Club named ‘Team of the Season’

Carshalton Athletic scooped major honours last weekend as the Isthmian League hosted its annual ‘end of season’ ceremony, writes James Barrett-Sterling.

At the event, held down by the seaside in Brighton, the Robins were revealed as ‘Bostik Premier Team of the Season’ and they also won the league’s ‘Respect Award’.

Korboa in ‘team of the year’ (pic credit: Chris Bushe)

Midfielder Ricky Korboa, who finished the season with 15 goals, also made the ‘Bostik Premier Best Eleven’ which was voted for by the managers of each club in the division.

Broadcaster and former Eastenders star Tom Watt handed over the main award on the night to Robins matchday secretary Christian Kemble, citing the club’s second-place finish following promotion and the impressive run to the FA Trophy third round proper as reasons for the accolade.

And the ‘respect award’ is earned by the club with the cleanest disciplinary record from across the season, taking into account any incidents of misconduct on and off the pitch.

“I’d like to say a huge well done to the management team and players,” commented Carshalton chairman Paul Dipre.

“I’m proud of everything although the respect award means a lot to me. It shows how this club continues to progress in the right direction.”

Korboa was “happy to be named in the team of the year” and has recently agreed to remain at Carshalton for the 2019/20 season.

Carshalton Athletic’s first upcoming pre-season friendly is at Colston Avenue on Saturday 13th July against Tooting and Mitcham United (kick-off TBC).

CAFC sign the impressive Ottaway

Carshalton Athletic have made a statement of intent by securing a vital player for next season’s assault on the Bostik Premier League, writes James Barrett-Sterling.

Striker Harry Ottaway arrived at Colston Avenue last Christmas with the club sitting lower mid-table and going through a bad patch of results.

CAFC sign Harry Ottaway (pic credit: Chris Bushe)

But, by contributing eight goals and 12 assists after the New Year, he was a major catalyst in helping the club eventually finish second in the league.

And the decision to remain as a Robin seemingly wasn’t a tough one for Ottaway to make.

“I was made to feel very welcome here when I joined and I felt even more at home once I gave something back with my first goal against Haringey,” Ottaway said upon signing last week.

CAFC have signed the impressive Harry Ottaway for next season

“This is a great club. I had two good chats with Paul Dipre (chairman) and we got to know each other well, which is nice because normally a player would only speak to the manager.

“And I can’t wait to play for Peter (Adeniyi) again too, we are old friends and he’s doing a fantastic job here.”

Even though Ottaway firmly installed himself as a fans’ favourite during his short spell last season, the man himself feels he has more to give as Carshalton look to build on that positive second-place finish.

“I haven’t been fully fit for a long time but I felt good by the end of last season,” the 30-year old explained.

“I’m hoping a rest, then a good pre-season with consistent training will mean the fans will see more from me.

“If everyone else is like me then they’ll already feel excited to crack on. To come second after climbing nicely out of mid-table was good but this group now has experience of the division and I think we’ll be challenging up there next season.”

Ottaway is one of four children and he believes the values instilled in him by his parents has helped shaped the kind of footballer he is today.

“I’ve been taught to be a team player from an early age,” he smiled, “and as I got older I realised the benefits of that on a football pitch.

“I hope I can further repay the faith shown in me by Paul, Peter and the fans.”

There was also more good news out of Colston Avenue recently as defender Bobby Price also committed himself to the cause next season.

The 23-year old, a product of the club’s youth system, finished his seventh senior season as a Robin with three goals and eight assists while also captaining the team on several occasions.

“I wanted to stay here and I want us to push on and try to win the league next season,” said Price.

He joins fellow academy graduates Ricky Korboa and Tommy Bradford as contracted players for the new campaign ahead.

* Carshalton Athletic have announced their pre-season friendly schedule beginning in July. All games will be played at Colston Avenue: Tooting & Mitcham Utd (Saturday 15th), Cray Valley (Monday 17th), Burgess Hill Town (Saturday 20th), Charlton Athletic (Monday 22nd), Dulwich Hamlet (Monday 29th), Brighton & Hove Albion (Tuesday 30th), Maldon & Tiptree (Saturday 3rd August).

Carshalton’s aim for next season?

Carshalton will aim to go ‘one better next season as the club has already begun planning for the future, writes James Barrett-Sterling.

