Article by Stuart Tree
Corinthian-Casuals kept their promotion challenge on track with a comfortable win over Thamesmead Town in the Bostik League South.
First half goals from Josh Uzun and Warren Morgan were enough to give James Bracken’s side the three points despite a late comeback from Mead, when Paul Vines scored deep into an extended stoppage time.
The win is now the sixth in a row and puts Casuals top of the form guide going into the make-or-break business end of the season.
Fans were delighted to see the name of Mu Maan on the teamsheet after returning from a lengthy injury sustained against Dulwich Hamlet earlier in the season. He took his place on the bench, ready to be introduced later in the afternoon.
Thamesmead were the quickest out of the blocks and looked to press early putting Casuals on the back foot. However, the first real chance came to Casuals when Max Oldham surged into the box and unleashed a deflected shot into the side netting.
Oldham was causing trouble again just seven minutes later when another run saw him upended in the box and awarded a penalty. Up stepped ever-reliable Josh Uzun to dispatch the spot kick.
Casuals doubled the lead just five minutes later when Gabriel Odunaike’s snuck a pass to Warren Morgan who’s cross-come-shot looked to be deflected over the line by a Mead defender. 2-0.
From here, it looked routine. Casuals continued to search for a killer third though it never came. Close calls came in the form of Josh Uzun, Jordan Clarke, Max Oldham, Gabriel Odunaike… yet none could complete the deal.
The closest to clinching the third came when Odunaike raced through on goal and was taken out by his challenging marker, only for the referee to wave play on. It was a decision that baffled most.
Thamesmead came to life in the dying minutes and despite no lengthy stoppages in play, no goals and five substitutes, the referee inexplicably added on ten minutes (okay – 9 minutes 51 seconds to be precise). In this extension, Paul Vines met a cross to head in, to deathly silence. Casuals rode out the last few moments, still unsure how long the contest would go on for, to take all three points.
Photo credit: Stuart Tree