Ryman League Division One South
Tuesday 10th March 2015
Report by Stuart Tree
Corinthian-Casuals were handed six of the best against a rampant Hythe Town in the Ryman League, condemning Casuals to their first league defeat since returning from Brazil in January.
And Manager of the Month, Matt Howard blasted his players after ‘bottling it’.
“When we lose, we lose good and proper… massively disappointing. I think a few of our players absolutely bottled it tonight.”
Casuals started with an almost unchanged side from that which performed so well against high-flyers Folkestone just three days before. Steve Goddard came in for Carl Wilson-Denis in what was a routine straight swap.
It looked like Corinth’s good form would continue; in only the fifth minute, Jamie Byatt capitalised on an error by the Hythe goalkeeper to nod home into an empty net.
However, it was to only go one way after that. Ten minutes later and Casuals conceded three corners in a row. It was third time lucky as Luke Harvey headed home from close range from the set piece.
Corinth looked promising going forward and Dave Hodges caused terror in the wings. But the hard work was undone by more comical defending. With four or five chances to clear their lines, Casuals found a way for Sam Conlon to score and give the visitors a deserved lead.
Soon, it was 3-1; Hythe broke on the left wing and a half clearance only fell to Shaun Welford who neatly blasted home from 15 yards. Home heads dropped as it looked to be ‘one of those nights’.
Casuals came out all guns blazing in the second half, even without the substituted Jamie Byatt. A good spell of pressure didn’t quite pay off. Max Austin stung Roddy Hayward’s hand as he expertly diverted a rasper over the bar. Steve Goddard looked like he should’ve scored in a goalmouth scramble that eventually fell to Juevan Spencer but blasted high into the night sky. The next goal was crucial; at 2-3, it could’ve set up for an exciting end. However, it went the other way.
Shaun Welford grabbed his second of the night from another poorly defended corner. In truth, any number of Hythe players lining up at the back post looked like they could’ve scored.
Minutes later, Hythe had another chance to score from yet another corner but strong protests of a handball on the line kept the score down to four… if only for a few minutes.
Breaking free of the defence and looking suspiciously offside, Shaun Welford calmly slotted one under Bracken to make it five. In truth, whether Welford was offside or not didn’t matter. The game had long gone for Casuals.
Despite Casuals’ fans in full voice, James Morrish made it Corinth’s worst defeat of the season after netting a sixth. To add insult to injury, Reece Placid’s header at the other end couldn’t get past the crossbar and rebounded to safety. Hythe’s players and supporters at least had a more cheerful long trip home than they might have expected.
After the match, Matt Howard commented on the performance.
“When we lose, we lose good and proper… massively disappointing. I think a few of our players absolutely bottled it tonight.
“Hythe are a big physically strong side and a few of us melted. At this level of football you can’t afford to carry passengers and we’ve carried quite a few passengers out there today.
“What I will say is that we’re all in it together. There’s no point now throwing our toys out of the pram. That’s the first defeat in six games. We’ll regroup… we’ll address it at training and put a few wrongs right before the match on Saturday.
“The game was lost in the first half. To go one-nil up in the first five minutes we’ve thought ‘happy days’ and of late, we haven’t looked like conceding a goal. Whether the boys got carried away I don’t know. The lads in the dressing room before the game had seen their names climbing up the ‘clean sheet’ table.
“The first goal was comical defending; we’ve had three corners in succession that we haven’t cleared. The second… well – I think we had four opportunities to clear it but we didn’t and the third was half a clearance and they’ve finished it well to be fair… and with a shot.
“At the end of the day, we don’t shoot. There’s only one player at Corinthian-Casuals that shoots and that’s Jamie Byatt. That’s why he scores thirty goals in a season… coz he shoots. We try and score by walking it in the net, by dribbling it round people. We just don’t shoot!
“It’s a strong word to use but a few of our players tonight bottled it or they’re cowards. But one defeat in six… let’s regroup and see if we can get a result on Saturday.”