The Robins came in second upon their return to the Bostik Premier after a five-year absence, plus the club went on to reach the last 16 of the FA Trophy before bowing out in a replay against Conference National outfit Barnet.

Ricky Korboa in action (pic credit: Chris Bushe)

And, although they lost a play-off semi-final against Merstham earlier this month, the optimism among the supporters was further buoyed this week as forwards Tommy Bradford and Ricky Korboa committed to the cause next season.

“I’m so proud of what we all achieved and we haven’t left ourselves room for much improvement,” said player/manager Peter Adeniyi.

“But the hard work for myself, the chairman and the management team will start sooner rather than later.

“We are all on the same page. We want to go one better than how we finished last season and that’ll be the aim.”

Bradford, who made his first-team debut aged 17, ended the season with 10 goals including a fantastic free kick away at Worthing which was his 100th club goal in Carshalton red.

“This is a great place to be and everything is in place for us to challenge for the league title next season,” commented the 24-year old after putting pen to paper.

Korboa was Carshalton’s top goalscorer with 15 goals and he went on to scoop a sackful of trophies at the club’s end-of-season awards.

He won five of the seven awards on the day, including ‘goal of the season’, ‘players’ player’ and ‘fans player’, with forward Harry Ottaway and the versatile Jacob Mendy scooped the remaining two.

“I was humbled and grateful for all the awards, it was the last thing I expected,” Korboa said after the event.

“Missing out on promotion wasn’t the end of the season we wanted for ourselves and the fans, but what we did achieve was great. Let’s hope we can go one better next season.”

Carshalton Athletic vs Merstham

Carshalton Athletic can reflect on the past season proudly despite suffering defeat in the play-offs last week, writes James Barrett-Sterling.

The Robins’ first season back in the Bostik Premier League after five years away ended with the club finishing in second place, plus they reached the last 16 of the FA Trophy and took National Conference club Barnet to a replay.

Carshalton welcomed fifth-placed Merstham for a play-off semi-final last Thursday but the Moatsiders completed a hat-trick of victories over their hosts this season by winning 2-1 via a late strike by Kershaney Samuels.

Peter Adeniyi scoring (pic credit: Chris Bushe)

But player/manager Peter Adeniyi, whom scored his side’s goal in that game, believes once the dust has settled everyone associated with the club should be able to walk tall.

“Firstly, I want to thank everyone within the club including the chairman, my management and coaching team, everyone behind the scenes and the players for all their efforts,” said Adeniyi after the game.

“It’s been a fantastic season in which everyone on the pitch gave everything. I’m extremely proud of what they’ve achieved.

“And the fans’ support both home and away has been amazing, even when we went through some bad spells. We didn’t want to disappoint them tonight but we’ll re-group over the summer and look ahead to next season.”

There was a rainbow over Colston Avenue before kick-off but it was Merstham that struck gold after just two minutes – top scorer Walter Figueira capitalised on a poor back pass to drill home his 19th of the season.

But Carshalton were only behind for 15 minutes as Adeniyi met Bobby Price’s low centre before guiding it first-time across goal and inside the far post.

“It was always going to be a tight affair and neither team really dominated. We created the better chances after equalising but, after half-time, perhaps people didn’t want to make mistakes,” Adeniyi lamented.

“The game came down to just a few moments and, unfortunately for us, Merstham got two goals to our one.”

The decisive moment came when Samuels tried his luck from 20 yards and the ball went in via the glove of keeper Billy Bishop whom saw it late through a crowd of players.

And then the dismissal of striker Omar Koroma for a second yellow card compounded Carshalton’s misery on the night.

“That was another moment that went against us. Maybe if we’d had 11 on the pitch right until the end things might’ve been different but I wish Merstham all the best in the final,” added Adeniyi.

“I know the boys are disappointed, and they should be as it’s part and parcel of the game, but no-one would’ve expected us to finish second in the league. We know what we are capable of and I want them to feel proud and be ready to push on after our break.”

Carshalton Athletic have already announced ‘early bird’ season ticket prices for the 2019/20 season – tickets are just £130 for adults, £90 for seniors (over 65) and £30 for juniors until 17th May. There are also special ‘pay as you go’ tickets but there only 200 available. More details: www.carshaltonathletic.co.uk

Carshalton Athletic vs Bishop’s Stortford

Carshalton Athletic rounded off an impressive return to the Bostik Premier League last weekend while ensuring more excitement for their fans to come, writes James Barrett-Sterling.

