FA Trophy 1st Qualifying Round
Saturday 31st October 2015
Match report and photos: Stuart Tree (photos here)
Kevant Serbony’s hattrick ensured Corinthian-Casuals didn’t suffer a Cup nightmare on Halloween as James Bracken’s side comfortably ran out 4-1 winners against Redbridge in the FA Trophy.
The win pockets the Ryman League Division One South side a cool £2,700 in prize money after besting their Ryman North counterparts in a dominant display.
Corinth were looking to avoid another horror show after suffering a 2-0 defeat in the week at the hands of Tooting and Mitcham Utd but Redbridge travelled to Tolworth on the back of two league wins in the past seven days and full of confidence.
Casuals’ Boss James Bracken was able to recall Warren Morgan after the full back had missed games through injury. Juevan Spencer and Sekou Kaba were also included in the starting XI after being benched in the week.
Redbridge came into the game after scoring six in the last two games but overall have shipped 64 goals in 18 games this term. With Casuals’ attacking prowess, the home side felt confident of progressing in the competition.
Things looked bright for Corinth in the opening exchanges; Cherno Mendy came closest when his cross almost beat Mark Parker in goal but was tipped over by the Motormen’s stopper. From the resulting corner, Terry Murray’s goalbound header was well cleared.
Redbridge looked to counter and their tactics almost paid off. Danny Bracken called into action on a couple of occasions to ensure the match remained scoreless. In fact, Redbridge should’ve taken the lead when a golden opportunity fell to the fabulously-named Reside Coxi Sebastfao who, through on goal with only Bracken to beat, could only stab his shot wide of the post. It was a massive let off for Corinth.
The home side’s dominance of possession began to convert to pressure. Terry Murray once again having a header well saved and Sekou Kaba found the net but was adjudged to have been offside. A succession of corners saw Emmanuel Akokhia’s header cleared off the line.
However, on 33 minutes, things were to turn into a horror show for Warren Morgan; a looping shot from Redbridge beat Bracken in goal but crashed off the bar and kindly fell to the full back. Though under no pressure, Morgan inexplicably miscued his clearing header and steered it into his own net much to the disbelief of all in attendance… not least the Redbridge players who weren’t sure how to react in their celebrations.
The way Casuals responded was first class. Just five minutes later, Cherno Mendy, who’d swapped wings with Juevan Spencer, took aim and fired from 20 yards. The well-hit drive left Parker with no chance and Casuals were back on level terms.
Four minutes later, they doubled the lead; Kevant Serbony found space in the box and with his quick feet, drilled home his first goal for the club under the body of Parker.
Serbony was able to top that just one minute later. A goal described as the ‘best seen at King George’s in three years’ saw Kevant unleash a thunderbolt from 25 yards into the top corner, almost ripping the net in the process. Within the space of five minutes, Casuals had effectively won the game.
There was still 45 minutes to play and Casuals set about the task in fine style. They played the ball around as well as they’d done all season and had a swagger about themselves. A free kick straight from the training ground saw Niall Wright play in Kaba who almost slid the ball past Parker. Mendy and Akokhia linked up beautifully to see the later played in behind the Motormen’s defence but only denied by a fingertip save from Parker who steered the ball onto the post and back into his arms.
With half an hour to go, Serbony sealed the win. Capitalising on a wayward ball from Redbridge, the midfielder charged down on goal and fired under Parker to earn his hat-trick.
Serbony was denied a personal fourth late on when one-on-one with Parker; this time the keeper winning the round by making a fine block.
The win puts Casuals in the pot for the next round draw and pockets the club another £2,700 in prize money. After the match, Manager James Bracken spoke to Stuart Tree.
“That was a nice win and was comfortable in the end. We played some good football today. Second half, although we only had one goal to show for it, but it was total dominance… probably our most dominant half of football we’ve played this season.
“After Warren’s own goal, you can let those negative thoughts creep in, but I’d already seen enough in the game to know we’d create plenty of chances. It was just about how the players responded and for the next ten minutes after that goal, it was important we didn’t concede another and steady the ship. We scored in quick succession and it was game over.
“We’ve ended the game with that confidence that borders on arrogance. When you play at your best level, that’s what you need to be. We’ll never be arrogant but we’ll have that confidence that just touches the edge of it. If you play with that and have the quality to back it up, that’s when you produce the best results.
“I’m delighted for Kevant. He’s up and down. I said to him today that I’m probably the only manager who’ll persevere with him and he knows that. I felt that he owed me and the team a proper performance and he certainly gave us that. They were three excellently taken goals… all very different. His all-round performance was great. I don’t often single individuals out but that deserved special praise today.
“I don’t care who we get in the next round. Give us another game that I deem to be winnable, which is most teams. I’ll take a team at our level or around it and we’ll go out there and try to get another win.”