Ryman League Division One South
Tuesday11th August 2015
Report by Darren Pasley.
Pics: Stuart Tree (click here to view)
Video: Steve Wigg (click here to view)
Corinthian-Casuals made a winning start on the road as they picked up where left off from the Worthing game in a comfortable victory at Tooting & Mitcham United.
Casuals gave first starts of the season to last season’s regulars Danny Dudley, Juevan Spencer and Niall Wright as James Bracken looked to outwit the side which had claimed the Geoff Harvey Memorial Trophy at King Georges Arena the previous month.
Both sides made a fairly cagey start to the match, getting used to the ball zipping of the slick surface after the early evening rain in South West London.
The games first effort on goal arrived in the 9th minute when after Niall Wright was sized down on the edge of the area Emmanuel Akokhia curled a free kick into the arms of keeper Adam Faith who was well placed.
The home custodian’s handling wasn’t as impressive shortly afterwards as let a Wright cross slip through his grasp but the ball hit the air bound Danny Dudley’s head and wide of the goal as a half cleared corner was returned back into the danger zone.
Casuals were starting to dictate the tempo and Diego Maradona so impressive on Saturday went close to opening the scoring as his deft ball into the box evaded both Akokhia and the far post by inches.
At the other end the home side rarely threatened,their only effort on target in the first half saw Jake Baxter’s low effort held by Danny Bracken after a neat flick from former Casuals reserve striker Michael Salako.
On 37 minutes the deadlock was broken as Faiths luck finally ran out. There seemed to be little on when Brandon Johnson picked the ball up 25 yards from goal and wide of the area. His low drive should have seen a routine save but the keeper once again spilled the ball and although he blocked Akojkhia’s first effort , Juevan Spencer was on hand to latch onto the rebound and chip over his hands into the net.
The Terrors only response was a wild effort from Sol Pinnock after bursting into the box but the River Wandle seemed to be more at risk than Danny Brackens goal.
To their credit the hosts started the second half well and forced a number of early corners which Casuals defended well.
On 52 minutes Pinnock saw a whipped ball from the left lopped over the bar by Jake Baxter as they looked to get back into the match and build on their opening day victory at East Grinstead.
Despite this it was the visitors who still looked the more likely in the final third and Spencer and Akokhia again combined with the latter being denied by a last ditch challenge.
The say football is a game of fine margins and as the game approached the hour mark this was evidently so.
A corner for the visitors saw Kevant Serbony caught on the edge of the box and with the home side breaking at pace the ball was played into Pinnock who once again blazed horribly over his sides best chance of the match.
To compound the misery Casuals launched a break of their own and after Sevant brilliantly found Maradona the young winger played in a delight low cross which was slid home at the back post by Spencer for his second of the match.
This knocked the stuffing out the hosts and it was Casuals who looked for a third. Josh Uzun having an effort deflected just wide moments after coming on.
A 3rd did arrive with 9 minutes remaining as Akokhia picked up the ball 30 yards from goal and after teasing past Harry Knock his shot deflected past Faith.
The result left Casuals one of 6 clubs who maintained their 100% records after 2 games and James Bracken was impressed after the match with the two goal winger.
“Juevan knows what I want from him. He knows what he needs to do to play in the side. We spoke to him in the Summer and said he needs to add goals to his game and he’s scored two tonight. We haven’t got a bad player here at Casuals and Juevan falls into the category of another good player.
“The boys have been absolutely outstanding again. After Saturday, you worry if they’re going to get to that level again of energy, commitment and quality of football but they went out there and just done it all over again from the first whistle.
“Tooting are another decent side and both teams we’ve played so far have been good but we’re playing well.
“The boys are loving it at the moment. Playing here every week, enjoying it and winning is of course giving them a great feeling. They’re such a good unit and they trust me.
“Let’s see where we are after ten games and again by Christmas but we’ll just keep plugging away, remain focused and work hard.”