The Robins, who returned to the division as Bostik South champions after a five-year exile, finished in second-place on a last day full of twists and turns.

‘Battle of Play-Off Hopefuls’ (pic credit: Chris Bushe)

Carshalton won a ‘Battle of Play-Off Hopefuls’ by beating visiting Bishop’s Stortford 2-1 and other results went their way to ensure that top two finish.

And, ahead of a play-off semi-final against Merstham, whom took the last spot away from Stortford by beating Worthing 4-2 and moving into fifth, Carshalton captain Paris Hamilton-Downes reflected on a last day full of drama.

“We didn’t speak about ifs and maybes before the game, we just focused on going to win it,” said Hamilton-Downes.

“But, including the other results going our way, the overall day was amazing. To finish second is an fantastic achievement considering we were lower mid-table in January.

“And now we have the play-offs to come which will give us a chance to make this season even more memorable.”

Both sides knew victory on Saturday would guarantee involvement in this season’s play-offs but Carshalton striker Harry Ottaway calmed any early nerves by tucking in a second minute goal.

And top scorer Ricky Korboa doubled that lead on 24 minutes as his drove his 15th goal of the season inside the top right-hand corner.

But, following a corner kick shortly afterwards, Stortford defender Sam Robbins bundled in from close range to reduce the arrears before the break.

“We felt, after going two-up, that we could push on and maybe score a few more in the first-half,” lamented Hamilton-Downes, “but we gave away a bit of a cheap goal and put us on the back foot for periods after the break.”

Carshalton were grateful to goalkeeper Billy Bishop for making a superb double save to deny Stortford’s ex-professional striker Jamie Cureton on 68 minutes.

Ricky Korboa scoring (pic credit: Chris Bushe)

But the Robins were also guilty of missing chances to extend their lead before the final whistle eventually sparked ecstatic celebrations among the home fans.

Carshalton have now won nine straight home league matches since a defeat back in January by, oddly enough, Thursday night’s opposition Merstham.

The Moatsiders have beaten Carshalton twice already this season and each time with only 10 men after suffering red cards within the first 30 minutes of each game.

“It’s funny because Kalvin (Morath-Gibbs) said to me if we did finish second then of course we’d get Merstham,” Hamilton-Downes smiled.

“But we won’t think about the past. We are at home where we feel comfortable and I know we can give anyone a good game.

“We’ve got a few days to recover and we’ll have a good training session early in the week. We’ll be ready for this one.”

Carshalton Athletic vs Merstham in the Bostik Premier play-off semi-final at Colston Avenue is on Thursday 2nd May (kick-off 7.45pm).

Carshalton Athletic – Bank Holiday results

Carshalton Athletic enjoyed a mixed Bank Holiday weekend as their play-off aspirations now go down to the last game of the season, writes James Barrett-Sterling.

The Robins remained third in the Bostik Premier on Good Friday as Ricky Korboa scored twice in a 2-0 victory against relegation-threatened Burgess Hill Town at Colston Avenue.

Kalvin Morath-Gibbs in action (pic credit: Chris Bushe)

But a crunch match at play-off rivals Tonbridge Angels ended in rare defeat as the home side won 1-0 and the two clubs swapped places in the league.

Seven clubs can now mathematically make the four play-off spots and fourth-placed Carshalton have to play in-form Bishop’s Stortford on Saturday, but victory against their fifth-placed opponents will secure the Robins a coveted top five finish.

“The game (at Tonbridge) wasn’t the best and 0-0 would’ve been a fair result in all honesty,” said defender Kalvin Morath-Gibbs after Carshalton fell to only a second defeat in 17 league games.

“Fair play to Tonbridge for taking their only chance. We didn’t create much ourselves which was disappointing but I didn’t feel like we deserved to lose on the day.”

The game on Easter Monday was played in relentless spring sunshine and neither goalkeeper had a save to make as the two sides failed to get out of second gear.

It was Morath-Gibbs whom had Carshalton’s best chance of the game just before the break but, following a corner delivery, he headed off target from close range.

The match seemed destined to end goalless until a 78th corner for the home side was headed back into the mix and Craig Stone planted a header just inside the top near corner to send the home fans wild.

And results elsewhere now mean Carshalton’s margin for error is razor-thin when Bishop’s Stortford arrive at Colston Avenue for the final day of the official league season.

