Article by James Barrett-Sterling
It was a frustrating day at the office for Carshalton Athletic as a resolute Guernsey ‘parked the plane’ on Saturday, writes James Barrett-Sterling.
The home fans would’ve been hopeful of three points against the struggling Green Lions, especially as they saw their charges win at league leaders Lewes last week.
But, after losing 14 first-team players in the run up to the game, Guernsey's patched up side stifled the Robins attack for 90 minutes and jetted back to the island with a 0-0 draw.
That result saw third-placed Carshalton slip five points behind Lewes with only one game in hand, although it has brought them level on 81 points with Corinthian Casuals in second.
“Frustrating is an understatement. I haven’t seen a team sit that deep in a long time, but the bottom line is you have to break that down,” said Carshalton coach Keith Boanas after the game.
“We did well when considering the amount of crosses we got into their box, but we weren’t aggressive enough to make them count.
The closest either side came to scoring in the opening half came when Carshalton defender Jordan Cheadle saw his 20-yard free kick cannon back off a post.
The second-half saw the Robins camped inside Guernsey’s half but, among the chances created, visiting keeper Callum Stanton tipped a Cheadle half-volley away from the top corner and Ola Sogbanmu conspired to put a free header over the bar from six yards.
And, deep into added time, a corner was eventually guided goalward by Omar Koroma from four yards but Stanton, who had earlier been booked for timewasting, instinctively threw up his arms and deflected the ball onto the crossbar.
“Their keeper had an outstanding game, and I lost count at how many times their defenders won headers in their box, but the timewasting was very disappointing,” reflected Boanas.
“There was no need for it. Give yourselves credit for playing a defensive game but I didn’t understand that as they aren’t up there vying for anything.
“We have to learn to deal with situations like that and we've got to look at being a bit more clever in terms of getting on the end of balls into the box."
Next up for Carshalton Athletic as they look to seal promotion is a trip to Faversham Town on Saturday 31st March (kick-off 3pm).
Photo credit: Ian Gerrard