Crunch time for Blues
It’s crunch time for Blues on Saturday as they travel to Carshalton Athletic looking for an eighth straight win to seal a place in the Bostik Premier play-offs.
A win against the Surrey side would see Blues leapfrog Saturday’s opponents to finish at least fourth in the final table, and they could even finish third and get home advantage in the play-off semi-final in the unlikely even of Tonbridge Angels losing at Potters Bar Town. But a draw or a loss would see the Blue Brazil relying on other results to go their way, with Mersham, Folkestone Imvicta and Worthing all able to leapfrog them if they don’t win.
After an incredible run that has seen them record seven consecutive victories to move up from 12th place to fifth, Blues will visit a Carshalton side who are one point and one position ahead of Stortford in fourth place with 68 points from 41 games.
Prior to Monday’s loss at Tonbridge, Carshalton had lost just once in the previous 17 league games, including victories against top two sides Dorking and Haringey.
Amazingly the Robins managed to exit the FA Cup before Stortford as the reorganisation of non-league football saw them enter the competition a round earlier, losing 1-0 at home against Horsham. They also went of out of the League Cup at the first hurdle with a 3-0 home defeat against Corinthian Casuals but did have a good run in the FA Trophy. Wins against Met Police, Harlow Town, Walton Casuals, Dorking Wanderers and Salisbury City put them in the last 16 where they went down at Barnet in a replay.
Joint manager Steve Smith knows the importance of the game: “Monday was another three points and it’s now down to the last game. “It what we set out to do when we took over, and we’ll go there believing that we can get the result we need..
“But whatever happens, we have had a great season. It was great to have a big crowd behind us over the weekend, it really helped up get over the line. I hope we have lots of support at Carshalton to help us get over the line.”
Carshalton were Blues’ first league opponents when Smith and Jamie Cureton took over from Adam Flint in September and the pair made an instant impact as goals from Alfie Mason, Ryan Charles and Cureton gave them a 3-1 win.
The last meeting between the clubs at the War Memorial Sports Ground came in 2011 and saw Blues make the national Press as manager Ian Walker left the club after a 5-0 hammering in the FA Trophy with several fans claiming that the former Tottenham goalkeeper had sworn at them.
After four years in the fourth tier of non-league football, the Robins won Bostik League Division One South last season, gaining 101 points and scoring 99 goals in 46 games