Carshalton Athletic 0-3 Greenwich Borough - Carshalton are going to be a side challenging so to come here and win 3-0 is fantastic, says Greenwich Borough boss Gary Alexander

Monday 23rd October 2017
Carshalton Athletic 0 – 3 Greenwich Borough
Location War Memorial Sports Ground, Colston Avenue, Carshalton, Surrey SM5 2PW
Kickoff 23/10/2017 19:45

Bostik South Division
Monday 23rd October 2017
Stephen McCartney reports from Colston Avenue

GREENWICH BOROUGH manager Gary Alexander says his side are getting into their stride after comfortably beating a promotion rival away from home.

Greenwich Borough became the first team to come away from Colston Avenue with three points in the bag as they moved up in to second-place in the Bostik South table with 28 points in the bag from 14 games, five points adrift of Lewes.

Striker Charlie MacDonald, 36, scored his tenth goal of the season to give Greenwich Borough an early lead.

But the foundations were laid by an outstanding defensive display from the away side, in particular captain Mark Phillips, 35, who volleyed in a second goal just before the hour-mark.

Peter Adeniyi’s side upped their game during a dominant final 15 minutes, during which nine of their 10 corners came during this spell of attacking play, but a mistake at the back let in Jack Barham, who slotted in a late third, totally against the run of play.

“It was a massive weekend going from Saturday to Monday, it’s never easy and the boys acquitted themselves brilliantly and our game plan worked,” said Alexander following his side’s eighth league win of the season that extended their unbeaten run to five games.

“I thought we were comfortable up until the 44th minute when we gave them a chance through three silly errors. I let them know at half-time that we got a little bit lackadaisical in terms of people trying to be too clever when we were 1-0 up. We have to learn to see out a half but I let them know at half-time and they’ve come out and defended fantastically!

“They’re a good side and they’re going to be a side that’s challenging so to come here and win 3-0 is fantastic!  Listen, they’ve got some great individuals, they’re a great team, they’ve got a great manager, so I’m sure they’ll come again.”

Carshalton Athletic remain in seventh-place in the table on 24 points from 14 games, despite going into the game on the back of a 4-2 home win over struggling Ashford United, while Greenwich Borough held Whyteleafe to a 1-1 draw at Church Road.

Greenwich Borough striker Barham held his head in his hands after glancing his header across the face of goal and past the far post after Sam Corne swung in their first of eight corners, after 189 seconds of play.

Both sides had two holding players sitting in front of a back four and this produced a packed middle of the pitch with neither side exploiting the flanks during the early stages.

But Greenwich Borough broke the stalemate with 13 minutes and 6 seconds on the clock.

Corne, who sat in front of the back four alongside Ali Fuseini, dinked his free-kick from within the left channel towards the near post and Mark Phillips’ swept his low shot towards the bottom corner, which forced Billy Bishop to dive low to his right to parry and poacher MacDonald rifled his shot inside the near corner.

“Mark was a threat all night from set-pieces and it was nice to score from another set-piece tonight,” said Alexander.

“We scored one on Saturday, which was good and it was nice to score from another set-piece tonight.

“Charlie was sniffing one out as he does. We’re not even out of October yet and he’s into 10 goals.  It shows what he’s about and what he’s still capable off. He’s a tremendous, I still call him a professional, he looks after himself like he’s training every day and he’s fantastic to have around the place.”

A big kick from big and vocal goalkeeper George Kamurasi was flicked on by Barham and Jack Sammoutis hooked the ball under control before rolling his left-footed drive into Bishop’s hands from 25-yards.

With Greenwich Borough right-back Nathan Paul performing well to keep the treat of Ricky Korboa quiet, Sammoutis was lively on the right-hand side of a three-man Greenwich Borough attack, before he was forced off with a hip injury.

Alexander revealed: “He’s taken a whack on the hip, I don’t know how bad it is but he was doing a good job in the first half, he was causing problems and he was getting on the ball and he had to come off. I’ve brought Becka-kah on and I’ve got people on the bench who are capable of all starting in my first team.”

Fuseini played a one-two with Corne in midfield before playing the ball out wide to Sammoutis, who cut inside towards the edge of the penalty box and his deflected drive flashed across the diving keeper and past the far post.

Carshalton Athletic took 36 minutes to create their first chance of the night.

Bobby Price, who alongside Paris Hamilton-Downes, sat in front of the back four, played the ball into Mickel Miller, who played the ball out to Tommy Bradford, who cut inside Paul and from 15-yards stroked his shot towards goal, bouncing comfortably into Kamurasi’s hands.

