Article by Stuart Tree
Corinthian-Casuals suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat to lowly VCD Athletic at King George’s Arena on Saturday in the Bostik League South when Kemo Darboe’s 78th minute strike was enough to separate the sides.
James Bracken’s Casuals have now only won once in their last six league matches denting promotion hopes in the process. The 4-1 win at Horsham just days before seemingly a distant memory.
VCD came into the match also struggling for form; they’d lost the last three on the bounce and a trip to second-placed Casuals was set to be the toughest test in the festive period.
Casuals still remain depleted and though it’s hoped that Jordan Clarke will soon return from injury, Danny Cunningham, Kevant Serbony and Mu Maan look to be out for somewhat considerably longer. There was no last hurrah for departing Dave Hodges either also due to injury.
Despite this, Casuals looked lively in the early exchanges and most of the threat came from the right with Reyon Dillon constantly haranguing Kojo Awotwi at full back. The imposing striker forcing a large number of corners. It was to be the theme for the afternoon.
At the other end, Rashid Kamara’s free kick from a dangerous area caught all by surprise and blushes were spared when the crossbar came to the rescue. Further embarrassment was avoided when Nathan Daly slipped, allowing Kamara the chance to score, only to be denied by a clearance from Malachi Robinson.
Casuals continued to force more corners. Dillon’s looping header came the closest, causing Joe Mant to tip it over to safety. Max Oldham found the side netting with another burst into the box but the half was to end as drab as the weather.
Arguably, VCD looked the better in the second half, often causing Casuals to remain on the backfoot and hurrying clearances. Ex-Casual Ayman El-Moyhalbel came closest when he struck the post from close range. It was a warning sign that wasn’t heeded.
The story at the other end was repeatable ad-nauseum; Corner, corner, corner, corner, corner. It became somewhat of a reoccurring joke in the stands as many had lost count of the set-pieces Casuals had earned. Despite the growing number, now well past twenty, Casuals rarely threatened.
Then on 78 minutes came the sting in the tail; Rather than clearing the lines, Daly was caught in possession and VCD couldn’t fail to score. Darboe slotting past Bracken to deal the final blow. Casuals attempted to rally and forced a couple of decent saves from Mant, but VCD held out for their fourth win on the road this season.
Photo credit: Stuart Tree