Article by Cameron Smith
Corinthian-Casuals’ trip to Ashford United resulted in a 1-0 victory as a compelling performance and super sub Max Oldham’s slick finish in the first-half gave the visitors a satisfying three points at the rainy Kingsnorth Stadium in Kent.
Only one change was made from the 1-0 Faversham win as Warren Morgan was replaced by Coskun Ekim at full-back. Referee Jamie Wells kicked the game off with a blow of the whistle; the chocolate and pink of Casuals clashed with the yellow and green of Ashford. Terrific support from Corinth early on and throughout the match certainly boosted the Tolworth side’s eleven as Gabriel Odunaike’s flashing tap-in flew past keeper George Kamurasi and fired off the post agonisingly. Like the Faversham game, Casuals seemed to dominate from the start with a wayward Frazer Walker shot the highlight. In the 23rd minute, Reyon Dillon sustained a nasty injury and wasn’t able to continue. Applauded by the Casuals contingent, Dillon left the pitch in pain and irritation whilst a new signing made his debut for the Casuals… the rapper Slim Shady! No, it wasn’t the real Slim Shady, it was actually Max Oldham, who had dyed his hair blonde and was greeted onto the pitch by chants from the Casuals fans likening his new look to the American rap artist.
Sixteen minutes after the unfortunate early substitution, Oldham was pacing down the wing after being fed a great pass and the no.12 hit a superb low shot that edged past the Ashford no.1 and ended up in the bottom left corner. Nestling into the back of the net, the Casuals supporters surged towards the celebrating away team and sang Oldham’s name again and again. It was 1-0 Casuals thirty-nine minutes in, and deservedly so.
Switching sides after the break, the two teams seemed to start the second-half the way they started the first- Ashford on the back-foot and Casuals on the front-foot. Oldham nearly managed to grab his second goal of the game when he tried to sneak the ball past the committed keeper but his shot was saved. At the other end, Danny Bracken pulled off an inspirational save from a free header in the box. There was only 20 minutes left when the hosts eased into control of possession and opportunities. Shomari Barnwell was inches away from an equaliser late on in the match, but his shot plummeted just past the post and into the stands.
A delayed yet dashing response from Ashford did not phase the mighty Corinthian-Casuals in the end as Oldham’s strike was enough for James Bracken’s side to steal three points and make their position in 6th comfortable.
Photo credit: Stuart Tree