Article by James Barrett-Sterling
It was a bumper Easter weekend for Carshalton Athletic as the club now has one eye on the Bostik South title, writes James Barrett-Sterling.
The Robins ended an away hoodoo by picking up a rare three points at Faversham Town on Saturday, then a spectacular 94th minute strike by 19-year old Ryan Healy finally broke a stubborn South Park rearguard on Bank Holiday Monday.
Those victories see second-placed Carshalton now just two points behind league leaders Lewes but with a game in hand with six left to play.
And The Robins fans have now only seen their charges lose once in the past six months as they enter the last six games of the season.
The Shepherd Neame Stadium hasn't been kind to Carshalton since the club dropped down to the Bostik South three years ago; a broken leg suffered by former player Jerome Walker and a 5-0 drubbing count for two of more recent experiences.
And Robins fans would've been disheartened to see Renord Tenyue put the Kent side one-up on 13 minutes.
But resilience is a word wafting around Colston Avenue these days and, before the break, a Raheem Sterling-Parker penalty and a goal by Tommy Bradford turned things around and it remained 2-1 after a closely-fought second-half.
"We spoke about aiming for promotion back in pre-season and the players and coaching staff have shown great dedication every week in chasing that goal," said player/manger Peter Adeniyi.
"The togetherness of this bunch is superb and I can also only applaud our fans who support us week in, week out. They've been tremendous as we've gone on this journey."
And the importance of a committed squad was never more apparent than on Monday afternoon as, for 93 minutes, Carshalton knocked on the South Park door which stood steadfastly locked.
But midfielder Healy, making only his ninth league start of the season, and whom played right back due to three regular defenders being out injured, acrobatically volleyed a Kalvin Morath-Gibbs knockdown in from seven yards.
Then, even deeper into stoppage time, goalkeeper Billy Bishop, whom had nothing to do all game, sprang to life and blocked away South Park's only shot of the game on target.
Next up for Carshalton Athletic is a trip to Walton Casuals, who themselves are fighting for a play-off position, on Saturday 7th April (kick-off 3pm).
Photo credit: Ian Gerrard