Corinthian-Casuals’ Boss James Bracken felt his side deserved more from the 1-0 loss to league leaders Folkestone Invicta on Saturday.

Keiron McCann’s first half strike was the only goal to separate the sides, despite being 21 places between the teams in the league.

But Casuals cannot catch a break and condemned the Tolworth outfit to their seventh league loss this season.

The last two league matches have been against the top two sides, yet Bracken will be scratching his head as to how Casuals haven’t earned points from either.

Casuals have the sixth best defensive record in the league but scoring goals has been the major problem and with just five tallied up in ten games, the Amateurs have to resolve that problem sooner rather than later.

Keeper Manny Agboola was once again in between the sticks and the return of Andy Mills to central defence eased Bracken’s injury-led selection problems. The big comeback was captain Gabriel Odunaike, who’s lengthy absence has been felt and was immediately thrust into the team to give attacking options.

Odunaike looked lively and the most likely to score. He found himself with just keeper Tim Roberts in the to beat but Folkestone’s custodian smothered the effort well. Casuals had far more impetus than the limp FA Cup exit the week before and caused the Seasiders problems.

Though the visitors should’ve taken the lead, but for Agboola’s wonderful double save to prevent them going ahead. However, minutes later, Kieron McCann’s cut inside and low shot was too accurately-placed for Agboola to stop and Folkestone had the lead.

Your Local Guardian: Casuals Management team James Bracken, Dan Pringle and Jon WilliamsCasuals Management team James Bracken, Dan Pringle and Jon Williams

Casuals carved out a few chances; Shaun Okojie probably should’ve scored from a powerful free header in the centre of the box. On target, and that would’ve been a certain equaliser. The striker’s fierce shot from the edge of the box did force Roberts into a fine stop.

And Casuals continued to advance in the second half. Odunaike’s gone close from a quick corner and even full-back Jack Tucker’s drive from 20 yards was expertly tipped over by the busier of the two keepers. Even the gents from the popular blog ‘Two Men in Search of the Beautiful Game’ commented that you’d never have told who was top and who was bottom of the league.

But goals win games and Casuals drew a blank for the sixth time in this league campaign and thus, the solitary strike from McCann was enough to send the Kent side home happy.

It’s getting a bit repetitive, isn’t it?,” said Bracken after the match. “I probably said this about five games ago. It is getting repetitive.

“I said to the players in the changing room how unlucky they were today and deserved more from that, against a team that’s top of the league. I said there’s nothing between you and them. You get confidence from that knowing we’re there-or-thereabouts. All we can do is keep resetting, keep refocussing, turn up to training with enthusiasm and approach the next game with a positive mindset.

“Our goals against is decent. We’re sixth best in the league for conceding. We need to score more goals. We went with four attacking players up top but we have to find the right balance. We made a few changes. Gave a few boys opportunities and they did okay. The likes of Jack Tucker came in an put in a decent performance. Unfortunately, his man has come inside him for the goal, but he could’ve done that to anyone… McCann’s a good player – he scored two last week. Folkestone have been scoring freely – put three past Brightlingsea last week and scored four away at Potter’s Bar. They certainly didn’t run us ragged. There are positives, but until we start putting points on the board and getting that winning feeling back, we need to keep working hard. 

“We know the league results haven’t been there. We’ve done okay in the FA Cup, even with that performance last week, where we haven’t turned up. But how many times can you say that we didn’t perform on the day? Maybe five times in the last five years. We’ve always performed even when we’ve lost. We had no right to beat Sevenoaks who are flying high at the top of the division below. We had no right to beat Chelmsford City here, but we did. We had an off day at King’s Langley. That’s all. The world hasn’t caved in. But of course, because of the league results, it feels like it’s a bigger loss.

“We haven’t got a game scheduled now for ten days which is nonsense. Then it’s a packed schedule for the five following weeks. We’ll have ten games in five weeks yet ten days without a match. The way the fixtures have fallen is crazy. We had four games in September and were due to have eight in October. But maybe that’s what we need. Just to get out there every Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday and within ten days, you pick up three wins and suddenly you have 12 points on the board.

“We just need to keep working. There’s no quick fix. There’s no bringing in three players this week that’ll make a difference. These boys have got to keep on showing good attitude. I don’t have a magic wand, so we just need work our socks off every week. If we keep doing that, then we keep believing.”