Ryman League Division One South
Tuesday 20th October 2015
Match report and pics: Stuart Tree (photos here)
Additional photos from Andy Nunn here.
Corinthian-Casuals slid to a second defeat in four days as a solitary Jason Henry goal for Whyteleafe was enough to seal the points in an otherwise unmemorable encounter.
Despite losing 2-1 at King George’s Arena on Saturday, the scoreline hadn’t reflected the performance after two own goals were enough to topple James Bracken’s side. With this in mind and retribution from a Sam Clayton stoppage time winner in the reverse of this fixture three weeks ago, hopes were high amongst the Corinth faithful that this would be a fruitful night.
The ‘Leafe in direct contrast had come into the match on the back of a win against Carshalton despite losing their previous three fixtures. Before Casuals’ loss on Saturday, Bracken’s side held top spot in the form guide with five wins in five and seven in eight in all competitions.
If Casuals were to get something out of the match, they’d have to do it without hotshot Emmanuel Akokhia – side-lined with an injury. Dave Hodges could only make the bench with his right leg still heavily strapped following the two footed tackle at Sittingbourne ten days prior. Brandon Johnson was once again eligible to play following suspension but would start as a substitute.
The opening exchanges appeared cautious and the high tempo that Casuals normally play looked lacking. One factor being the slippery pitch which saw numerous players lose their footing throughout the match.
Josh Uzun came closest to opening the scoring for the home side when his free kick from 20 yards struck the crossbar. It was a warning shot from Corinth who looked good in possession but unable to otherwise break down a resolute ‘Leafe defence.
On 24 minutes came the only goal of the game; a defensive slip saw Jason Henry gifted with time and space on the ball. With only Danny Bracken to beat in goal, he placed it to the left of the keeper and Whyteleafe took the lead.
As they did on Saturday, Casuals immediately looked to get back into the match. Juevan Spencer’s pace down the wings caused problems but the final product appeared lacking. Kevant Serbony and Stef Joseph linked well on a through ball which saw the latter’s shot well saved by Brighton and Hove loanee Bailey Vose in goal.
A change in approach was deemed necessary to break down a solid defensive performance from the visitors, and at half time, James Bracken made two changes, replacing Uzun and Serbony with Ben Cotton and Cherno Mendy.
But it was unfortunate for Casuals that regular penalty taker, Uzun had been subbed. Corinth won a penalty which saw a nervous Mendy step up and with a stuttering approach, crashed his shot against the crossbar and out to safety. It appeared that the old adage of ‘could play all night and not score’ was going to be true. Despite this, Casuals mounted more and more pressure with Whyteleafe content to play on the break. Bracken was forced into a number of good stops from Leafe’s attack, which surely would have sealed the Casuals’ fate.
Alas, it was not to be. Despite large periods of possession and territorial advantage, Whyteleafe held firm and at times looked comfortable – not least Daryl Coleman in the centre who put in a fine performance. And so it was that Whyteleafe claimed all three points with a solitary goal, as per three weeks ago.