Promotion chasers Carshalton Athletic and Tooting & Mitcham clash on Boxing Day at Colston Avenue, with Robins boss Peter Adeniyi admitting he doesn’t fear the visitors.
Both clubs have rarely been outside the Ryman South top five this season as Carshalton look to peg back their near neighbours, who sit six points ahead of their hosts in second place.
Carshalton boast some of the highest goalscorers in the league so far this season and the likes of Ricky Korboa and Mickel Miller will be itching to fire the Robins to victory – although they could find their path to goal blocked by defensive ex-colleagues Quincy Rowe and Adriano Moraes.
“Unfortunately we’ll have second top scorer Tommy Bradford and midfielder Jordan Hibbert missing through suspension but we have others who can come in and cope under pressure,” said Carshalton player/manager Adeniyi.
“We’ve also been tweaking things in training recently and it’s so pleasing to see the players taking to new ideas and approaches.
“We respect Tooting’s league position but we don’t fear them and I’m looking forward to an interesting game of football.”
Tooting lost the league’s leading marksman, Billy Dunn, to rivals Greenwich Borough earlier this month, so replacement Marcel Barrington will wish to endear himself to the United faithful by finding the net in this encounter.
They have goals in their midfield however and the likes of Jordan Wilson, another ex-Carshalton man, and Chace O’Neill will by trying to their utmost to add to their tallies and spread further festive joy throughout the United fans.
In fact, as both clubs have been finding the net for fun so far this league campaign, the promise of goals is high – Carshalton have hit 56 to date, including an impressive 10-0 win over Godalming Town, while Tooting have mustered a massive 70, with eight coming in one game against Molesey.
Last season the clubs won their respective home fixtures against each other, with Kingsley Aikhionbare firing home a 90th-minute winner for Carshalton in a 1-0 win, but Tooting have won five of their last eight away games and will be looking to add a sixth.
“There are plenty of points up for grabs over the Christmas and New Year period, so we’ve set ourselves what I feel is a realistic target to hit,” added Adeniyi.
“We are simply concentrating on accumulating as many as we can but it’s important not to let the teams above us pull away, so we’ll be giving everything to ensure we try and cap this Christmas with three points.”
Picture courtesy of Ian Gerrard, with thanks