Corinthian-Casuals earned the first point of the season in a gritty 0-0 stalemate at Cray Wanderers that couldn’t see the sides separated.

The Tolworth-based outfit had been somewhat unlucky not to already pick up points, with two narrow defeats in the opening fixtures. Whilst the Amateurs were still awaiting their first goal, they also had the best defence in the league, only conceding twice.

Ever present in goal was captain Danny Bracken, celebrating his 400th competitive appearance for the Casuals – a remarkable feat for a player about to enter his tenth year at the club, and all before the schoolteacher reaches his thirtieth birthday.

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Casuals arguably started the brighter of the two sides and exploit space. Kevant Serbony found himself in the action firing wide on a couple of occasions. At the other end Freddie Parker’s low shot was well stopped by Bracken who wasn’t going to let anyone spoil his day.

The closest anyone came to breaking the deadlock was on the half hour mark. Juevan Spencer’s low cross to the back post was met by a sliding Ollie Sitch, who finished well, all in vain as the Assistant Referee raised his flag for offside. Fans would have to wait to celebrate their first of the season.

Mike Dixon also tested Lewis Carey in goal after a good run from the channel, taking on the shot himself and forcing the corner.

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The adage of ‘it’s got 0-0 written all over it’ rang true despite a late surge from Cray who had two good chances to win it. Bradley Prichard’s header from just yards out tested Bracken’s reaction time and the keeper made a sharp stop. More fortunately, Charlie Allen’s shot just wide of the post left a few Casuals hearts in mouths.

Just like last season, Casuals pick up their first point of the campaign in the third game of the season. The positives are how defensively tight James Bracken’s side are looking with the joint best record in the league. Now they just need to start adding goals to the mix.

“I’m always happy with a clean sheet away from home,” said Bracken after the match “At Cray, over the course of the season, we’ll look back on it as a good result.

“They scored a couple in the week against Folkestone so we’ve come here and shut them out. We had our opportunities too. We had the ball in the net, plenty of promising attacks though our final ball just let ourselves down.

“There’s no complaints from me today. Nothing but positives.

“Defensively we’re looking good. We’ve let in two goals in the first three games – that’s the best record in the league. We’ll continue to work on our forward play, and it’ll come good. I believe when we score a goal, with the defensive displays we’re putting in, we’ll wrap games up on the counter-attack and that’s where we’ll win matches.

Speaking on his Brother, Danny Bracken making his 400th competitive appearance, James said, “He’s been a fantastic servant to this club, more so than anyone else I know. Today, he’s had a good game. He didn’t have too much to do but what he did have to deal with, he made it look easy. That’s pleasing from my part. 400 games, a clean sheet – he can enjoy that like the rest of the team should.

Casuals host Carshalton Athletic in the league on Saturday.