“We know what we have to do this Saturday, a win will be enough for us to be in the play-offs and that’s what we are all aiming for,” added Morath-Gibbs.

“A draw might also be enough but then we are relying on other teams dropping points, which isn’t ideal, so it’s three points or bust in our eyes.”

Bishop’s Stortford have won their last seven consecutive league games while Carshalton have won their last eight home matches – this mouthwatering match kicks-off at 3pm on Saturday 27th April.

Enfield Town vs Carshalton Athletic

Carshalton Athletic did their play-off dreams the world of good as they recorded a comfortable win on the road last Saturday, writes James Barrett-Sterling.

The Robins now currently sit fourth in the Bostik Premier after a 3-0 victory away at free-falling Enfield Town and their destiny is now very much in their own hands.

Three victories in the last three fixtures of the season would guarantee the club a chance to fight for promotion.

Goalscorer Harry Ottaway (pic credit: Chris Bushe)

And striker Harry Ottaway, who scored the opening goal against Enfield, believes he and his teammates can keep up the form that’s seen Carshalton only lose once in last 15 league games.

“We need to keep this momentum up as our goal is to be in the play-off places come the end of the season,” said Ottaway whom has been directly involved in 17 Carshalton goals since joining just after Christmas.

“There is a good energy around the camp right now but we can’t get too ahead of ourselves. We need to focus on our game and maintain the high standards we’ve set recently.”

It was hard to believe the first-half at Enfield ended goalless as the home side saw a fierce 20 yard free kick expertly saved by Robins keeper Billy Bishop on the half hour.

Then, just before the break, Carshalton were awarded a spot-kick for a foul on Ricky Korboa but Ottaway saw his low effort parried away by goalkeeper Joe Wright.

But the striker atoned for that just three minutes after the restart by slotting past Wright from 15 yards for this seventh goal of the season.

Fellow forward Omar Koroma doubled that lead two minutes later, tapping home after Wright parried a Tommy Bradford effort, before player/manager Peter Adeniyi sealed victory with a smart first-time finish just before the hour.

“The first-half wasn’t too clever and my penalty wasn’t the best, credit to their keeper for saving it, but we came out all guns blazing in the second-half,” added Ottaway.

“It ended up being a good result and that’s the most important thing to get right at the moment.”

Carshalton’s next test is against Burgess Hill Town who are scrapping to save their Bostik Premier credentials and whom beat the Robins 3-2 back in December.

“It’s just another game of football as far as we are concerned,” Ottaway mused.

“It doesn’t matter where either club is in the table or what happened before, it’s about who wants it more on the day.

“That can be a great leveller so we have to be on top of our game and make sure we don’t do anything silly.”

Carshalton Athletic vs Burgess Hill Town is on Friday 19th April (kick-off 3pm).

Carshalton Athletic vs Wingate & Finchley

Carshalton Athletic finally broke into the Bostik Premier play-off mix this week after a thumping win over visiting Wingate and Finchley, writes James Barrett-Sterling.

The Robins, who won the Bostik South last season with a whopping 102 points, shrugged off a first defeat in 13 matches last week to smash Wingate 5-1 with Ricky Korboa helping himself to a hat-trick.

Hat-trick hero Ricky Korboa (pic credit: Chris Bushe)

That result, coupled with other clubs around them dropping points, now means Carshalton sit fifth with just four games to play.

And the 21-year old, who is now the club’s current top goalscorer this season, was more than pleased with both his and his teammates’ response to losing that long unbeaten run recently.

“We really weren’t at our best last week and we had to put that right,” said Korboa who now has 12 goals to his name.

“We turned it on against Wingate and gave our fans a better performance. We know we can play like that regularly and we have to now as we are in the play-offs.”

It was a slow start at Colston Avenue last Saturday but Carshalton eventually went in front when Harry Ottaway powerfully headed home a corner on 25 minutes.

The striker turned provider just before the break and his lovely through ball from inside his own half set Korboa away to score his first of the afternoon.

And Ottaway was at it again just after the hour as his low cross was turned into his own net by the unfortunate Alieu Njie.

Wingate’s Anthony Mendy stunned the home fans by scoring with his side’s first shot on target on 64 minutes, but Carshalton didn’t wobble and Korboa took centre stage.

He restored the three-goal advantage on 70 minutes as he broke the visitors’ offside trap before finishing low into the bottom corner.

And he wrapped up his and Carshalton’s afternoon late on by curling home a stunning third in from 18 yards.

