Article by James Barrett-Sterling
The champagne is on ice at Colston Avenue as the Bostik South title race will now go down to the last day of the season, writes James Barrett-Sterling.
Carshalton Athletic went into their penultimate game of the season knowing victory, coupled with defeat for closest rivals Lewes, would add silverware to their already promotion-winning season.
But, although Lewes did indeed fall to defeat against Faversham Town, the Robins threw away an early lead to eventually crash 3-1 against hosts Sittingbourne.
That was only Carshalton’s second league defeat since the start of November however and they are still in pole position for Saturday’s exciting finale.
The Robins arrived at Woodstock Park on Saturday in quietly confident mood and they made a blistering start in the glorious Kent sunshine.
Ola Sogbanmu, whom now has five goals in as many appearances, took a return pass from Tommy Bradford before drilling a low shot past goalkeeper Harry Brooks from 18 yards.
But they failed to extend that lead and Seyfattin Akdeniz pulled Sittingbourne level on 38 minutes with a 20-yard strike.
The Robins flew out the blocks in the second-half but Brooks denied Bradford one-on-one, while both Peter Adeniyi and Mohammed-Idris Olishaja hit the woodwork during separate attacks.
Sittingbourne stunned the travelling fans on the hour mark as David Smith rose to head home a corner kick, and the striker doubled his tally 13 minutes later as a long throw came into the Carshalton box and he guided it home.
Carshalton have recently made it their business to turn matches around late on – see results against South Park, Herne Bay and Whyteleafe – but this was a step too far and even a last-minute penalty, given for handball on an Adeniyi cross, was blasted over by Raheem Sterling-Parker.
So it’s a case of ‘as you were’ at the top of the table – Carshalton are one point in front of Lewes so victory this Saturday for the Robins will still see them crowned champions.
Carshalton Athletic vs VCD Athletic kicks-off 3pm on Saturday 28th April.
Photo credit: Ian Gerrard