Croal so cool for Casuals

Lewis Croal’s second-half winner fired struggling Corinthian-Casuals to victory and dented Billericay Town’s play-off push. Despite many postponements across the Isthmian Premier Division, Casuals secured a professional win over the Blues at a bitterly cold New Lodge with goals from Luke Stokoe and Croal.

The win lifted the visitors into 19th place while the Blues hopes of a push towards the top five were dashed.

Alfie Cerulli on the run (Credit: Nicky Hayes)

Billericay boss Dan Brown admitted that he was ‘very unhappy’ with the result. He said: ‘I am definitely disappointed that we lost – we’ve played worse and won. We spent long periods in the final third and were very unlucky not to make more openings. I do think you make your own luck so it’s not the best, I am not happy, but we keep moving.’

The Blues started brightly and they were creating chances but they couldn’t find that clinical finishing touch to open the scoring. With just over 15 minutes on the clock, John Ufuah’s cross fell to Matt Price, whose shot narrowly went over. Montel Agyemang was unable to score either as his shot deflected wide from outside the box.

Casuals were awarded a free-kick and took the lead with 30 minutes played. Stokoe’s free-kick was perfectly placed and flew past Harry Seaden and into the net by the far post.

They nearly got a second when another Stokoe shot went narrowly over the bar. However, Town were back on level terms on 42 minutes as Bradley Stevenson was fouled inside the box despite the follow-up shot from Alfie Cerulli hitting the back of the net. Brad Stevenson took the subsequent spot kick and he hit past Benas Libikas to score the equaliser.

Billericay began to create some chances at the beginning of the second half but they couldn’t take the lead.

A few minutes into the second half, Cerulli’s cross fell to Michael Chambers but he was unable to convert.

But the pressure was broken on 53 minutes as the home side lost the ball on the edge of their own area and Croal pounced on the loose ball and struck into the Billericay net from close range.

The Blues were struggling to break down a robust opposition defence and despite several attacks, Billericay couldn’t get their second goal. Toby Stevenson received a yellow card following a mistimed challenge on halfway but he stayed on the pitch despite protests from the visiting players and staff.

Town continued to dominate possession without creating any clear openings. The Blues had a host of corners at the end of the game but Casuals held firm to secure a much-needed victory.

Billericay Town: Seaden, Wind, Chambers, Ekpiteta, T.Stevenson, Agyemang, Uche, B.Stevenson, Ufuah (Dickson 67′), Price, Cerulli

Unused substitutes: Ebuzoeme, Wilson, Taylor, Lukombo

Corinthian-Casuals: Libikas, Chislett, Adelakun, Thomson, Collins, Kudyiwa, Dowridge (Vetterlein 86′), Jackson, Croal (Pinney 71′), Stokoe (Masikini 71′), Hyman

Unused substitutes: Diaby

Referee: Tommy Breen

Assistant referees: Bruno Marques & Gary Baker

Attendance: 634

Star men: Bradley Stevenson (Billericay Town) & Benas Libikas (Corinthian-Casuals)

Alternative link to article on Billericay Town’s website – Croal so cool for Casuals


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s