Friday, 22 November 2013

Corinthian-Casuals vs Westfield

Corinthian-Casuals vs Westfield

Fox in the Box headed to Tolworth on a cold Tuesday night knowing one of two landmarks had to occur. Either Westfield would shock Corinthian-Casuals and knock them out of a cup they won a few years back, or Corinthian-Casuals would avoid defeat in front of the Fox in the Box cameras for the first time ever! If was the latter of those did that did eventually occur, and it was a fairly comfortable win for the Casuals in the end.

The first good chance fell to the home side early on and a good save from Bradshaw in the Westfield goal kept the scores level. The follow up was then blocked and cleared away. Not too long after Corinthian-Casuals has another great opportunity but the free header that was gifted to a Casuals striker from about 12 yards out was headed straight at the Westfield keeper who had an easy save. Westfield struggled to create chances against their higher ranked opposition and the home side deservedly took the lead in the 19th minute when a cross from the left wing was controlled by Steve Barilli who had no trouble in finishing the chance. Corinthian-Casuals continued to dominate but it was Westfield who scored the next goal after a schoolboy error from a Casuals throw-in. A throw back to a defender was miscontrolled allowing a Westfield forward to get through on goal. He rounded Bracken in the Casuals goal and squared the ball to James Mepham, who applied the finish despite the best efforts of Bracken and a defender on the line. The two sides were level for just 3 minutes though, with a fantastic goal from Jamie ‘Busy’ Byatt’ restoring the Casuals’ lead with a wonderful strike. Byatt received the ball around 35 yards out and beat his man before hitting a rocket with his left foot right into the top corner of the goal from the edge of the box. Casuals had a chance to go two goals up minutes later but a volley was put over the bar from close range.

The first chance of the second half fell to Westfield after a set piece was sent over to the far post. The touch on the end of the cross sent the ball just wide of the far post. The second half was a fairly equal affair and Westfield showed more signs of getting back into the game and maybe forcing extra-time, with Bracken called into action on several occasions. However, any hope of getting back into the game was thrown away when an attempted backpass to Bradshaw in the Westfield goal was sent straight to Casuals forward Chris Watney, who applied the finish to put Corinthian-Casuals 3-1 up. This goal seemed to kill off the game as a contest and the remaining fifteen minutes passed with neither side creating anything of note.  Massive thumbs up to the 36 spectators at the game who bothered to turn up despite the freezing cold temperatures (1 degree!) and the England game live on TV. Westfield gave a battling performance, especially for a twenty minute spell in the second half, but ultimately the division gap showed and Corinthian-Casuals emerged victorious. The Casuals will now face Walton and Hersham in the 3rd round of the Surrey Senior Cup.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Met Police vs Hampton and Richmond

Met Police vs Hampton and Richmond – Isthmian League Cup

An exciting game at Imber Court saw Met Police get two early goals and hang on to defeat Hampton and Richmond, despite the domination of the game for large parts of the game by the away side. Most of Hampton’s meaningful attacks came down the wings, in particular right winger Luke Wanadio who had a fantastic game and scored the only Hampton and Richmond goal. However, Met Police ultimately defended well enough to weather the Hampton and Richmond storm and it is them who will advance to the 4th Round of the Isthmian League Cup.

Hampton and Richmond simply did not turn up to the first 10 minutes and found themselves 2-0 down early on in the game. Firstly, a pass back to a Hampton defender was too short and a Met Police striker was put through on goal. Whilst his effort was well saved by Rodney Chiweshe, the rebound fell to Bobby Bennett who couldn’t miss. Hampton did not learn from their defensive errors and conceded again on 11 minutes. A Met Police corner was flicked on and the ball fell to Jonte Smith, who expertly backheeled the ball past Chiweshe. Hampton and Richmond seemed to wake up after this point and came close from a series of corners, seeing two efforts cleared off the line in 2 minutes. Stuart Searle then pulled off a good save after Dan Thompson met Luke Wanadio’s cross with a good volley. Hampton fans appealed for a goal after another corner was met by a Hampton head and was cleared off the line once more. Looking back on video footage it is hard to tell from the angle of the camera but you can see why they would appeal for a goal; it was very close. Met Police then had a chance on the break to go 3-0 up ball the first time shot was fired just wide of the Hampton post

Hampton continued to be on top after half-time and came closest when Searle was forced into making a great save after a good header from just inside the box. Hampton finally got a goal in the 69th minute after a poor pass from Met Police led to Luke Wanadio getting through on goal. He made no mistake with his finish, setting up an interesting last 20 minutes with Hampton chasing an equaliser. There were a few nervous moments in the Met Police defence, not helped by some poor handling from Stuart Searle, but it was Searle who kept the scores level in the last 5 minutes with a great save from a close range effort. In the 89th minute Met Police broke but looked to have missed an easy chance to seal the game. However, Jonte Smith got to the rebound and finished into an empty net, scoring his second goal of the night and making fully sure there was no way back for Hampton. The Beavers had nothing left in them after that blow and Met Police comfortably saw out the last few minutes to advance to the next round

Overall an enjoyable game with Met Police scoring 2 early goals and defending very well for the rest of the game to keep Hampton from scoring the goals their play deserved. We wish Met Police all the best for the next round and hope to see them in the final of the competition.