Ryman League Division One South
Saturday 19th November 2016
Match report - Cameron Smith
Images: Stuart Tree (Full set here)
The inspired introduction of Jamie Byatt clinched all three points for Corinthian-
Casuals as an eighty-third minute winner devastated the gritty Horsham and
relieved creative Casuals on a wintry Saturday afternoon.
A dominating Dorking Wanderers and a ruthless Egham Town left Casuals with back to back
losses as the league leaders Dorking edged a 1-0 win; the Surrey County Cup
opposition Egham dispatched three to progress into the next round. Hoping to return to
winning ways, Casuals were up against Horsham FC, who are maintaining a solid mid-table
position at the moment. The Hornets, based in West Sussex, also felt the wrath of
Dorking- but on a monumental scale. Conceding an enormous seven goals, Horsham left
Westhumble on Tuesday with a 7-1 defeat.
The Corinthians starting lineup featured four changes from the loss to Egham. Max
Oldham was replaced by the custom striker Shaun Okojie whilst Juevan Spencer reverted
to the right wing leaving Josh Uzun to take his place up-front. An unchanged defence,
James Bracken opted for two switches in the midfield- Mahrez Bettache sitting out on the
bench ahead of Josh Gallagher. Also, Joe Hicks was recalled by parent club Hampton &
Richmond so the slot in midfield was grabbed by the explosive Brandon Johnson.
As soon as the referee blew his whistle to start the game, a high, fast-paced tempo was
set immediately as the Casuals wing men bombed down the flanks and produced cross
after cross early on. Distributing the ball across King George’s, Warren Morgan had
enough of passing and ventured on one of his trademark mazy runs towards the area.
Skipping past Horsham’s Tom Lawley, the right back dribbled past two other yellow shirts
before teeing Jordan Clarke on the edge of the box. Timed to perfection, Clarke’s effort
took a deflection off a Hornet defender before rolling out for a corner.
Ten minutes later, Casuals still dominated the chances. Barcelona-esque, the triangle of
Johnson, Clarke and Morgan produced another delightful passage of play as Johnson
lifted a pin-point pass for Morgan. The full-back plucked the ball from the air masterfully
before crossing to the open Okojie in the six-yard box. The terrific move was agonisingly
spurned as Okojie’s powerful effort hammered against the crossbar- Horsham were
spared. Or were they?
Approaching half-time, Casuals were determined to leave the pitch 1-0 up. The uplifting
presence of the positive Josh Gallagher was a huge advantage as the midfielder edged
towards the box before perfectly setting up Josh Uzun through on goal. Taking a touch,
Uzun slotted the ball past Josh Pelling to score! Three Joshes- One Goal.
Half-time tea downed, floodlights ignited, the game re-started, the high tempo of the first
half deteriorated as Horsham slowly seized a grip on the game for the first time in the
match. Despite the switch in domination, it still surprised the gutted Casuals contingent
when Lawley impressively side-footed the ball into the top corner during a well-worked
move. The whole Horsham team celebrated as the travelling fans finally had something to
However, James Bracken had a neat substitutes bench up his sleeve and decided to
boldly use all three changes in one roll of the dice. The energetic Max Oldham, the skilful
Mahrez Bettache and the diligent Jamie Byatt were trusted to instil a winning goal into the
currently-lifeless Casuals. One of them did.
Attacking Horsham where they were most tired, Dave Hodges sprinted down the line and
played a low cross towards the oncoming Byatt. First-time, ‘Busy’ thumped the ball into the
bottom left corner, leaving the keeper with no chance. With only seven minutes to go, the
club-legend had won the game for Casuals- cue frenzied celebrations as the striker ran
into the jubilant crowd.
Not getting ahead of themselves, Bracken’s pink and brown army defended for their lives
late on to secure a well-deserved three points. The Yellows march onto their third
consecutive away trip, this time to Cray Wanderers on Wednesday. We wish them good
luck for the rest of the season. Meanwhile, Corinthians face Three Bridges on Tuesday
before a home fixture on Saturday against Herne Bay.