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Carshalton Ath.

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History.

Isthmian League 1973–2004

In the summer of 1973 Carshalton Athletic finally achieved a promotion of sorts when they were elected as founder members of the newly created Isthmian League Division 2. The first two seasons proved to be a struggle and in their third they just missed out on promotion finishing third in the league. Three years of struggle paid off in the 1976–77 season when promotion to the Isthmian Premier Division after finishing as runners up in the league in a year in which they also won the Surrey Senior Shield.

After promotion in the league the club entered another period of struggling, not finishing in the top half until the 1987–88 season. This coincided with the start of years of upheaval in the organisation of the ownership and running of the club both on and off the field. The best that could be offered to supporters in this period was a solitary cup run as the club reached the second round proper of the FA Challenge Cup for the first time before losing 4–1 to Fourth Division Torquay United. Over this period Carshalton Athletic had 8 different managers and it was only the final appointment of Billy Smith in August 1986 that began to turn the club's fortunes around.

The first Billy Smith era lasted for nearly 9 years and was the most successful period in the club's history. During his time in charge of the club twice reaching the 1st Round Proper of the FA Challenge Cup, winning the Surrey Senior Cup three times in four years and reaching the final 5 times in 7 years, recording its highest ever placing in the league at the end of the 1988–89 season and winning the London Challenge Cup in 1991. This period came to an end when Billy Smith left to take charge of Kingstonian, and was followed by a rapid turnover of managers.

Under John Rains, the club reached the third round of the FA Trophy. Gary Kilby led them to the first round proper of the 1997–98 FA Cup, in which they lost to Stevenage Borough after a replay, and former player Gary Bowyer twice led a successful fight against relegation. In 2000, with the club in severe financial difficulties, the ownership changed hands twice, Bowyer was dismissed, the clubhouse was destroyed in an arson attack, and the ground's landlords, Sutton Council, threatened the club with eviction for breaching their lease.[1][2] At the end of that season, Carshalton were relegated to Division One. Two years later, Graham Roberts led them to the Division One South title, to gain promotion to the Premier Division. The following season, they finished seventh, thus qualifying for the new Conference South.

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Conference South

After a £12 million plan to rebuild the ground fell through,[3] chairman Steve Friend resigned, followed by manager Billy Smith. Under Jimmy Bolton, Carshalton retained their place in the Conference South in 2004–05.

In 2005–06, the club's centenary season, the Club was relegated back to the Isthmian League.

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Isthmian League 2008–onwards

The new millenium did little to help the club's financial problems. Like many clubs at the time Carshalton Athletic found it difficult to pay its bills and was severely overstretched by a hefty playing budget.

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The previous season's relegation was a blow, but the Club was not new to hard times - over the previous two decades the club had been on the edge of bankrupcy numerous times, seeing five different owners and a long line of chairmen. In 2008 the club was technically insolvent. Despite having some sucess in stabilising Carshalton Athletic, the then current owners could not see a way through its financial difficulties without change, there were large tax bills that the club could not pay.

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Local businessman Paul Dipre purchased the club in 2008, paid off substantial tax bills and set out a ten year plan to develop the club into a community hub. Dipre promised to re-juvenate the club from the bottom up.

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Carshalton finished mid table in 2006–07 but the following season 2007–08 saw disappointing early results and as a result the manager Dave Garland left the club in October 2007. The appointment of Hayden Bird was one of the last acts of the previous owners.

Hayden made some high profile signings and there was a noticeable commitment to playing attractive, passing football but the Robins still faced another nail-biting fight for survival in the Isthmian League Premier Division. Paul Dipre injected sufficient funds to strengthen the squad in an effort to avoid relegation. It went right to the wire and, miraculously, last day results elsewhere fell perfectly and Carshalton's home win over Tonbridge Angels was enough to secure their status.

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The season 2008–09 was the first full season under new ownership. The reserves and junior sections were axed in favour of a new academy and junior section. The club began a long-term investment program to renew its crumbling facilities. Directors and staff were axed in favour of a new management team.

