After the 3-1 defeat and poor performance of the previous week, Carshalton needed to be focused and disciplined to get back to winning ways. Shaun Swan declaring himself fit (OK – recovered from injury) in midweek was a boost and debutants Jason Winyard and Paul Pearce from the 2nd XI filled the gaps caused by other absences.
Carshalton started strongly and competitively and soon started playing nice, neat football. Andy Cook was winning the midfield battle and the defence looked settled and organised. Simon & Matt were lively up front causing problems to the Lyonians’ defence. A couple of half chances came our way, but often the final ball let us down.
The best chance was a cross from the left finding Jason Winyard and Jake Endersby with an open goal. Unfortunately nothing came of this as they got tangled together and the ball rolled tamely off for a goal kick. After about 20 minutes Lyonians started to come back into the game a little, although they had no real chances to talk of. Towards the end of the first half however, Carshalton regained control of the game and after some pressure a corner was won. Dave Etekudo and Matt Wigham caused confusion in the box which resulted with two Lyonians going for the same ball and one of them heading into his own net. Little more happened in the first half but we deserved to be going in with the lead.
The talk at half time was more of the same, but a little more composure for the final ball. Again we started brightly and took control once more. Paul Pearce came on to make his debut, replacing Gareth Hobbs who took a first half knock. By now, Carshalton were well on top in this game and it seemed only a matter of time until we scored another.
Chances came and went, and it seemed to be one of those days, when Simon Clare burst through & rounded the keeper. The keeper checked him and pulled him back by his shirt. An obvious penalty? Most spectators thought so, but it was not given. Some nerves from the touchlines saw Barnaby Lock then replace the tiring Jake Endersby to shore up the midfield and ensure a late equaliser was not conceded against the run of play.
I needn’t have worried because 5 minutes before time the ball came to Dave Tilley in space, about 25 yards from goal. Good control, a quick glance to where the goal was, and goodnight – thank you very much. We could have had another two in the last 5 minutes to reflect our dominance but a satisfying performance, the highlight being our first clean sheet of the season.