Champions' perfect response

THE champions are up and running after experience overcame youth at Footes Lane on Saturday.

Andy Whalley, who scored twice, in possession for Casuals against Elizabeth College at Footes Lane. (Picture by Martin Gray,, 28733708)
Andy Whalley, who scored twice, in possession for Casuals against Elizabeth College at Footes Lane. (Picture by Martin Gray,, 28733708)

A 7-2 victory was the perfect response to their opening weekend defeat from Casuals against an Elizabeth College side who posed them a few questions with their energy and no-little ability.

But the men in black were more than up to the task as their nous and clinical nature in the final third earned them their first three points of the new campaign.

Although the students had their fair share of possession in the first half, the chances were almost exclusively created by Casuals.

Matt Bain and Nick Bachmann both went close in the opening 10 minutes and when the first goal arrived on 13min., it was a cracker as Dave Morris weaved his way through several chances inside the D before hammering home on the reverse to give the champions the lead.

They doubled their advantage just a couple of minutes later. Andy Whalley had been heavily involved in the build up down the left and after Mark Babbe had an effort blocked, Whalley followed up to score.

College goalkeeper Morgan Clayton helped keep the deficit to just two with a couple of fine saves as Casuals forced a succession of short-corners while Whalley was just wide with a snap shot just before the break.

With Casuals’ usual youthful legs such as Jacob Gomes, Charlie Clapham and the Rivers-Moore boys turning out for the opposition on this occasion, College might have fancied their chances of getting back into the game after the interval if they could improve in the final third.

However, Casuals started to let the ball do the work more and more to pull away decisively in the third quarter.

Bachmann made it 3-0 on 42min. when he fired home after Alex Bushell’s long aerial, which was well controlled and moved on by Chris Lowin, turned defence into attack in a flash.

Lowin got on the scoresheet moments later with a trademark short-corner drag-flick and although Clayton came up with another good save to deny the same player a second, he could do nothing about the fifth scored by Dan Gill, who reacted sharply to bat in the ball from close range as it ballooned up over his head.

With 12 minutes remaining, Bachmann added a sixth from a yard out with Whalley’s initial shot having hit the post and the scoreline was starting to do the youngsters a disservice.

But much to their credit they kept working hard and were rewarded with two goals in the space of three minutes. Both came from short-corners with Clapham credited with the first as the ball crept over the line after a bit of pinball in the goalmouth then Zack Taylor’s drag flick found the roof of the net via a deflection off a defender's stick.

Andy Good’s team deserved that reward, but it was Casuals who had the final word as Whalley’s low drive found the bottom corner.

In a second top-flight game, Indies beat Yobbos 7-4.

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