Ryman League Division One South
Saturday 17th October 2015
Match Report: Darren Pasley
Pics: Stuart Tree (full set here)
“We don’t fear anyone” was the message from a defiant James Bracken despite Casuals 2-1 setback at home to Herne Bay.
Whilst the result moved Casuals down to 4th, the performance as a whole would have taken 3 points on most afternoons this season but the Kent side were victorious thanks to two own goals.
The visitors threatened early with Dan Johnson striding forward and having a shot saved by Bracken before Elliot Cutts was thwarted on the rebound by some determined defending.
In the 4th minute Emmanuel Akokhia was upended by the skipper Liam Quinn with a yellow card issued but Josh Uzun guided the free kick over.
A better effort from the in-form frontman came shortly afterwards but his volley sizzled just over after Juevan Spencer did well to create the opportunity.
Herne Bay had a shout for a penalty waved away in the 15th minute when Connor Sanders went down under a challenge from Danny Bracken. With a corner awarded the resulting kick saw the same player head over from 8 yards as both sides looked for the opener.
Bracken was on hand to make a superb block after Frannie Collin was out through but in any-case the assistants flag was raised. Casuals best chances continued to come from range and Niall Wright was inches from opening the scoring as a 25 yard half volley flew just over.
The set piece delivery of Danny Walder at the other end was also causing problems and both James Turner followed by Quinn should have done better with headed efforts from the craft of visiting number 7.
With the pressure mounting from Casuals leading up to the break Danny Dudley headed just wide from a corner and Spencer had a dangerous cross well defended as the visitors hung on.
Indeed just before the whistle Sekou Kaba still seeking his first Casuals goal was denied by his own team mate Kevant Serbony who blocked his seemingly goal-bound effort.
A competitive and even first half continued in the same vain after the restart. Walder having a shot blocked by Murray after good from from Danny Williams before Akokhia being denied by keeper Jack Delo after his first time effort appeared to be creeping in.
Casuals were starting to build the momentum and one again Kaba went close this time side-footing wide after Spencer was denied again by keeper Delo.
Danny Dudley went even closer to opening the scoring from a corner but the defender on the post did his job before Casuals were hit by a sucker punch.
A 61st minute delivery from the left from Johnson appeared to present no danger but debutant left back Ben King saw the cross inadvertently glance off his head and past Bracken for the games opening goal.
If Casuals were to feel a little hard done by they had little time to reflect as within a minute they were level. With the ball pinged out the right Serbony strong on the tackle powered into the box and rolled across for Kaba to tap home and gleefully open his Casuals' account. (pic below)
In full-flow it seemed likely to only be one winner but a resolute home defence marshalled by a inform keeper kept the hosts at bay. Spencer coming closest when through on goal but with the keeper making himself big the ball was rolled agonisingly the wrong side of the post.
As earlier in the half the visitors scored again out of nothing with what proved to be the games 78th minute winner. Williams allowed to get a cross in from the right and Danny Bracken under pressure from Collin tipped the cross into his own net. Despite the protest from keeper and defenders alike the goal was given.
The final 10 minutes saw the home side through everything at their opposition. Sub Cherno Mendy having a free kick well saved by Delo and Uzun volleying over. In the 4th minute of stoppage time Casuals believed they had salvaged a point when Uzun smashed an unstoppable drive towards goal. However not for the first time Delo pulled off an outstanding save this time flinging himself full length to his left and earning the points.
We’re disappointed not to get another win despite doing enough to do so,” said James Bracken after the match. “We deserved it but they’ve scored two poor goals and they’ve taken the win.
“Individuals should’ve done better for the goals and individual errors have cost us. We’ve got to defend better than that. But I’m not going to single any one out. We win, lose and draw as a team.
“We had two or three chances to score goals today. Throughout the second half, we’ve missed the target on pretty much every occasion. We have pulled out a few good saves from their keeper and we’ve been close with one or two other efforts.
“When a winning team’s goalkeeper is given man of the match by their side, that says more than I can.
Speaking of Ben King who made his debut, Bracken continued, “I thought Ben was fantastic. He played really well. He’s missed three months through injury and had a game last week for the reserves which he got through half injured. I spoke to him and he felt he was ready to come and do a job and he done more than that. He didn’t lose a header, performed for 90 minutes and looked good. He’ll only get better too.
“Every team has to look out for us. Our league position doesn’t lie; we’re up there on merit. I’ve seen a lot of the teams in this division now and we don’t fear anyone. It’s just about whether we can get things right and take our chances. We’ll always create and if we do take them, we’re in with a shout of doing good things.”