Corinthian-Casuals suffered their first defeat in the league in five matches, but Manager James Bracken insists his side are “still in the mix”.

The 2-0 loss at Wingate & Finchley on Saturday dropped the Tolworth outfit to tenth in the table but are just two points outside the playoff places with at least one game in hand.

“We’ve won five of the last six so losing a game doesn’t put us out of contention,” commented Bracken.

“We’re right in the mix. We’re still four points behind K’s with two games in hand. Had we won, we’d have been in the playoff places because Worthing lost. Leaders Dorking lost with Tonbridge winning their first game in six, so everyone is dropping points.”

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Casuals headed into Saturday’s clash in North London on the back of a dramatic 2-1 win at Leatherhead. But they were slow out of the blocks and Sean Cronin gave the hosts the deserved lead after twenty minutes.

Despite Corinth enjoying prolonged periods of pressure, Wingate struck on the break and made it 2-0 courtesy of Reece Mitchell.

Casuals looked to take something from the fixture but were unable to muster a comeback for the second time in a week. Juevan Spencer went closest when his chip clipped the crossbar.

“The first twenty minutes were a write-off,” said Bracken after the match.

“We’ve gifted them two goals. The first was a poor goal to concede on our part. Even the second goal, we’ve given away the ball very sloppily under no pressure. But if you look at the bigger picture, there was plenty to be pleased with. Let’s bear in mind, we’ve come to Wingate – an established club at this level, given them a two-goal lead but been the better team. That’s football for you.

“Their keeper has made a couple of good saves and there have been a couple of deflections which could’ve easily gone in.

“I thought we were a little unlucky at times but too often, we weren’t clinical enough. We got into some great positions. We had three or four one-on-ones coming in on the angle and not hit the target.

“Today could’ve easily been a 3-2 or 4-2 win for us had we taken our chances.”

Casuals travel to Lewes on Wednesday night.