Ryman League Division One South
Saturday 8th November 2014
Report and Pics by Stuart Tree
Casuals chief Matt Howard feared for a long hard winter as Corinthian-Casuals suffered their third defeat in four games after their visit to South Park saw the hosts run out 4-1 winners.
With six regulars out of the side… Jamie Byatt, Niall Wright, Carl Wilson-Denis, Lee Hall, Jason Turley and Danny Green all unavailable, it was a major reshuffle in the Casuals ranks as Howard tried to patch a side together. The returning Danny Dudley was placed in the unfamiliar right-back role. There was also rare starts for Cisse Bamoussa and Michael Salako with Jake Gill and Dan Bedford only having a handful of first team experience between them.
On a cold and wet afternoon, Casuals started well and had the first chance for Casuals after his volley fired just wide of South Park’s post. Michael Salako also missed a decent opportunity to score but with only the Campbell, the keeper to beat, couldn’t find the target as Park’s stopper was forced into a good save.
Casuals were to rue the missed opportunities and on 32 minutes, Joe Jackson was able to finish off a neat move which saw the South Park striker fire home from close range. Just two minutes later, Jackson made it two after connecting with a cross from the right wing. By this point, Danny Bracken in the Casuals goal had already made a host of good saves but was not enough to see Corinth go into the break two down.
It was more of the same in the second half with Kieran Lavery adding a third, slotting home under the Casuals keeper after some slick passing play. The nearest Casuals came to anything that looked like mustering a chance was Michael Salako’s looping header which was expertly tipped over by Campbell.
Howard made three changes together, introducing Ross Defoe, Mason Welch-Turner and Joel Thompson to the match. It was the latter that gave Casuals a glimmer of hope; heading home from a corner to make it 3-1.
However, with time running out, South Park finished off the game as Dave Smith added a fourth deep into injury time.
The rain lashed down as the players trudged back into the changing rooms capping off a miserable afternoon for the men in Chocolate and Pink. After the match, Matt Howard commented.
“We should’ve gone 2-0 up. Cisse Bamoussa has missed a good chance as has Michael Salako which could’ve seen us two goals up. We haven’t taken them and they’ve gone up the other end and punished us.
“I’m not going to be too critical. Maybe my expectations was I expect too much of the players.
“Let’s be honest; we struggle every year. We got off to an absolutely flying start this season and maybe everyone got a little bit carried away with it. Over the course of thirty-odd games, which is how long I’ve been here for now, maybe the true colours are showing… maybe we just aren’t good enough.
“I don’t care whatever club you are at, whatever level you play, if you miss four, five or six of your starting eleven, you’re going to struggle. Niall Wright, Carl Wilson-Denis, Jamie Byatt and Lee Hall would start every week without a doubt. Plus you could make an argument for Jason Turley and Danny Green, who both could be starting at the minute… of course we’re going to struggle.
“In all honesty, at half time and two-nil down, the game was over. We didn’t have enough quality to turn that around today.
“I’ve said to the lads, I’m not going to scream and shout at them. Maybe they just aren’t good enough. Maybe it is going to be a long hard winter and we are going to be struggling. That might get a reaction from them.”