‘Robbo’ was one of three changes to the side that clinched the championship and promotion at Bowers & Pitsea last Saturday. The desperately unlucky Cam Tutt – injured in setting-up the winner for Jasper Pattenden – was replaced by Pat Webber, while Dean Cox was preferred to the benched Dajon Golding and a knock to Callum Kealy resulted in Robinson being given a chance to show what he could do, from the beginning. DG was joined in the dugout by Will Seager and three members of the U18’s double-winning squad, namely Joe Rye, Kyle O’Brien and Ollie Starkey.
The game had only just begun when the hosts stunned their visitors by taking the lead after three minutes.
Jesse Starkey turned on a short Webber pass on the left and soon supplied James Beresford, tight to the touchline. He slipped a lovely ball inside Bradley Williams for Reece Myles-Meekums to latch onto and slot coolly past the advancing Lloyd Thomas.
A classy Carshalton had honoured the newly-crowned champions with a traditional guard of honour before the match got underway, although a flapping Thomas paid the homesters a little too much respect at a Cox corner. Coming out to meet and palm away the midfielder’s set-piece merely resulted in Aarran Racine recycling and returning a high cross that Ollie Pearce chested down and Robinson pounced on, to stroke home his first goal in a Worthing shirt.
At this early stage in proceedings, the Surrey-based guests simply had no answer to a rampant Reds, who showed why they are ahead of the rest; putting on a champions performance as they tore their opponents apart.
We’d not quite reached the halfway point in the opening period when goal number three arrived.
Once again it emanated from a flag-kick on the left, sent in on this occasion by Starkey that Webber was allowed to run onto, unopposed, stealing a march on Williams to side-foot in first time and leave the Robins reeling.
A bright day, a bright kit although, up to this point, not matched by anything on the pitch from the travelling team who’d convincingly beaten us on our trip to the War Memorial Sports Ground at the start of the year.
That briefly changed following Marvin Armstrong losing possession in his own half, presenting Tommy Bradford with the opportunity to find former Worthing trialist Danny Bassett. Athletic’s nineteen-goal top scorer released Lewis White to his left, only for the ex-Dulwich winger to advance to the penalty area and place his shot past Harrison Male’s far post.
However, normal service resumed after the change of ends, thanks to Pattenden’s nod forward for Pearce to drift across the back of Luke Read, who was left floundering on the floor, appealing in vain for a foul. Ollie proceeded to round Thomas and slot home from an acute angle, edging further ahead of Enfield Town’s Mo Faal in the race for the Golden Boot.
Jasper also had more than a helping hand in making it five before the hour; picking up an Armstrong pass in his own half and embarking on a tremendous run along the right wing, then, eventually hanging up a delivery for an unmarked Robinson to loop a header over a rooted-to-the-spot Thomas. Despite the best efforts of Read on the line.
An event as rare as a reliable railway service then occurred, with the increasingly influential Armstrong muscling Captain Paris Hamilton-Downes off the ball and Cox clipping through for Ollie to take his time, turn, though be unable to keep his attempt low enough to trouble Thomas.
A sun-soaked crowd were nearly shocked again moments later, with Bassett’s seemingly harmless through ball being apparently shepherded out of play by Male. Dan Roberts had other ideas though and, quick as a flash, intercepted and laid back for Bobby Price to blast goalwards, where he was denied by the recovering ‘keeper’s brave block.
To their credit, Carshalton refused to give up on taking something from the match and very nearly did when White’s persistence paid off, forcing substitute Rye into conceding possession to Bassett. The striker rapidly returned the favour to White but his final effort lacked power and Male gathered comfortably.
Worthing were forced to defend another opening created via a pacy counter attack from their own corner, with just seven minutes remaining.
Abdul Sankoh’s final pass saw sub Malaki Hyman race to the byline and squeeze a low ball across that fellow replacement O’Brien cleared off the line, at the expense of a flag-kick, at the other end. The subsequent set piece resulted in Williams rising highest at the back stick but unable to keep his header down.
A true champions showing ended with the hosts moving onto ninety-four points and ninety-eight goals, as a double century moved ever-closer to becoming a reality.