Ryman League Divison One South
Saturday 21st March 2015
Match report and pics: Stuart Tree
10-man Corinthian-Casuals succumbed to a strong Herne Bay side in the Ryman League Division One South and Boss Matt Howard was disappointed with the sending off on an afternoon which was heralded as the Surrey FA’s ‘Respect Day’.
In front of a decent crowd of 278, just minutes into the second half, Ross Defoe saw red for a second bookable offence and left Casuals having to re-organise following Sam Hasler’s late first half strike.
Howard said after the match, “Roscoe has let us down with the sending off. We spoke to him at half time knowing he was already on a booking. So for him to be sent of a couple of minutes into the second half was daft.”
Casuals were under no illusions that the match would be tough to get anything from; Herne Bay were looking to keep up pressure on Whyteleafe for the last playoff spot. To make matters worse, striker Jamie Byatt’s involvement was limited to a half time penalty shootout with the match mascots after serving a two match suspension. To add to Howard’s woes, creative midfielder Maz Bettache was also sidelined after attending hospital with a concussion following the 4-1 win against Carshalton. A second start was given to the lively Max Austin and Jake Gill returned to the line-up along with Jake Downs.
In a drab first half, where Casuals had set up to keep Herne at bay, the windy conditions saw Jack Delo’s goalkicks fly through to his opposite number Danny Bracken, whilst the Casuals’ stopper was forced to lay off the ball short. Max Austin had the best chance when his effort was turned onto the bar by Delo.
The majority of the possession was with the visitors but were unable to break down a resolute Casuals defence. Danny Walder came closest after firing a shot straight at Bracken.
But on 43 minutes, from a fairly deep wide position, Sam Hasler blasted a vicious wind-assisted shot right into the top corner leaving Bracken helpless. It was a strike of real quality and left Corinth deflated walking into the changing rooms.
Just six minutes into the second half and Ross Defoe picked up his second yellow of the afternoon. Whilst it was no question of being a foul, a yellow card appeared harsh and Defoe had no choice but to walk.
Yet it was Corinth who looked like they had the extra man for large parts of the half. Chances fell to Max Austin and Carl Wilson-Denis, both of which couldn’t find the target. Danny Dudley had a fine chance to equalise from a whipped corner and Jake Downs even got in on the action. With Casuals pushing forward, space opened up for the visitors but couldn’t quite capitalise. Bracken putting in a fine performance to prevent Steven Ita and Hasler from putting the game to bed.
In the final few minutes, Wilson-Denis somehow headed over from a golden opportunity and Bracken even pushed forward in scenes reminiscent of cup clashes when caution is thrown to the wind and it’s win or bust.
However, no more goals were added and Herne Bay made the trip home three points better off.
After the match, Matt Howard spoke,
"The conditions were atrocious today. We thought we were going to get in at half time nil-nil, which we’d have been over the moon.
"Saying that, I wasn’t overly worried about coming in at half time 1-0 down. Luke (Garrard) and I spoke after the first few minutes and said if we’re losing by one goal at half time, we’ll have that.
"But to concede it in the last minute of the half was a kick in the teeth. We addressed the problems and how we can change things in the second half. We had a go but never really looked like scoring.
"I think we’ve scored 60 goals this season and Jamie Byatt has got 26 of those. That’s 34 goals from everybody else in the squad and that’s not enough.
"Roscoe (Defoe) has let us down with the sending off. We spoke to him at half time knowing he was already on a booking. So for him to be sent of a couple of minutes into the second half was daft.
"It does show where we’ve come as a club that teams are over the moon to be hanging on against us."
Photos from the day can be seen here.