Article and photo by Stuart Tree
Corinthian-Casuals comfortably overcame a potential banana skin in Shoreham in tricky freezing conditions, winning 3-0 to take second spot in the Bostik League South.
A first half super strike from Max Oldham was complemented in the second half by Gabriel Odunaike with Oldham completing the proceedings. Though Casuals had to be patient to earn their rewards against their bottom placed opponents.
With snow and ice causing postponements across the South, Casuals’ match was one of the few to survive and enabled James Bracken’s side to add more points to their league tally whilst their promotion rivals sat out another weekend. Against a side with just eight points to their name this season, this was a sure fire chance to continue the impressive run of successive wins.
However, on a pitch that’s seen better days and with a strong, biting wind across the Taxi-Link Stadium, it wasn’t going to be as easy as suggested on paper.
Shoreham opened brightly and looked to counter Casuals by breaking with the wind behind their backs. Danny Bracken was called into action early on as well as Jack Strange who needed his wits about him to clear off the line.
Though possession and territory certainly belonged to Casuals, they only made it count with the dying minutes of the first half. Receiving a short corner from Josh Uzun, Max Oldham looped in a ball which dipped wickedly into the far corner of the goal much to the delight of the Casuals’ faithful.
It took a while for Casuals to put the game to bed though not without a scare or two. Shoreham were reduced to ten men when Tadley Bromage was dismissed following a reckless challenge on Kevant Serbony. Despite this, Captain Danny Bracken had to pull off an excellent double-save to prevent their hosts from equalising.
On 77 minutes, the game was put to bed. Jordan Clarke’s shot from the right could only be parried into the path of Gabriel Odunaike who calmly slotted home from a couple of yards.
With the comfort of a two-goal lead, Casuals opened up and looked to up their goal difference advantage. The third came in the 81st minute when neat trickery from Clarke saw him pull the ball back from the byline, passing to Oldham who couldn’t miss from the six-yard box.
Casuals have now won their last seven league matches – the best form of any side in Steps 1-4 nationally. An impressive feat for the Amateur side.