“I really enjoyed the third goal but I think my first one was my favourite,” Korboa smiled.

“I had to make up a lot of ground on the last defender, got to the ball first before managing to beat the keeper.”

Next up for Carshalton is a trip to Enfield Town on Saturday (kick-off 3pm) and Korboa knows exactly what needs to happen moving forwards.

“We were disappointed to concede a goal on Saturday but overall we played really well. We need to keep focussed and keep winning now we are in the play-offs, it’s in our hands now,” he added.

Corinthian Casuals vs Carshalton Athletic

Carshalton Athletic’s long unbeaten run came to an end last weekend as they fell to a shock defeat against struggling Corinthian Casuals, writes James Barrett-Sterling.

The Robins hadn’t lost in 13 league games as they arrived at King George’s Field to play a Casuals side that hadn’t won in 10 matches.

Saturday’s game vs Corinthian (pic credit: Chris Bushe)

But neither goalkeeper had a real save to make and the game was heading towards a dour goalless draw until Majed Osman tapped home from close range in the 85th minute with Casuals’ first shot on target.

And Carshalton assistant manager Keith Boanas hopes his side’s sluggish performance won’t hamper their pursuit of a Bostik Premier play-off place.

“I can only describe Saturday afternoon as painful and we’ve now given ourselves a mini mountain to climb,” said Boanas.

“We’ve got to win all our last five games and hope others drop points, which isn’t impossible, but we prepared well for Casuals before letting ourselves down on the day.”

Boanas, in part, was alluding to some pre-kick off disruption for Carshalton as two late arrivals necessitated a change of starting line-up and formation.

A mysterious injury then led to the withdrawal of forward Ricky Korboa after just half hour to further hamper Carshalton’s flow.

But it also seemed there was an unusual lack of spirit throughout the Robins’ performance against Casuals which was ultimately punished by the late goal.

“I can take players having a bad game as long as the effort is going in,” Boanas added.

“But it was all too lethargic and players weren’t reacting to situationsn or listening to instructions they were being given which was disappointing.“

“We have a good squad here and competition for places is high, so we need every player to be honest with us and themselves because this is a vital part of our season.”

Next up for Carshalton is a home game at Colston Avenue against Wingate and Finchley on Saturday 6th April (kick-off 3pm).

Carshalton Athletic vs Brightlingsea Regent

Carshalton Athletic’s promotion ambitions still look vibrant after they extended a current unbeaten league run to 13 matches last weekend, writes James Barrett-Sterling.

Tommy Bradford and substitute Omar Koroma shared the goals as the Robins saw off visiting Brightlingsea Regent 3-0 in front of a crowd edging towards 500.

Tommy Bradford scoring the first goal (credit: Chris Bushe)

The club still frustratingly sit sixth in the Bostik Premier League however, just one point outside the play-off places, as those above them also all won on Saturday.

But Koroma believes all he and his teammates can do is just keep their good run going.

“We just have to keep focused. We are only looking for three points from every match now so that we can take advantage if other teams drop points,” the striker said after the game.

Carshalton made all the early running against Brightlingsea but wayward finishing or good goalkeeping kept the scoreline blank until the 42nd minute when Bradford swept home Christie Pattisson’s low cross for his tenth goal of the season.

That relaxed the fidgety home crowd and, as the visitors flagged during the second-half, the introduction of Koroma led to him curling home a stunning 30-yard free kick with 10 minutes to go.

And the icing on the cake came on 87 minutes as Ricky Korboa robbed the last defender of the ball, bore down on goal and then unselfishly squared to Koroma whom side-footed into an empty net.

“At 1-0 up you can never feel really comfortable as the other team could get a lucky break or a set-piece, but in the end it was a good three points” Koroma reflected.

“I was telling my teammates on the bench that I felt there were more goals to be had, so I was pleased to get on and contribute.”

Next up for Carshalton is the short trip to Corinthian Casuals this weekend and it is a game Koroma is really up for after the topsy-turvy encounter back in November.

“They beat us at home earlier in the season and it was a tough game,” the striker said as he recalled scoring a penalty in an eventual 3-2 defeat.

“That result annoyed me but we’ve pushed on a lot since then. I’m looking forward to Saturday and the rest of our games, it’s an exciting time.”

Carshalton Athletic visit Corinthian Casuals on Saturday 30th March (kick-off 3pm).