes, who was playing well for the visitors, was left unmarked just outside the penalty area and his strong left foot shot just drifted past Paul Wilkerson's top right-hand corner.

Slough then put on a fine display of confident passing moves that led to some good chances. Mickey Engwell, operating on the left, combined well with Endersby with some neat first time touches, one which ended with a curling shot from Engwell which brought a corner. Then Graham Kemp, who was having a lively game, got forward and drove a dipping right foot shot which just sailed over the top.

Simon Quail then put in a good run across the front of the box but was brought down by Matt Elverson who was booked. The resulting free kick saw Endersby beat the keeper but unluckily the ball hit the post and went to safety.

The pressure though was finally rewarded when a superb run by Samuels down the right took him past several players and to the edge of the area where he nearly lost control of the ball. He recovered neatly to get the ball across to Hammatt who met it first time to loop his shot over the keeper and into the top corner.

Carshalton came out for the second half with renewed vigour and soon had Wilkerson under pressure, and he was forced to make two good saves. Slough then settled down and tried to pass it around again, but were not making any headway up front, and the sense of urgency had disappeared.

Hammatt and Endersby were not effective at taking players on and getting past them to get in any decent crosses. Endersby in particular persisted in trying to take on too many players in tight situations. He fell foul of some critical supporters for his trouble which he did not take kindly to, though to be fair, he is not really match fit. He was however replaced by Steve Browne on 79 minutes.

Carshalton, too, at that time made a notable substituation when they brought on Ryan Denys who is on loan from Brentford. He made an immediate difference up front, giving the visitors more options as they battled to get those much needed points to improve their lowly position.

Denys was involved in several attacking threats when on 87 minutes a throw in from the left was chested on to Denys who was left unmarked in front of goal and he drove it home for the equaliser.

Roberts was not happy with that second half performance, saying after the game that he told-the players that that sort of performance would not be tolerated next season. It appears he is using these last few games to offer players the opportunity to impress. Some of them do not seem to be rising to the challenge.

He added: "We played reasonably well considering the injury list, but if you don't take chances you don't win games. It was a poor goal from our point of view. Our players seemed to lose concentration near the end. I know the players do not have a lot to play for at the moment, but a game is over 90 minutes and we seem to fade in the last 10-15 minutes. We should have won this game comfortably against a team that rarely threatened us. The players will have to learn or I will bring others in."

Carshalton Ath Lineup


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