“We’ve brought George in, he’s a presence.  That’s no disrespect to Ben Bridle-Card (who is on a dual-registration with Sevenoaks Town). Ben’s a good keeper as well but he’s young and he’s still learning, so it was a good save from George but it was a save I’d expect my goalkeeper to make.

“George is a massive speaker and he demands.  He demands every day, even if it's training or whether it’s playing games, he demands and it’s a good voice to have in there. He’s a winner!”

Carshalton Athletic left-back Jordan Cheadle then stroked his left-footed free-kick towards goal from 27-yards, which was spilt by Kamaurasi but the flag was raised for offside by the time Price tucked home the rebound from four-yards.

“There was a catalogue of errors there leading up to it,” admitted the Greenwich manager.

“A few of the boys had to know at half-time we got a little bit lackadaisical leading up to that.  Obviously we could’ve gone in at 1-1 when I thought we dominated the first half.”

When asked what he said to his players’ at the interval, Alexander replied: “Keep our discipline, keep our shape, frustrate as much as we can. We will get chances, they will give us chances and obviously it happened.”

Sammoutis’ replacement, Becka-Kah Dembele, drilled a shot on the turn which flashed past the near post from the right from 22-yards, as Greenwich Borough created the first opening of the second half inside six minutes.

Greenwich Borough captain Phillips went agonisingly close to doubling their lead in the 54th minute.

Corne swung in their fifth corner, from the right, and Phillips rose to plant his bullet header crashing against the crossbar from 10-yards.

“It would’ve been nice to score and give us that cushion early in the second half but it wasn’t to be,” added Alexander.

“We went on to get other goals but Mark, he set up the first one with an effort and he’s a threat from set-pieces if the deliveries right.

“I thought my back four was tremendous tonight. Tom Carlse, Nathan Paul, Dean Gunner, let’s not forget them, they all put bodies on the line, Sam Corne, Ali Fuseini, all performed, all putting bodies on the line to defend and that’s what we want from the team.”

Carshalton’s nine-goal striker Raheem Sterling-Parker endured a frustrating 69 minutes and was substituted by Adeniyi before he collected his second yellow card.  He wasn’t given an inch by a well-marshalled Greenwich Borough defence.

Mekhail McLaughlin played the ball up from the back into Hamilton-Downes, and Michael Aziaya fed Miller, who was forced to shoot from 30-yards, which screamed over the crossbar.

Greenwich Borough deserved their two-goal lead when it arrived with 12 minutes and 8 seconds on the clock.

Carshalton’s defence went missing when Corne floated in a free-kick into the box and an unmarked Phillips struck his left-footed volley across Bishop and into the back of the net from inside the six-yard box, leaving the home fans stunned into silence.

“I wasn’t sure he had that technique but to be fair it’s a great volley and I’m sure he’ll tell me about it,” said Alexander.

“Mark’s a threat from set-pieces and he wants to get on the end of it as we’ve seen, he’s already had two chances before and he’s scored from one, but what a tremendous finish, again, another great ex-professional. He works his socks off and leads in the right way.”

Fuseini was given freedom to push up into the number 10 role and he found himself a couple of yards inside the Carshalton box after playing a one-two with MacDonald before forcing Bishop to dive to his left to make the block.

When Fuseini ventured forward during the second half, Bradley Pritchard dropped back in next to Corne, which shielded the back four.

Explaining that tactic, Alexander said: “I gave them the responsibility out there today and play how they want to play depending they were in a shape but all three of them can play. They can play four, they can play 10 or 8, whatever they want to play in there, they’re all experienced to rotate.  If it ends up looking like that, it ends up looking like that, but they can all do a job.”

MacDonald then powered a right-footed drive from 25-yards from the other side, forcing Bishop to dive to push the ball towards safety.

“After going 2-0 up, we had two chances and you’re thinking are we going to get that third one to really sow the game up, because 2-0 is a dangerous scoreline against any side, let alone Carshalton but the keeper’s made two good saves and it’s nice to be creating the chances,” said Alexander.

Barham then cut inside before drilling a shot from 30-yards, which forced Bishop to dive to his left to use his outstretched finger-tips to push around the post.

However, with Sterling-Parker now off the pitch, Carshalton Athletic upped their game and dominated for the final 15 minutes but Greenwich Borough defended resolutely.

“Listen, Carshalton are always going to have a spell. We know what they’re about, they’re a good team and they’ve got good individuals and any second they can turn a game,” said Alexander.

“Bradford, Miller, Korboa and Sterling-Parker are all capable of scoring goals at any second so we’ve got to stay switched on.  If they get the next goal they’re going to cause problems but I thought our shape was very good and we frustrated them.

“I expected that (pressure) probably sooner but we frustrated them up until that point and if we’re going to do that in any away fixture we can frustrate a side, you’re telling me a home side only upped their game in the 75th minute then I’ll be a happy man.”

