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.