Carshalton 2 Cray Wanderers 1. Ryman Premier
The weather was unhelpful this weekend and many games got called off in non-league but this game thankfully survived. The pitch looked like a mud bath and that was maybe because it was. Having said that the football played was perfectly fine and the ground staff need to take some praise although I understand that not a lot was done to the pitch from the preceding tuesday night game.
Carshalton have had a troubled season to date. Change of manager few months ago, awful start and currently bottom of the Ryman Premier, seemingly heading even at this stage for Ryman South next season. Things of late however have changed. A surprise away win on boxing day at Hampton, followed by a few decent results and another victory a few days ago versus Enfield. This was a key game against a mid-table club.
The first half was surprisingly low key. Little in the way of flying tackles etc. The second half very different. Cray were awarded a penalty by an unconvincing referee in the 25th minute and Carshalton scored with a long range shot that maybe should have been saved in the 31st minute. Little else to warm the soul. I had to resort to eating the last cornish paste, which I suspect was left over from tuesday, which tuesday I will not speculate, but it tasted divine in the cold.
The second half was all about end to end stuff, with Carshalton scoring the winning goal in the 84th minute with a truly special goal from Luke Nolan. This was a goal that you never think can happen. A run by the left full back, beating a few players cutting inside and hitting a shot from around 30 yards that roared into the top left hand corner of the net. With no exaggeration this is one of the best goals I have seen this season. Michael Kamara was highly visible all game with his bandage making him look more like Monty Panesar but played a decent game. Nick Hamann the goalkeeper has to be one of the best keepers at this level and I suspect could play higher. The German flag you can see behind the goal reflects his nationality.
This is a club trying to play their way out of trouble. They have left it late but maybe not too late with now 3 wins in their last 5 games. A lot will depend on key games, injuries and of course luck. I shall be following their progress and now count myself as a fan. As the crowd was 201 it is fair to say that I increased the crowd size by 0.5%.