Isthmian League Premier Division Sat 23 March Cheshunt Stadium
  • Orafu (41')
Carshalton Ath

The Ambers made it three wins from three and pushed even further away from the relegation zone on Saturday as they defeated Carshalton Athletic. A late first half strike from Nathaniel Orafu was the difference between the two sides.

Craig Edwards made two changes to the team that defeated Folkestone Invicta 3-2 on Tuesday night. Taylor Miles and Enock Ekongo came into the side to replace Jamie Reynolds and Chevron McClean from the start. Brian Okonkwo started just his second game between the sticks since joining on loan from Arsenal. Jack Roberts joined on loan from Braintree Town this week, he made his debut from the bench.

The first opportunity of the game fell to the hosts, Ekongo played Alfie Pendlebury through on goal, but it was defended well by Lexus Beeden. Moments after, Nnamdi Nwachuku eased past Paris Hamilton-Downes and went for a ball in across goal. The ball in troubled Aaron Jones in the Carshalton goal but he managed to hold on to it.

The Ambers really started to up the pressure after ten minutes, the team were pressing well and making the away team panic at the back. However, it was the visitors with the first massive chance of the match. Oluwabunmi Babajide got himself in behind the defence, but Brian Okonkwo made a great save, with a strong arm down to his left to keep it level.

Nnamdi Nwachuku went close for Cheshunt as a ball between the defenders found him in behind, but it was well defended by Charlie Kennett and put out for a corner. Taylor Miles’ corner found Sam Kuffour at the back post, but he was unable to direct it on target.

Carshalton hit the crossbar after a deflected shot from Luke Read just before the half hour mark, the ball fell back into the danger zone and allowed the Robins to have another attempt, but it was eventually cleared away to safety.

There was a reshuffle and a change for the Ambers after 30 minutes as winger Antonis Vasiliou replaced defender Darion Furlong. This meant Craig Edwards put Billy Bates back into his more accustomed central defensive role,  despite impressing at the base of midfield.

there followed a minute of madness as Carshalton were denied by a brilliant save by Okonkwo. Cheshunt counter attacked quickly as the ball was played up the left to Alfie Pendlebury. The big man played a brilliant ball to the back post to Nwachuku, but he couldn’t quite get contact on it to get it on target.

But it wouldn’t matter as moments later the Ambers took the lead through Nathaniel Orafu. Our number 4 picked up the ball outside the box and shot from distance. His low powerful strike was too much for Aaron Jones in the Carshalton net as the ball rolled straight through first his hands then his legs.

HT: 1-0

Cheshunt thought they had made it two just two minutes into the second period. Goal scorer Orafu picked up the ball in midfield, he hit a great pass up to Nwachuku on the left. He cut in on his right and played an inch perfect cross to Pendlebury. Alfie headed it down and past the goalkeeper, but the linesman flagged for offside. Brian Okonkwo was called into action again minutes later as he made a great save from an effort by Mason Saunder-Henry.

First half substitute Vasiliou went close after yet another great cross to the back post from Nwachuku. He was unable to get his header on target. The Ambers had the bit between their teeth  as moments later  Pendlebury was found running in behind, his shot from a tight angle was saved by the keeper.

Danger man Olu Babajide went close on two occasions as he was denied by Billy Bates in the penalty area just as he was about to shoot. Just a minute later he picked the ball up on the edge of the box and forced a great stretching save out of Gunners loanee Okonkwo.

Cheshunt went agonisingly close again as they were denied by a double save from Aaron Jones. After a great team move, Sam Granville had a header saved. The ball then came out to Vasiliou who’s low driven effort needed quick reactions from the keeper to keep it at 1-0. With just over ten minutes to go, Nnamdi cut in on his right foot from the left again, but this time had a shot that went just over the bar.

Carshalton kept the pressure on in the closing minutes but due to some brilliant defending from the Ambers they never really got close. Yet another brilliant win for the Ambers, we now sit ten points above the relegation zone and Margate, who we host at the Lane on Tuesday evening.

FT: Cheshunt 1-0 Carshalton Athletic

Man of The Match:  Sam Kuffour Cheshunt.

Attendance: 581

Referee: Mr Daniel Blades