Ryman League Division One South
Saturday 1st November 2014
Report by Carl Waterfield
Corinthian-Casuals welcomed a Whitstable Town side on the back of a morale boosting midweek win and were disappointed not to pick up at least a point in a tightly fought match at King George’s Field.
Matt Howard made one change from the side that beat Hastings United on Tuesday night, with Bamoussa Cisse replacing Tuesday goalscorer, Carl Wilson-Denis.
It was the away side who got the ball down and passed it about in the early exchanges with Casuals limited to scrappy long balls. Neither side was about to produce a meaningful chance, and the centre back pairing of Joe Hicks and Dan Bedford was solid in the air and clearing any high ball that came their way.
Most of Casuals’ chances in the first half came down their left, with winger Dave Hodges enjoying some good runs. Two such runs in the first quarter of the match found an alert Luke Watkins in the Whitstable goal, who had to dive on balls at the feet of Cisse and winger, Jeuvan Spencer.
Midway through the half and only a brilliant save by Danny Bracken in the Casuals’ goal denied Kane Rowland a goal as he dived to his right to tip wide a shot that looked destined to hit the top corner.
It was somewhat against the run of play when Whitstable took the lead in the 29th minute. Scott Heard found himself one-on-one with Bracken and squared the ball for captain Ian Pulman to pass the ball into an empty net.
Whitstable seemed to get a little flustered in defence after taking the lead. A dangerous back-pass and a missed clearance gave Watkins a couple nervy moments. He had to be equally alert when a Byatt cross washeaded back towards his own goal by Jake Mackenzie but Watkins was able to tip it over the bar.
Whitstable could have, and perhaps should have, doubled their lead just before the break. A cross from Scott Heard was headed down by Rowland and Pulman shot wide when it looked easier to score. A let off that saw Casuals go into the half time break just the one goal down.
As has been the case in many matches this season, the home side looked to get back on equal terms with Spencer getting a couple of early shots off, both saved by Watkins in goal.
Matt Howard chose to shuffle his pack for the last half hour with Cisse and Spencer making way for Mason Welch-Turner and Michael Salako, with the marauding Jordan Vidal moving to the right wing.
Casuals began to pile on the pressure, searching for that elusive equaliser, but again it was Whitstable that should have further increased their advantage when a dangerous cross was put out for a corner by Welch-Turner. From the resulting set piece, Town centre back Joe Kennett put his unmarked header wide of Bracken’s post.
After Whitstable substitute Tom Lounes was booked for simulation, he ultimately won the game for the visitors when they were awarded a penalty by the referee, following a foul in the box by Bedford.
With the match seemingly over, the home did not give up and laid siege to the Town goal. Within two minutes, they had pulled a goal back. Hodges knocked the ball out wide and Jake Gill’s cross was headed home by Salako.
This set up a dramatic grandstand finish with Casuals launching attack after attack but Joe Hicks and Jamie Byatt could only shoot wide and the game finished with Whitstable picking up their first win for five league matches and Corinthian-Casuals frustrated at having not picked up what would have been a deserved point.
Stuart Tree's photos can be seen here.