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Rocks Review: Rocks 2 Carshalton 1

The Rocks managed to hold on to beat struggling Carshalton - but had to endure a nerve-racking encounter to come out on top and gain their first win in three games.

Jon Marzetti was sidelined, meaning Dan Beck took full-back duties. Doug Tuck got a start while Jordan Clarke lined up on the wing against his old club.

A new recruit from Wessex League side Horndean - Rob Desport - was on the Rocks bench.

Josh Clarke had the first attempt on goal after just two minutes for Carshalton and Craig Stoner had to commit himself to block the attempt as the Robins looked the strongest of the two sides from kick-off.

Nathaniel Pinney was called offside before his volley inside the box after six minutes.

Beck surged forward to slot home, surprisingly easily, to give Rocks the lead after just seven minutes.

Luke Pigden’s 30-yard free kick sailed narrowly over the bar on ten minutes.

Jordan Clarke rounded a player and played it across goal with Terry Dodd failing to capitalise, the bouncing ball falling to James Crane, who hit a shot into the turf and it bounced wide of the left post.

Josh Clarke’s cross found Goodman inside the box but he missed the ball completely.

Jordan Clarke played a perfectly-weighted ball through to Crane, who had a low shot deflected over the bar by goalkeeper Nick Hamann. Then Wills’ cross found Stuart Axten in a crowded penalty box, the defender heading wide of the post.

Carshalton equalised on 23 minutes through a Pigden corner on the right. Justyn Roberts headed on to Pinney who glanced it into the net beyond Stoner.

Axten’s long forward ball over defence found Dodd on a run and he managed to just beat the keeper to it - but the referee stopped play for an apparent foul by Dodd.

Ricardo Joseph sped down the left to power in a cross for Ola Sogbanmu, who glanced a header wide from 15 yards.

Jordan Clarke ran through and slipped in Doug Tuck, who was brought down by Josh Clarke, who received a booking. Up stepped Ashley-Paul Robinson to slot gthe spot kick low into the bottom left corner on 37 minutes.

Dodd almost got through on goal as he ran on to another ball over the top. But after passing his defender, the ball was just too much for him.

HT 2-1

Carshalton had the best half-chance after the restart. Sam Griffiths couldn’t quite find a fellow player in the box and it was deflected out for a goal-kick.

Josh Clarke let fly with a shot from outside the area but it was hit straight at Stoner. Instantly Bognor replied with a counter attack from Dodd, who, after beating his marker, had only the goalkeeper to outwit, but his fierce shot bounced wide.

Jordan Clarke went to ground under a heavy challenge from Michael Kamara and the defender received a yellow card for his troubles on 53 minutes.

Josh Clarke sped past Daryl Wollers, before getting a low cross in for Pinney, but as he was sliding in the ball spun over the bar.

Pinney saw a shot go agonisingly wide of the left post with Stoner committed. Sogbanmu’s header moments later bounced wide from a decent cross as the visitors continued to apply the pressure.

On 67 minutes Dan Kempson replaced Dodd.

Jordan Clarke was shown a yellow card after the winger tangled with Anderson on the left flank on 70 minutes.

Josh Clarke sped past Wollers on the left to fling a dangerous cross into the back post and Pinney slid in to shoot wide with the goal at his mercy.

A surging run from centre back Louis John ended with Pigden being shown a yellow card for bringing the player down. Robinson took the free-kick but it was always rising over the bar.

Bognor tried to hold on to the ball but in many instances lost it very quickly, sparking groans from the crowd as frustration and anxiety set in.

Lewis Stockford replaced Jordan Clarke as Rocks tried to retain their lead.

The offside flag was shown by the linesman as Pinney belted the ball into the net after a worrying moment when the defence failed to clear their lines.

Rocks fans looked on with baited breath as Pinney sped into the box, passing Axten in the process, but his cross was blocked at the last moment.

Robinson blocked an attempt at a clearance down the right to run through and have an ambitious shot from long distance that flew narrowly over the bar.

ROCKS: Stoner, Clarke, Wollers, Crane, Axten, John, Beck, Wills, Dodd, Robinson, Tuck. Subs: Stockford, Kempson, Desport, Boyle.

LIAM GOODLEY

 

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