Ryman League Division One South
Saturday 26th September 2015
Match report and pics: Stuart Tree (images can be seen here)
Corinthian-Casuals put the midweek heartache of losing in stoppage time well and truly behind them as they put three past strugglers Chipstead in the Ryman League Division One South.
Goals from Danny Dudley, Josh Uzun and Emmanuel Akokhia were enough to propel James Bracken’s side up to second in the table, three points behind leaders Folkestone Invicta.
Casuals started the day with Kevant Serbony and Josh Uzun once again available for selection after suspensions, however, only the latter made it to the starting XI with Serbony placed on the bench.
Chipstead had only accumulated two points coming into the match but with a new manager at the helm – Lyndon Buckwell, hopes were raised after a midweek draw with Walton and Hersham.
Corinth started the brighter of the two sides and the left-wing combo of Dave Hodges and Juevan Spencer immediately caused the Chip’s defence a number of problems. A succession of corners gave the home side the best chances of scoring with Niall Wright having a shot charged down before both Terry Murray and Danny Dudley went close from set pieces.
The pressure soon paid off; On 16 minutes, Josh Uzun’s deep corner found Dudley on the edge of the six yard box and the defender had the time and composure to volley home to give Casuals a deserved lead.
Soon, it was two; Uzun now the recipient of a cross from Hodges who’d beat his man to neatly cross it to the near post where the midfielder slotted home.
The first half continued in much the same vein. Dudley was denied a rare brace when Brandon Johnson played him in but was narrowly beaten to the ball by the Chips’ stopper. Warren Morgan’s wicked cross was inches from connecting with Spencer’s head which would’ve certainly been a third and Johnson himself had a penalty shout turned away.
Casuals started to play with a little more flair and Sekou Kaba was close to netting with a cheeky backheel which was just a little too cute for a decisive finish. The Amateurs had to be careful though. At 2-0, there’s still plenty to play for and Chipstead reminded those in attendance that they were still in the game. Terry Murray denied Felix Oggah by clearing off the line in what was Chipstead’s only real chance of note.
Into the second half and the play continued much the way it had finished in the first. Uzun intercepted a loose cross field pass and fired past Milan Stojsaveljvic but also the wrong side of the post. Murray had two golden opportunities to open his Casuals account but last ditch defending denied the defender.
Casuals further extended their lead on 59 minutes with hotshot Emmanuel Akokhia leaving the Chip’s keeper stranded to fire home his eighth goal of the season. A short backpass was charged down by the striker as Milan attempted to clear it and with the ball falling kindly to Akokhia, it was one of the more easier goals he’ll score this season.
The game was won; James Bracken took the opportunity to use his substitutes and mix it up a little. It was a disappointing end to the match from a Casuals perspective after conceding a late penalty following a foul in the box. Danny Bracken was close to saving Oggah’s penalty but Chipstead had their fifth goal of the season. But it was Casuals’ day and ended the day sitting second in the league.
James Bracken spoke after the match.
“It was obviously really important that we got three points today. We only lost a point in the scheme of things on Tuesday night so it wasn’t like we threw away a lead or anything. It was a bit of a downer though to concede that late. So the remedy is a win today and we’re up to second now which is nice.
“It was disappointing to concede at the end. I’m a perfectionist. I don’t want to give away anything ever. I said a few weeks ago that it’s about keeping clean sheets and scoring a lot of goals. We’ve scored three today which is a lot in footballing terms but we want to keep a clean sheet.
“We’ve got a lot of flair players and sometimes they see three-nil as an opportunity to go four or five ahead rather than keeping it tight at three-nil.
“It’s vitally important to get goals across the park. If you have a team with one goalscorer, you’re always worried if they go down with a knock or if he’s unavailable. With us, it doesn’t matter if we’re missing two players from our front-line as I’m still confident the players that go out there will score.”