Corinthian Casuals vs Cray Wanderers

Isthmian Premier – Tuesday, 14th September, 2021

Corinthian Casuals                               4

Mfula 38, 66, 76 pen, Mensah 53

 Cray Wanderers                                    0


It was a tough evening for Cray Wanderers as Corinthian Casuals inflicted a fifth straight defeat with in the end a comfortable victory at the King George’s Arena with Warren Mfula scoring a hat-trick.

After a tight opening half hour where Cray came close to scoring through Jamie Yila and Adam Coombes, the home side went in front when Mfula drilled home in the 38th minute when he took advantage of a loose Wands ball in the area to score.  In the second half, Casuals showed their quality and Emmanuel Mensah scored from close range at the far post from a right wing cross in the 53rd minute. In the 66th minute the game was effectively over when Mfula scored his second when he squeezed the ball into the net from Jack Tucker’s cross. The scoring was completed in the 76th minute from the spot when Mfula picked himself up after being fouled to complete a hat-trick.

Cray were playing their second game in 48 hours and there were a handful of changes to the side which lost to Potters Bar Town on Sunday. Into the team came Harvey Brand, Martin Onoabagbe, Jamie Yila, Nicky Bailey and a signing completed earlier in the day with forward Marvin Herschel arriving from Dartford in place of Lee Lewis, Ejiro Okosieme, Archie Burnett, Anis Nuur and Cameron Brodie.  Corinthian Casuals named an unchanged side to the one which won 1-0 at Haringey Borough on Saturday and had built up some momentum in recent weeks.

On a wet and murky night the game started like the first goal scored would be decisive in the outcome of the match and was fairly even with a competitive edge for the first half hour.  Cray looked to break the deadlock early and Yila’s cross from the right had to be cleared and then Freddie Cray found Adam Coombes who went down under a challenge just inside the area and the ball fell to Yila down the right of the area and his cross shot was blocked well by keeper Danny Bracken.

There was an early booking for Anthony Cook for Cray and the game was becoming one of sparring with the first real shot from the home side coming to Bobby Mills whose shot was well gathered by Jack Turner.

The best opening of the half came to Cray just after the half hour when down the right a terrific cross from Cook was met in the box by the head of Adam Coombes who was slightly on the stretch and the ball went just over the top.  There was what looked like a scary moment when Jack Turner was clattered when coming out to clear the ball away but luckily was able to get back on his feet.

In the 38th minute and out of nothing Corinthian Casuals went in front when Cray were caught in possession inside their own area and Warren Mfula struck his fourth goal of the season.

A couple of minutes later, Mfula had the ball in the net again but was flagged for offside while for Cray, Cook saw a shot from distance claimed by Bracken and then before the break Cook saw an effort blocked and behind for a corner.

Half Time: 1-0

There were a couple of changes for Cray at half time with Lee Lewis and Danny Kedwell coming on  and for the first few minutes after the break, Cray began brightly with Lewis hitting a shot which went just wide of the left post.   Then, from a free kick in a decent position, Coombes shot was deflected over the top for a corner.

Corinthian Casuals though were looking dangerous each time they attacked down the flanks and in the 53rd minute after a short spell of pressure added a second goal. The ball was worked down the right and the cross from Ben Cheklit to the far post was turned in by Emmanuel Mensah.

From here aside from a Danny Kedwell header off target Casuals were now on top and came close to adding to their lead and Cheklit saw an effort blocked by Jack Turner and then Elliott Bolton shot wide from Cheklit’s cross.

For Cray, Harvey Brand’s cross found Kedwell whose shot was blocked by a defender and went behind but the last quarter of the half was becoming messy for Cray and Casuals took advantage.

In the 66th minute after a steady period of possession the ball was worked down the right and Tucker’s ball across found Mfula who tucked home a pretty impressive finish under Turner and into the bottom left to make it 3-0 and a long way back for Cray.

Ten minutes later and it was 4-0 and after Cray had conceded possession Tucker and Cheklit combined to set up Mfula who was tripped by Yila inside the box for one of the more obvious penalties you will see. Mfula stepped up to complete his hat-trick from the spot.

The game was long over from here and on a pretty miserable night what was a tight game to begin with ended with the home side well in command and Fjord Rogers hooked volley off target was the last chance to gain a consolation goal.

Casuals had their tails up throughout the second half and attacked with pace while Cray struggled at the back and in the end the team’s cohesion seemed to be missing and finished the game well beaten. With Cray out of the FA Cup the team are 17th in the table and have a short break before the next game at home to Brightlingsea Regent on 25th September and in litigation have missed the likes of Andy Drury, Charlie Allen and Joey Taylor and Ejiro Okosieme look like they may be out for a while so injuries haven’t helped but will need to address a losing run as we head into the autumn and a tough run of fixtures.

Cray Wanderers:            Jack Turner, Harvey Brand, Dean Beckwith (Capt.), Martin Onoabagbe, Bailey Akehurst, Freddie Cray, Nicky Bailey (Lee Lewis, H/T), Anthony Cook, Jamie Yila, Marvin Herschel (Danny Kedwell, H/T), Adam Coombes (Fjord Rogers, 80)

Booked:                        Cook, Beckwith

Corinthian Casuals:         Danny Bracken (Capt.), Jack Tucker, Emmanuel Mensah, Ola Williams, Jack Strange, Alfie Bendle (Richard Thompson, 86), Elliot Bolton, Kieron Cadogan, Warren Mfula (William Efambe, 80), Bobby Mills (Hakeem Adelakum, 80), Ben Cheklit

Booked:                        Bendle

Referee:            Craig Barnett

Assistants:         Sebastian Frazer, Bogdan Caraghin

Att:       181