Molesey progressed to the semi-finals of the Surrey Senior Cup for the first time in 17 years with a comprehensive and thoroughly deserved 2-0 win at Ryman Premier Division side Carshalton Athletic.

Goals in each half from Moses Spencer and Joe Pratley-Jones did the damage, however there were colossal performances all over the pitch, and in Ashley Lodge the Moles had the games outstanding player who gave Carshalton’s ex-Nottingham Forest full-back Justyn Roberts a torrid evening.

With two quarter final defeats to their name already in March along with recent indifferent league form, a season that has put smiles back on Moles’ faces was in danger of petering out as they came up against a side 35 places above them in the league pyramid, but after a quiet but solid opening the Moles went on to dominate proceedings, and could have won by a more handsome margin.

Make no mistake, unlike the Sutton United side knocked out in an earlier round that was littered with youngsters and fringe players, this was Carshalton’s first choice eleven, minus one or two recent recruits who were not signed in time to take part.

However, it was to the Moles advantage that they came up against a club engulfed in turmoil following owner Paul Dipre’s recent decision to axe manager Mark Butler and place himself in charge with ex Moles boss Ian Hazel as his assistant, much to the fury of the majority of the Robins supporters.

Illness to Luke Elliott meant a reshuffle in defence, with Andy Graves shifting across to centre half, and Doug Ford and James Duke coming in at full backs.

A hip injury continues to keep top scorer Lewis Ackerman out, meaning Arnold Tawonezvi and Darius Heravi started a game together for just the second time.

The opening 15 minutes saw the Robins have a lot of the ball without troubling Wester Young. Luke Pigden – part of the Godalming side that knocked Molesey out on their way to winning this competition last season – skewed an effort well wide after capitalising on a loose header from the otherwise excellent Duke.

Lodge had two efforts deflected wide in quick succession, before Joe Pratley-Jones saw a drive from the edge of the box fall agonisingly wide of the far post following good play on the right from Tawonezvi and Lodge.

The breakthrough came five minutes from half-time when a free kick was not properly cleared and dropped kindly to Spencer to fire home from ten yards against his former club.

It was nearly two a minute later when a quick counter-attack which again involved Lodge terrorising the home defence resulted in James McShane’s first time volley being kept out by Craig Ross.

It took until the stroke of half-time for the Robins to get an effort on target, Young easily keeping out Joel Ledgister’s drive from the edge of the box.

Carshalton thought they’d grabbed an equaliser shortly after half-time, but Spencer was on hand to make a terrific goal-line clearance after Chris Henry’s effort had squirmed past Young, but the Moles were soon on the attack again, and after a McShane shot was comfortably saved by Ross, Heravi had a golden opportunity to double the Moles lead after a mistake from substitute Tommy Williams, but after finding himself one on one with Ross, his drive was blocked by the keeper’s legs.

The killer goal arrived midway through the half when a McShane free kick found its way to Tawonezvi on the left touchline.

Tawonezvi did exceptionally well to dig out a cross that was headed away as far as Pratley-Jones on the edge of the box.

His left footed strike took a wicked deflection to leave Ross with no chance and put the Moles in dreamland.

The Moles held out relatively comfortably for the remainder of the game, and nearly had the audacity to add a third in stoppage time when Tawonezvi wriggled his way past two defenders but saw his drive saved by Ross, when perhaps a square ball to Heravi would have been the better option.

Still, it mattered little and there was delight at the final whistle at the Moles 75th victory in this competition which sets up a semi final clash with Leatherhead, with a first ever appearance in the final at stake for the Moles, whilst the Tanners have not reached the final since a 4-1 defeat against Camberley in 1979.