Carshalton Athletic 2 Blues 1
Two early Carshalton goals proved crucial and Blues’ play-off dreams were ended, on Saturday.
The home side scored after just two minutes and doubled their lead midway through the first half, and despite Sam Robbins’ 30th minute strike and a much display in the second half, Stortford were unable to score again.
Ultimately a draw wouldn’t have been enough for a Stortford side who went into the game on a seven game winning streak, and they finished their first season back in the Isthmian League in seventh position.
Joint bosses Steve Smith and Jamie Cureton fielded the same side that beat Brightlingsea 3-2 on Easter Monday but their team couldn’t have made a worse start when Athletic took under two minutes to open the scoring when Harry Ottaway’s mis-hit shot wrong-footed Arthur Janata and crept in.
Even after that goal the hosts controlled the game Ottaway firing wide and Koroma firing a free-kick out of the ground.
Blues’ first chance came in the 18th minute when Ben Worman’s free-kick just eluded Ryan Henshaw at the back post.
The visitors could have levelled in the 20th minute as a good move between Ryan Charles and Cureton saw Worman force a good save from Bishop, and Charles couldn’t convert from the resulting corner.
Blues were made to pay for that miss four minutes later when Korboa fired into the top of the net after the away side had failed to clear.
Stortford’s response was quick as Henshaw saw his header saved by Bishop, but Robbins was on hand to bundle the ball home to reduce the arrears.
Koroma went close to restoring Athletic’s two-goal advantage when he fired into the side nettting, while both Cureton and Henshaw went close to levelling.
Henshaw again went close with a header flashing just wide of left upright and as the half drew to a close Jack Thomas fired wide.
The impressive Henshaw appeared to be fouled in the penalty box early in the second half and he also saw a volley go wide and a header flash across the box as Stortford started well.
Janata did well to deny Koroma, while at the other end Cureton twice went close and as the Blues’ pressure continued, Ryan Charles saw a shot well saved.
As the game went into its final ten minutes a great build up on the left by Ogie and Worman led to a venomous Cureton shot that somehow ended up in Bishop’s arms.
Henshaw also went close in the closing stages, but Carshalton hung to seal second spot in the final league table.