Carshalton Athletic captain Paris Hamilton-Downes literally stepped up to the mark during an entertaining draw against league leaders Dorking Wanderers this week, writes James Barrett.
The defender has seen teammates miss three penalties in recent games and so took on the responsibility when the Robins were awarded two on Monday night, converting one in each half during the eventual 3-3 draw.
That point keeps Carshalton on the fringes of the Ryman South play-off chase but it also stretched a winless run to six matches.
“We’ve not enjoyed a good run over the past four weeks but we feel like this result could be a turning point,” said Hamilton-Downes.
“Dorking will probably go up as champions, and we lost at theirs earlier this season, so we’ve taken what could be an important point for us off them.
“I said the dressing room after our game at Chipstead that I’d be willing to take the next penalty we got. To be honest I felt greater pressure on the second one but it felt great to see them both go in.”
Alongside Hamilton-Downes’ two goals, Carshalton debutant Jordan Bird endeared himself to the Colston Avenue faithful by notching their third on 71 minutes.
But history repeated itself as, like against both Tooting & Mitcham United and Sittingbourne recently, the Robins conceded a late equaliser that ultimately cost them potential victory.
“The management team have told us not to panic despite that happening again,” added Hamilton-Downes.
“We’ve got a good squad here and the two new faces coming in this week (the other being striker Omar Folkes) will help add to the mix.”
Carshalton’s next match is at home against struggling Chatham Town on Saturday 14th January, kick-off 3pm.