Ryman League Division One South
Tuesday 20th September 2016
Match report: Darren Pasley. Pics: Andy Nunn (full set here)
Four points from two away games was the result on Tuesday evening as Casuals were held by a spirited and tricky East Grinstead who defied their lowly league position.
On a ground that they are still to win on Casuals handed a rare start to Shaun Brown and the young striker forced an early corner which from the resulting delivery saw Jack Strange send a free header wide.
It was clear from an early stage that the hosts defence would be in for a tough evening with Kevant Serbony the next to nearly profit from hesitation in the back line. On this occasion the ball was cleared to safety.
Skipper Callum Emptage saw yellow inside the first 5 minutes for a nasty tackle on Josh Uzun as the visitors made all the early running.
Following a series of shots that were blocked, Casuals took the lead in the 19th minute when Maz Bettache from out on the left touchline swung a deep delivery onto the head of an unmarked Shaun Brown who expertly guided the ball home. It was a deserved lead and Casuals looked to add to this straight away. Firstly keeper Al-Drouni fumbled Josh Uzun's shot with a defender saving his blushes and then Kevant Serbony brought the best out of the stopper with a fierce drive from 30 yards which was kept out.
Despite the early dominance the hosts equalised out of the blue in the 26th minute when from the right wing Danny Bracken had kept out Elliot’s header brilliantly, the rebound was tapped home by Tashi-Jay Kwayie.
Casual’s response was immediate and within 90 seconds had regained the lead. Shaun Brown this time the creator getting to the by-line with a burst of pace and the oncoming Juevan Spencer slotted home from 6 yards.
The visitors continued to create chances with Spencer again twice going close. Firstly lifting a lob over keeper Al-Droubi which fell just the wrong side of the post before having a shot on the turn well held by the home keeper.
Kevant Serbony stuck the outside of the post with another curling effort before the home side squared matters just before the break.
Jamie Byatt upended Travis Gregory who showed a fine touch to bring the ball down and burst into the area and from the spot Marcus Elliott made no mistake.
The second period saw Jamie Byatt glance a header just wide from a Shaun Brown cross but it was clear the home side had taken confidence from going in level at the interval and they emerged a much tougher proposition.
Former Tottenham youngster Laste Dombaxe curled a free kick just wide with Danny Bracken flying across his goal and the Casuals skipper had to get down smartly to foil Gaggin’s near post effort.
James Bracken introduced top scorer Shaun Okojie and Jordan Clarke from the bench and it was the latter who nearly made an immediate impact but smashed his effort just wide on the hour.
The substitutes were to combine shortly afterwards and this time Okojie saw a goal-bound effort blocked whilst at the other end Elliot was inches away from putting East Grinstead in front for the first time.
With the home side looking the more likely to push for the winner the appearance of Josh Gallagher spurred Casuals on and both Byatt and Clarke had efforts just wide as the visitors finished strongly.
ASsthe game approached injury time, Dombaxe who had made a real impact from the bench saw an effort well kept out by Bracken following smart improvisation to get the shot away.
A well-earned point which was probably a fair reflection of an entertaining match.