Carshalton Athletic currently lie 14th in the Ryman League Premier Division table, behind footballing powerhouses like the Metropolitan Police (no really) and East Thurrock United. Their last home game attracted a crowd of just 208. They are also part-timers, combining their football with dayjobs. Lincoln City, meanwhile, are full time professionals who play every week in front of thousands. It’s the glory of the FA Trophy that teams like these two are brought together. But the casual observer at Sincil Bank on Saturday would have been hard pushed to tell which was which.
Carshalton, in an all purple kit best described as ‘brave’, formed the traditional ‘tough to break down’ defensive unit, but also managed to escape forward and threaten the Lincoln goal, hitting the post once and forcing Joe Anyon to make a couple of saves in the first half.
The Imps, on the other hand, looked like an experimental team filled with trialists playing a friendly. There was no cohesion, no sense that they were a team in any real sense of the word. Conal Platt and new signing Paul Robson literally ran into each other on a couple of occasions down the right wing. The wingers kept putting crosses into the box after it’d been conclusively proved that the Imps posed no aerial threat at all.
It was Alan Power who proved to be the Imps only real threat. On as a half time substitute he immediately set about running at the Carshalton defence, setting up Simon Russell for a poorly taken shot, then winning a free kick on the edge of the area.
It was a game of few chances until the closing stages when a clearance from an Imps corner found Power on the edge of the box. The Irishman’s shot crashed against the bar, ending the Imps’ chances of progression. 0-0 then, and the Imps were booed off after another low in a season of lows