The Ryman Football League
Published 8th May 2012
The defender admitted that, from day one, the expectation for Carshalton to have a successful season was extremely high as a new manager and several new squad members came into the fold during last summer. "We struggled for consistency however and that is a key element required by any club at any level to achieve success," said Ray. "On our day we could beat anyone and we proved that in a couple of our cup runs, but our league form was very up and down."
Two of the tournaments Carshalton entered this season saw them make it to the quarter-final draw of the national FA Trophy competition and the semi-final of the Surrey Senior Cup. The Trophy run saw the Robins beat the likes of Blue Square Bet Premier side Lincoln City and Conference North side Bishop's Stortford - both clubs that currently play at a higher level than Carshalton.
"The two ties against Lincoln were an obvious highlight and beating them 3-1 at our ground, after earning a 0-0 at their place, was fantastic. So was the 5-0 win over Stortford, which showed us at our absolute best. But our league form was patchy and we drew or lost a few games by the odd goal which is frustrating," Ray added.
He believes that if Carshalton could've managed to hit the back of the net a few more times then the club would've finished with a total points tally higher than the fifty-two acheived.
"Striker Paul Vines shouldered the responsibility and did well to hit twenty-nine goals across all competitions. I'm not digging out anyone else in the squad but, at this level, I feel you need two strikers who hit fifteen or twenty and a midfielder that chips in with around ten. But, regardless of whether a game ends 0-0 or 3-3, the result is still the same."
Ray is confident that if manager Paul Dipre can keep the core of this squad for next season then Carshalton Athletic will have a good chance of improving on a sixteenth place finish.
"The squad has shown a lot of passion and commitment to the club and really played for each other over the past two months," he explained. "If the boss keeps these players, and adds the right kind of new signings throughout pre-season, then it will be interesting to see how the team progresses. I myself will be sitting down with Paul to discuss my future and his plans for the club soon."