Their second corner was swung in from the right, from Miller, which was met at the far post by Cheadle and Kamurasi got his big frame in the way to guide the ball over the top of the near post.

Carshalton Athletic failed to get in behind an outstanding defensive line in open play and had to shoot from distance.

Left-back Cheadle was given acres of space to drill a left-footed angled drive from 35-yards, which screamed across the diving Kamurasi and past the far post.

Cheadle was even further out when he tried his luck again, which was tipped over the bar by the former Ashford United stopper.

Alexander added: “If they’re going to be shooting from 30-yards, I expect my keeper to be saving it, it’s comfortable for big George.”

Greenwich Borough grabbed a third goal, timed at 44 minutes and 32 seconds, after some poor defending from last defender Aziaya, who at this stage was on the right of a three-man defence.

He lost the ball to Barham about 30-yards from goal and the former Phoenix Sports striker cut into the box from the left, skipped past the keeper and slotted his left-footed shot into the back of the net from a tight angle.

It was Barham’s 13th goal of the season personally, nine coming in Phoenix Sports’ colours before his switch.

Alexander said: “Jack Barham doesn’t give people a minute’s peace, he’s a pain!  You don’t want to play against him. The lad thought he had more time than he did but he didn’t realise Jack Barham was baring down on him.  The kid works his socks off and he gets everything that he deserves.

“It’s 13 goals for the season, he’s a goalscorer and not only is he a goalscorer but it’s nice to see someone play with a smile on their face whenever they turn up.  He’s hungry, he’s got a passion for football and everything he gets going forward, he deserves.”

Going by that comment, it seems that Barham won’t be staying at the club for much longer, with the highly-rated striker on the cusp of a move to a higher level of football.

Greenwich Borough deserved their victory tonight, which was built on Phillips’ outstanding performance at the back, which pleased his manager.

“We were hard to beat and hard to break down. We limited them too. George had two saves but shots from range. If you can do that against Carshalton, we have to take a lot of belief from that because they’re a good side and they have very good individuals.

“We’ve had a few blips where we haven’t been at our best, we haven’t performed but we’re getting into stride and we’re moving nicely.

“We’re capable of winning games if we turn up and we’re capable of turning in the bad ones, so we have to make sure we stay on a level and we’re ready for every game we play.”

Alexander has given his players Thursday off following their exploits tonight but will train on Saturday as they are without a game after Hanwell Town, then bottom of their division, knocked them out of The Buildbase FA Trophy at the first attempt.

Since then, however, Greenwich Borough have gone five games unbeaten and travel to Bostik Premier side Dulwich Hamlet in the Velocity Trophy Second Round next Tuesday 31 October.

“Our league form has been good. Hanwell was disappointing.  We don’t want to lose any football match but I could not accept the manner we lost to Hanwell, the same as Shoreham,” reflected Alexander.

“Every time we have set-backs like that the boys respond and I have to give them credit for that, they’re a great bunch in there.  They know when they need a rollocking and they know when they need a pat on the back and they’re doing well at the moment, so long may it continue.

“Pats on the back tonight, we’ve got a break now, we’ll take Thursday off, we’ll train Saturday going into the Dulwich game.   I’ve got a squad and got players coming back from injury, I’ve got young lads all capable of playing so we’ll manage it the best we can but we’ll have one eye on our league game.”

Carshalton Athletic: Billy Bishop, Thomas Jelley, Jordan Cheadle, Paris Hamilton-Downes (Ryan Healy 62), Michael Aziaya, Mekhail McLaughlin, Ricky Korboa, Bobby Price, Raheem Sterling-Parker (Josh Philips 69), Tommy Bradford, Mickel Miller.
Subs: Peter Adeniyi, Danny Dudley, Reece Cave

Booked: Raheem Sterling-Parker 45, Michael Aziaya 57

Greenwich Borough: George Kamurasi, Nathan Paul, Tom Carlse, Ali Fuseini, Mark Phillips, Dean Gunner, Bradley Pritchard, Sam Corne, Charlie MacDonald (Conner Hunte 82), Jack Barham (Ryan King-Elliot 90), Jack Sammoutis (Becka-Kah Dembele 39).
Subs: Cameron Reardon, Lewis Clarke

Goals: Charlie MacDonald 14, Mark Phillips 58, Jack Barham 90

Booked: Charlie MacDonald 45

Attendance: 314
Referee: Mr Hugh Gilroy (Hammersmith, London W6)
Assistants: Mr Andrew Batten (Uxbridge, Middlesex) & Mr Conor Griffin (Hanwell, Middlesex)

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