Home sweet home for Blues – pics added
A STRONG second half saw Blues scores three times to collect their first home victory of the season.
It was a well-merited success for the Blues over the Robins despite a missed penalty in the first half, Â although they had to endure some anxious moments towards the end settled by a header from Jamie Cureton in stoppage time.
This was the first league game in charge for Steve Smith and Cureton and their starting 11 was the same eleven that had started at Hertford Town in midweek. Lewis Dark was on the bench but Elliott Ronto was still missing with a fractured bone in his foot.
Stortford started well in the wet conditions with Johnville Renee having a goal-bound shot blocked, and continuing on the front-foot, Jack Thomas released Alfie Mason to cut in from the right and strike a low shot that keeper Billy Bishop kept out at the near upright. From the ensuing corner by Mason, Jake Cass’ back post header was safely held by the stopper.
Soon afterwards a Sotiriou low effort was tipped round the post for a corner. Stortford, allowed space in the midfield were creating some good attacking moves.
Gradually the visitors came more into the picture and just after the half-hour a long throw from Jordan Cheadle on the left was nodded on and Michael Onovwigun headed straight at Calum Kitscha
Soon after the restart Sotiriou, after receiving a through pass from Ryan Charles had an effort cleared off the line by Cheadle
Finally in the 52nd minute the Blues took the lead. A Jordan Wescott free-kick dropped to Isaac Nkosi and then a combination of Cass and Sotiriou worked the ball on to Mason who scored with a great left-footer into the far corner from the edge of the box.
Within four minutes Athletic were back on level terms as Mike Dixon converted Bobby Price’s cross to the near post.
Kitscha held a powerful shot from substitute Tommy Bradford in the 61st minute and within seconds at the other end a 23 yard scorcher from Charles was beaten away by Bishop.
Cass had a free-kick tipped over the bar by Bishop before the Blues retook the lead when Charles fired home low from just inside the area and past the keeper after combining with Cass in the 65th minute.
Kitscha made a fine save from a Cheadle free-kick in the 81st minute and then dealt well with a difficult Bradford cross towards the six-yard box as Stortford suffered some nervous moments.
In the first minute of stoppage time player/manager Peter Adeniyiâ€™s deep cross from the left was headed into the back of the net at the far post by dos Santos but the Carshalton goal was disallowed for offside.
Two minutes later the points were made safe. The Blues won a free-kick on the left and debutant Lewis Byrne-Hewitt played the ball short to Renee and the midfielder whipped in a cross which Cureton, turning up trumps, netted with an excellent header inside the near post.
STORTFORD: Calum Kitscha; Jordan Wescott; Chris Gregan; Jack Thomas; Sam Robbins; Isaac Nkosi; Ryan Charles (Lewis Byrne-Hewitt 78); Johnville Renee; Jake Cass (Lewis Dark 85); Ruel Sotiriou (Jamie Cureton 70); Alfie Mason.
Unused substitutes: Toib Adeyemi and Max Brassington.
CARSHALTON ATHLETIC: Billy Bishop; Bobby Price; Daniel Pappoe (Peter Adeniyi 76); Paris Hamilton-Downes; Danny Dudley; Jordan Cheadle; Jacob Mendy; Michael Onovwigun; Raheem Sterling-Parker (Tommy Bradford 56); Mike Dixon (Jerson dos Santos 73); Ricky Korboa. Â
Unused substitutes: Joel Flavien-Howard and Michael Aziaya.
Referee: Neil West. Attendance: 222