Football photographers get used to many things, variable lighting across a pitch, non league floodlights and inclement weather. It is just what we do. Add to that sloping pitches, players warming up in front of you, and the fun really starts. But it is a challenge. My Canon EOS 5D MK3 copes reasonably well with all this, and a small amount of playing afterwards reduces some of the grain, albeit at the expense sometimes of sharpness. I really enjoy these challenges.
These photos come from a non league cup game, Velocity trophy, and was actually a great game to watch for the neutral. Here are some of the photos both of the game and the fans which capture the magic of non league.
Not many sides in the history of football in any division anywhere worldwide have achieved what Carshalton have done since December 2017. From 33 points they have gained 31 and are unbeaten on this phenomenal run that saw them get promoted to the Bostik Premier league. Not that Carshalton made it easy on themselves. The scoreline will show a 4-3 victory in front of a seasons best crowd of just under 600.
Before the game whatever happened in games elsewhere all Carshalton had to do was to win the game. A simple equation. Starting the game however was the first obstacle as the referee was delayed on a flight back from Albania, that gave Carshalton the advantage of knowing their opponents results essentially at half time. In reality Whyteleafe gave them a tough game and were physical, maybe overly so , opponents that never actually lost the game until the 95th minute. On a hot afternoon physical fitness was going to be important and Carshalton certainly had the superiority on Whyteleafe on that.
The game however took a circuitous route with Whyteleafe taking the lead and Carshalton missing a penalty, then after making it 1-1, allowed Whyteleafe to score twice in minutes, making it 1-3 before staging a comeback to win the game 4-3 with the last meaningful kick of the game.
There are plenty of other detailed reports but from my perspective Carshalton played great football with measured passing, sometimes of a far higher standard. Finishing was superb, and with a little more luck could have won this game 7-3.
The end product was promotion and to the 600 crowd thats all that mattered.
An entertaining game played mostly in chilly bright sunshine which did not always make photography easy. Carshalton were the better side but the result was in doubt until the end.
A lot impressed me about this match. The referee let the game flow and tried not to become the focus but for some inexplicable reason did not award a penalty. The Thamesmead keeper brought down the Carshalton striker when the ball was heading away from danger. From my vantage point only yards away it was a clear penalty, and the linesman on this side had the same view albeit a few more yards away.
Then for a similar strange reason the referee did award a very soft penalty later in the first half. Crowds are increasing at Colston avenue for very good reasons. The football is good, played in the right manner and a good clubhouse means that folks can watch with their beer ( from inside or outside).
Carshalton were always the more threatening side however Thamesmead equalised early in the second half fortuitously before Carshalton scored the winning goal midway through the second half.
The star of the game was Christie Pattison recently signed from Phoenix Sports and before that Welling United and Brentford. On the evidence of this game he will go far and Brentford may have released him too early. He constantly troubled the Thamesmead defence.
A cold afternoon that ended up little over freezing at the end saw an interesting and entertaining game which either side could have won. Carshalton missed a few good chances and also contrived to miss two penalties rather badly. Good value as always for £9.It is always easy being a football critic of course but the difference between the two sides and maybe the chance of Carshalton reaching the play offs, is taking your chances and taking them at the right time. Carshalton played the better football but the scoreline mandates that Chipstead played the more effective football and certainly looked better than a team that was 20 points below Carshalton.
Godalming were doomed from the first 5 minutes when they were 3-0 down and it was always how many goals were Carshalton going to score. In truth the teams were classes apart. Not many teams could have lived with the free flowing football and the movement displayed last night. The finishing was sublime. There will be far better match reports than this but this was a game to really enjoy and wonder how far this team can go.
Clearly 10-0 victory says it all really. No sendings off, no goalkeeper injuries, just ten good goals. to their credit Godalming kept going till the end and a few minutes before the end looked certain to score but even then the Carshalton defence were battling away to keep a clean sheet and cleared the ball off the line.
The fans enjoyed this game however the Godalming manager looked downcast all game and resigned this morning.
A combative and interesting game where Carshalton might have won by a greater margin against a spitited but somewhat limited Guernsey side. The reality was that other than an excellent long range goal from Ross Allen, Guernsey hardly threatened at all and their cause was not helped by the sending off of Tom Martin for a reckless challenge.
Carshalton are an interesting team to watch at the moment playing football in a real way with skill and passing and kept calm mostly by the experienced player/manager Peter Adeniyi playing the ball calmly out and around in defence. They are definitiely in the mix for promotion and maybe need 1-2 more players in select areas to make that happen.
The preliminary and qualifying rounds of the FA cup often produce a few surprises and with financial rewards around £2000 for winning, teams have more than a vested interest. On a damp and occasionally rainy evening Worthing ran out clear winners over Carshalton, however the scoreline fails to reflect a fascinating game that surely Carshalton will learn from.
Some spectators decided that an umbrella was the best option even sitting in the main stand.
Carshalton took an early 2-0 lead and looked the better footballing side but a scrappy Worthing goal minutes before half time put them back in the game.
The second half was one way traffic not helped with the sending off of their captain Jahmahl King for two probably unnecessary yellow cards. This led to a non-stop attack on the Carshalton goal and Alex Kozakis had this view for most of the second half.
The crowd of 286 saw a good game with a scoreline not really a fair one. Although Carshalton played good football their heads went down particualrly after the sending off of their captain and towards the end were playing the ball around at the back as a form of damage limitation.
Both goalkeepers had work to do through the game and the score does not also refelct that they had decent games.
Peter Adeniyi will feel a little unlucky overall however with some defensive strengthening this will become a very good side indeed.