Ryman League Division One South
Saturday 9th August 2014
By Stuart Tree
A David Abe brace coupled with George Crimmen’s opener condemned Corinthian-Casuals to their first league opening day home defeat in fourteen years.
Sittingbourne travelled to Tolworth with a new look side after losing six key players throughout the summer. In contrast, Casuals fielded an almost identical side that thrashed Redhill 7-0 in the last league match back in April.
Not looking to give anything away, both sides produced a cagey start with chances at a premium. Half chances fell to the home side including a rasping shot from Juevan Spencer and Mahrez Bettache who could only find the side netting.
Despite large passages of possession, it was the visitors who took the lead, the first of two goals from a corner kick - George Crimmen heading home when unchallenged.
In the 47th minute, David Abe broke free and calmly slotted the ball under keeper Danny Bracken to give Sittingbourne a 2-0 lead. Two attacks… two goals.
Casuals looked to press on and get something out of the game, but resolute defending and decent goalkeeping thwarted any comeback.
And it was down to Abe once again to rub salt into the wounds of the Casuals as another corner went uncontested and Abe’s looping header found the back of the net. A 3-0 scoreline didn’t necessarily reflect the run of play, but with defensive frailties combined with Casuals lack of clinical finishing, the result condemns them to the foot of the table with Sittingbourne fans chanting “We are top of the league”.
Casuals Boss Matt Howard said of the result “It’s certainly not what we wanted. It’s not an ideal result at all as you want to get on the board right away.
“I’m not going to get carried away though. If we had won 3-0, I wouldn’t be saying we’ll win the league, just as I’m saying because we lost 3-0 doesn’t mean we’re going to get relegated.
“I actually thought we played okay. There’s a bit of work to be done defensively, as to concede two goals from set plays is frustrating.
“If you had stats on possession, you’d probably say we had 80% of the ball, so there are positives to take even though the end product wasn’t there.”
Casuals next two games are on the road to Sussex-based sides. Worthing on Wednesday evening and Burgess Hill Town on Saturday.
Pics from the game can be seen here.