Ryman League Division One South
Tuesday 25th August 2015
Report and Pics: Stuart Tree
Additional photos from Andy Nunn can be seen here.
Dorking Wanderers came from a goal behind to maintain their unbeaten start to the season but end Corinthian-Casuals good start to the Ryman League campaign.
Before the season started, many wouldn’t have tipped the two Surrey sides to be occupying the top spots or to have remain unbeaten after four games. James Bracken’s Casuals had only conceded two goals in five games (one from a penalty) and Marc White’s Wanderers had impressive wins under their belt and were coming off the back of a credible draw away to last season’s playoff finalists Folkestone Invicta. Something had to give…
Bracken made three changes from the 2-1 win over Ramsgate; in came Warren Morgan for Josh Uzun, Niall Wright replaced Brandon Johnson and although Emil Salama was named in the original lineup, an injury during warm up ensured Diego Maradona donned the number 7 shirt instead.
The first half was played at a good intensity by both sides. Wanderers had the first real effort when a 20 yard shot was deflected just over by Danny Dudley. At the other end, Juevan Spencer once again looked lively and gave the first test of the night to new signing Gary Ross in Dorking’s goal. Ross was to be one of the key reasons for White’s men walking away with the three points.
However, errant half chances didn’t help Casuals’ cause; Sekou Kaba’s free header from a corner should have been relatively easy to score but the tall midfielder could only steer it high and wide.
Ross wasn’t the only keeper to be tested; Danny Bracken expertly turned a neat drive round the post in a typically dangerous play from Wanderer’s impressive forward line.
Gary Ross did end the half making a spectacular flying save when Kevant Serbony let one rip from 20 yards. Both keepers can take credit for the 0-0 scoreline as the teams retreated for half time.
Then, within the space of five minutes, the game was settled; With 53 minutes gone, a long ball pumped forward with the wind assisting caught the Wanderer’s defender off guard and Emmanuel Akokhia capitalised by neatly slotting under Ross and giving Casuals the lead.
However, it felt like Corinth were still celebrating when Tom Tolfrey equalised at the other end. To make matters worse, Kev Terry put the nail in the coffin just four minutes later after finding space at the near post to lift the ball neatly over Danny Bracken. Casuals were shell shocked.
As already seen this season both at Hythe and against Ramsgate, Casuals weren’t about to lay down. Although their performance seemed to be a little more flat than of late, they dug in and lay siege to Dorking’s goal for the last 20 minutes. The introduction of Josh Uzun, Ben Cotton and Shaun Brown gave extra attacking options. A combination of great goalkeeping and resolute defending saw off attacks from Akokhia, Spencer, Terry Murray and even Danny Bracken, who joined the attack in the dying seconds. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be and Dorking Wanderers held on for the win in a keenly fought yet well-mannered, entertaining game.
The result sees Casuals drop from 1st to 3rd in the table and Dorking Wanderers move up into 2nd.
After the match, Corinth boss James Bracken spoke commented on the match.
“I'm not going to say it's not a fair result. We could've maybe nicked something in the last fifteen minutes. We’ve put a lot of pressure on them, missed one or two half chances that might have gone in on another day and to be fair to their keeper, he's pulled out two world class saves... one in the first half and one in the second.
“They're a decent side and it was a good game. I don't think we really put the intensity in like we can to the game until the last fifteen minutes, which was obviously a little too late.
“They say that ten minute period after you score a goal is always crucial and we’ve had a lapse in concentration. Their first, we earmarked the player not to give him even a couple of yards in the box, but we have and he’s had enough room to turn and shoot.
“There’s always positives to take out of this though, such as the response from everybody who upped their game when we’ve gone 2-1 down. Everybody to a man seemed to be able to go up a gear and put their foot in. There’s no cross words in the dressing room because they’ve been absolutely fantastic since I’ve been here and one defeat in a close game doesn’t change anything.
“It’s now how we respond on Saturday. Make sure we stay in the FA Cup, go on a run and that’s what matters.”
Casuals travel to the coast to face Pagham in the FA Cup on Saturday.