Robins frustrated by draw
11:49am Monday 26th March 2012 in Carshalton Athletic
Carshalton Athletic picked up a point with a 1-1 draw at promotion chasing Hendon on Saturday, but might rue not taking all three after playing against 10 men in the second half, writes James Barrett.
On a scorching hot afternoon, a first goal for The Robins by on-loan Ola Sogbanmu was cancelled out by a debatable penalty before Hendon lost Kevin Maclaren to a straight red card on 55 minutes.
“I was pleased with the overall performance," said manager Paul Dipre.
"We were the better side and, if it wasn’t for a very strange penalty decision, we would have taken all three points.
“I think the red card given against Hendon was also a bit harsh, but it didn’t cost them a goal.
“Hendon worked very hard without causing us any real problems in the first half, we had by far the better chances. The second half was all one-way traffic even before they went down to 10 men.
“Its hard on the lads at the moment – they have deserved far more points in the last few games than they have ended up with.
"Despite all of the negativity off the pitch, they are coping well and are giving their all in every game.
“It’s going to be tough run in and we are far from being in a comfortable league position, so we will need to keep up the effort until the last kick of the season.”
Sogbanmu, who put in an energetic performance throughout and brought a fine save out of Hendon keeper Rikki Banks early on, put Carshalton in front on 17 minutes.
Kennedy Adjei did well to keep hold of the ball on the edge of the Hendon area and played it back to Merrick James-Lewis. His deep cross hung in the air and, as Banks came to claim, Sogbanmu rose slightly higher and planted a header into the back of the net.
That lead lasted 12 minutes as Hendon received a route back into the game. The linesman on the near side waved for a penalty after Elliott Godfrey took a tumble under the attention of James-Lewis, who had shadowed the midfielder as he attempted to latch onto a left wing cross. Jamie Busby sent Robins keeper Nick Hamann the wrong way to make all square.
The Robins started the second half brightly and kept Hendon from mounting any serious forward movements before The Greens went down to 10 men on 55 minutes. Maclaren appeared to swing his arm into the face of Vines by the centre circle and referee Foley showed no hesitation in brandishing a straight red card.
Despite their numerical advantage, Carshalton came up against an in-form Banks who saved well from Billy Crook, Adjei and Vines while the defence quelled any forward advances Hendon tried to mount.
And, in added time, Banks pulled out arguably his best save of the match when he tipped a powerful Sogbanmu header from a whipped Crook cross over his crossbar.
Carshalton welcome Hastings United to Colston Avenue on Saturday. The Robins sit one point above United so victory will all important.
Carshalton Athletic: Hamann; Nolan, Campbell, Roberts, R Joseph; Ray (c), James-Lewis, Adjei, Crook; Vines (Hamici – 83), Sogbanmu Unused subs: Dudzinski, Kamara, Murphy, A Joseph
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