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The first year under Dipre was one of the club's most successful. On the pitch, aided with 31 goals from Richard Jolly, The Robins finished in 4th place, setting up a play-off semi-final with Tonbridge Angels. Athletic claimed a thrilling 3-2 win to meet Staines Town in the final. Held at Staines's Wheatsheaf Park Ground, Carshalton more than held their own against Staines, who had finished 2nd in the regular season. Sadly for The Robins, an 85th-minute penalty was saved by Staines 'keeper Louis Wells, and Scott Taylor scored an extra-time winner for Staines.

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At the end of this season the club decided to revert to its original colours of Red and also modernised its badge. The change was supported by the majority of fans who saw the colour change as one that reflected the club's early heritage, but a small group of fans (largely led by the club officials ousted by Dipre) lobbied against the change strongly.

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On 1 September 2009, manager Hayden Bird resigned as the club's first team manager; Ian Hazel was placed in caretaker charge. On 10 September the club announced the appointment of former Carshalton player Francis Vines as Bird's permanent replacement.

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Shortly before the 2010–11 season Mark Butler was placed in charge of the club. After a promising first half of the season, Butlers results went from bad to worse until finally the owner Paul Dipre too the reins. The team finished 13th.

The 2011–12 season was a rollercoaster for the first team. Dipre's first season as manager ended in 16th position. Despite the inconsistent league form there was much to celebrate in the FA Trophy with one of the most Historic results in the club's history when they beat Lincoln City 3–1 at Colston Avenue, Paul Vines scoring a hat-trick. At the beginning of the following season Dipre removed himself from the manager's position and coach Tommy Williams, also a former player of the club, took the reins and officially took the job in October 2012.

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Carshalton Athletic was bestowed with three community club awards throughout 2012 – the South East Regional Community Club of the Year, the Surrey FA Community Club of the Year and the FA National Community Club of the Year, the latter awarded to chairman Frank Williams and youth development officer Paul Williams by ex-professional footballers Chris Kamara and Martin Keown, plus TV presenter Ben Shepherd.

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In the following year the club won the UEFA silver award for the best grassroots club in Europe, one of the greatest accolades in the club's history.

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In Tommy Williams first season as manager, Carshalton finished 21st in the Isthmian Premier in 2012-13, which ordinarily would have seen them relegated. However, a points deduction and consequent relegation for Thurrock gave them a reprieve, keeping them in the Isthmian Premier for the 2013-14 season.

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In the following season Carshalton Athletic were relegated to the Ryman South under Stuart Massey.

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The 3G

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In 2015 the club decided to apply for planning permission to install a 3G pitch. The application was supported by almost everyone at Carshalton Athletic. The 3G was intended to provide faciliies for the 500 or so junior players and other local clubs. It would secure the club's future.  The club applied for planning. The original planning application was recommended by the council for approval, but rejected by councillors in January 2014. The club appealed, and won in January 2015.

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The 3g was installed in the Summer of 2015. The entire Ground was also refurbished between May 2016 - August 2017. Colston Avenue has become a busy sports and community hub seven days a week serving teams, clubs and community organisations.

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2015/6

The 2015/16 was a reasonable year for the first team finishing a respectable 10th place in Ryman South. Managers Matt Howard and Chris McGinn each had good spells on the pitch. Fans favourite Tommy Bradford won the players of the year award with 24 goals and performances improved as the season went on. By the end of the season and following a number of unsucessful appointments over recent years,  the club decided on a new approach to the 1st team management structure. That new structure was implemented in April 2016 when Peter Adeniyi, Ted Dale and Mike Gilham were appointed as Manager, Head Coach and Coach respectively. 

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2016/17

Peter Adeniyi's first season was a good one. Peter further improved the teams style of play and pushed the youth policy with renewed vigour. Ex- player Stuart Searle joined Peter's team as coach in replacement of Mike Gilham who had moved into an Academy role at Fulham.  The club was in the playoff places for much of the season but not at the time when it counted and finished one place short of a valuable playoff position. Nevertheless The Robins had made clear their ambitions on the pitch and Peter Adeniyi agreed to stay on for the season 2017/18.

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2017/18

Peter Adeniyi's second season started with some important new signings. Billy Bishop took the number 1 shirt, Raheem Sterling Parker joined from Chipstead and Jordan Cheadle from Walton casuals. At Christmas Keith Boanas joined the Robins in the role of head Coach. In January, academy graduate and Top goalscorer Mickel Miller transferred to Scottish Premiership side Hamilton Academical for an undisclosed fee.