2 January 2018
Dom on Lewes, Carshalton and Brannon Daly
Manager gives his thoughts on the last two matches, and provides an update on our injured 'keeper
The Hornets have an early opportunity to atone for Saturday’s disastrous display at Cray when they host Carshalton Athletic this evening, in a match generously sponsored by Merc247. ‘Unacceptable’ and ’embarrassing’ are just two words used by Dom di Paola to describe his side’s humiliating 8-0 FA Trophy loss and the manager has challenged his players to prove that they have a future with the club, while hinting that he could be ringing the changes for the visit of the tenth-placed Robins.
With so many players currently out injured, di Paola has now been rocked by the news that goalkeeper Josh James and Matt Axell have decided to take time out from football, the latter wanting to concentrate on his business commitments. With Michael Hunter happy to play a role as ‘back-up’ ‘keeper while dividing his time between the south of England and California, di Paola has moved to bring in highly-rated Arundel stopper James Fernandes and returned to Lewes to bring pacy frontman Liam MacDevitt back to the club. MacDevitt, who scored three times in twenty-one appearances for the Hornets in the first half of last season, is the third recent arrival from the Dripping Pan along with current loanees Will Robinson and George Landais.
Landais is expected to return to the side tonight, having been barred from playing in Saturday’s FA Trophy tie by his parent club, as could Lewis Hyde who missed the visit to Kent due to a bruised foot. Darren Boswell is still suffering from the effects of ‘flu but Alex Duncan could continue his return to match fitness by being included in the squad. Perhaps the only positive to be taken from Saturday’s Hayes Lane horror show was that there were no further injuries and with Boswell, Scott Kirkwood and Duncan all beginning their comebacks, di Paola can take heart that his more senior players are starting to return to the fold.
Carshalton produced arguably the most impressive performance of all our opponents last season, when romping to a 5-1 win at Colston Avenue, and were among the favourites to make the play-offs this time round but come to Culver Road on the back of two successive defeats and with a record of just one win in the last seven matches in all competitions. On Saturday they went out of the FA Trophy to Heybridge Swifts, having previously gone down 2-0 at Hastings. Despite ending goalless in both of those games, The Robins are a potent threat up front and scored twenty-nine goals in the nine matches prior to that match at Hastings. Ever the entertainers, they have also conceded twenty-six in their last ten outings so supporters should be in for an interesting evening!
Last season’s corresponding fixture saw Carshalton return victorious from their opening day visit to Goring’s Mead, when goals from Mickel Miller and a Ricky Korboa brace rendered George Branford’s stoppage time goal a mere consolation.
Kick-off is 7.30pm