Robins ease lingering drop fears
10:43am Monday 2nd April 2012 in Carshalton Athletic
Carshalton Athletic put some distance between them and those below in the league with a deserved 2-0 win over Hastings United, writes James Barrett.
Paul Vines grabbed both the goals in the second half and Nick Hamann, who was making his 100th appearance for The Robins, kept a rare clean sheet as Carshalton bossed the game for the majority of the 90 minutes.
“I am pleased for the lads as they have shown character and spirit in recent games, but it has not been reflected in their results,” said manager Paul Dipre at full time.
“That was a good performance against a hard working Hastings. We prevented them from having more than one decent chance on goal in 90 minutes, but we should have scored half a dozen.”
Both sides knew a win would ease them away from the relegation dogfight below, so the game started with and maintained a high tempo throughout.
On-loan Ola Sogbanmu almost gave The Robins the lead on the half hour when he took down a Dawayne Campbell cross 10 yards out, but he clashed with a defender and the ball ran loose. Justyn Roberts slid in to try and poke it home, but Matt Armstrong-Ford got down bravely and smothered the ball.
Carshalton dominated the first half but, with the score still 0-0, a fine save by Hamann from a Danny Ellis piledriver reminded The Robins that they needed to turn their dominance into goals.
As the second half progressed, Vines and Armstrong-Ford played out their own personal duel, with the Hastings keeper lucky to remain on the pitch after he took out the striker outside his area on 51 minutes.
However Vines wasn’t to be denied and he got his tenth league goal of the season on 69 minutes after he ran clear onto a Sogbanmu flick and thumped the ball home from around 12 yards.
He got his second 10 minutes later after a quick Craig Tanner throw-in found Billy Crook, who played Sogbanmu down the left hand side of the Hastings area. The powerful striker beat his marker to the by-line and his low cross found Vines who swept it home from six yards.
And, despite a straight red card for substitute Laurent Hamici five minutes from time after reacting angrily to a challenge and Vines putting a potential hat-trick chance wide in injury time, The Robins collected their fifth home win of the season to put themselves four points ahead of their opponents.
“Our front three looked dangerous whenever we pushed forward. Ola, Paul and Billy are building up a good understanding and, with just a bit more quality in front of goal, we should improve our goal tally,” added Dipre.
“There are only six matches remaining and it’s a good opportunity for players to show how much they want to be here next season. We need to keep up the hard work and build on our team spirit to end this season as strongly as possible.
“I’d also like to say thanks to Dawayne Campbell who returns to AFC Wimbledon after today. He has put in a good stint at centre back and I hope that playing with us will aid his future progress.”
Carshalton next host Metropolitan Police at Colston Avenue on Tuesday 3rd April, kick off 7.45pm.
Carshalton Athletic: Hamann; Nolan, Campbell, Roberts, R Joseph; Ray (c), Adjei (Kamara – 75), Crook, Tanner (James-Lewis – 87); Vines, Sogbanmu (Hamici – 80).
Unused subs: Badiali, A Joseph.