Article by Stuart Tree
Corinthian-Casuals and Carshalton Athletic both drew blanks in a high quality Boxing Day clash at Colston Avenue, to leave both sides still just outside the automatic promotion places.
Casuals and Carshalton came into the match 3rd and 4th in the table respectively. Looking to avenge the 4-2 loss to the Robins on the August Bank Holiday, Manager James Bracken still had a number of players missing but drafted in fan favourite Terry Murray at Centre Back much to the delight of the travelling support. Harry Ottaway and Nathan Daly were the notable absentees from the 3-2 win at the weekend with Reyon Dillon leading the charge up front.
As to be expected from two sides who like to play attractive football, both sides were happy to zip the ball around on the artificial surface – a welcome change to some of the poor pitches at this time of the year. Despite the slick football, neither side were committed to pushing forward and the opening exchanges were a little cagey. Casuals threatened with their first chance coming courtesy of Ben Cheklit’s free kick, only parried by Billy Bishop who was able to gather at the second time of asking.
At the other end, Danny Bracken made a fine save after Carshalton broke down Casuals defence and Mikel Miller blasted at the stopper from the edge of the box.
Casuals best chance fell to Reyon Dillon with the first half closing when Gabriel Odunaike unselfishly squared the ball to the big striker but his shot was just the wrong side of the post and only troubled the outside of the netting.
The second half belonged to the Robins, certainly in possession and territory. Bracken once again made two fine stops to ensure parity in the scoreline, one a brilliant scoop around the post from Ricky Korboa. Casuals attacks were more fleeting though Dillon would feel he should’ve put the Casuals in front when Max Oldham’s cross fizzed along the goalmouth and only needed the faintest of touches to find the target.
Max Oldham caused the most fear for the Robins back line and he was felled by Dudley just on the edge of the penalty area. Step-up Josh Uzun who narrowly flashed his free kick wide.
Carshalton could’ve won it at the end when possession was loosely given away and allowed Ricky Korboa to run through with only Bracken to beat. However, the resulting wild shot flashed over the bar and into the distance.
In a game devoid of any real bad challenges, it was inexplicable as to how both sides shared nine bookings but despite the best efforts of the referee to take centre stage, both Carshalton and Casuals were able to put on an entertaining afternoon’s football for the 424 in attendance.
Photo credit: Stuart Tree