Ryman League Division One South
Wednesday 15th February 2017
Match Report: Stuart Tree
Corinthian-Casuals left the Channel Island of Guernsey with a comprehensive 4-1 victory and three points in the luggage hold to reclaim a playoff spot in the Ryman League Division One South.
Thanks to a combination of super strikes and goalkeeping mishaps, the scoreline was emphatic. However, the run of play suggested that the game could’ve been a little less harsh on the hosts.
Travelling without key players in Josh Uzun, Jamie Byatt, Josh Gallagher and Maz Bettache, James Bracken was still able to call upon a strong line-up bolstered by the new signing of top marksman Dan Summers.
The original fixture, back on December 30th was postponed due to fog at Gatwick, leaving Casuals with a six hour wait at the airport. Thankfully, clearer skies didn’t hamper their journey although hearts were in mouths just 30 seconds into the match when half of the Footes Lane floodlights failed. Following a brief discussion, the officials concluded the light was sufficient to continue and the game could be played to a conclusion.
The youthful Green Lions started brightly and Danny Bracken had to be alert to the danger of Paris Pereria, saving at the striker’s feet.
But it only took quarter of an hour for Casuals to take the lead. Shaun Okojie latched onto a Jordan Clarke cross and his header found the target on Corinth’s first meaningful attack.
Twelve minutes later and the scoreline was doubled in calamitous fashion. Young keeper, Josh Addison completely misjudged a speculative long ball into the box from Juevan Spencer. The lofted pass sailed over his head and into an empty net, gifting the visitors a memento worth more to the Casuals than anything sold in the island’s souvenir shops.
Truth be told, it was a fairly lacklustre first half with minimal chances for either side. Summers came closest to adding a third when he latched onto a ball over the top, knocked his strike past Addison but cleared off the line. Guernsey had a handball shout turned down on the stroke of half time.
Casuals had to soak up some pressure from their hosts in the early stages of the second half but once again, fifteen minutes in and Addison gifted Casuals a third. An innocuous goal kick was miss-hit straight to Okojie who ran on and slotted into an empty net, leaving the out-of-position keeper grabbing thin air.
Two minutes later and Guernsey were in danger of being on the receiving end of a rout. Mu Maan picked up the ball from 25 yards out and smashed a shot into the top corner for what was the pick of the goals.
Realistically, with only pride to play for, Guernsey came out of their shell and imposed themselves on the game with more determination. Bracken, relatively quiet in the match, had to be alert to save low from Robbie Legg. Guernsey’s efforts paid off on 77 minutes when Matt Loaring converted a pass in the box, taking a touch and slotting past Bracken who could do nothing to prevent the strike.
Casuals pushed forward again and substitute Max Oldham had two very good chances to equal the take Corinth’s goal tally to ten against Guernsey this season. Alas, the winger was unable to convert the chances, though Manager James Bracken won’t be too disappointed as he left the Island three points and plus three goal difference better off.