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Haringey Held To A Draw By Battling Casuals


Haringey Borough 2 Corinthian Casual 2

Bostik Premier

Saturday 2nd March


Haringey Borough’s promotion charge is still very much ongoing despite being pegged back by a Corinthian Casuals side needing to post a few more points on the board to make sure they don’t get dragged into any late season relegation difficulties. Borough having led the table at one point during the campaign started the day 2nd and got down to business straight away as Kudus Oyenuga, a recent loanee signing from Darford, let fly inside the opening seconds that stung Daniel Bracken’s fingertips.


But Casual went on to break the deadlock in the 10th minute, as their oepning attack played in an unmarked Gabriel Odunaike who showed great composure as he dinked a shot over the onrushing Valery Pajetat to give Casual an early lead.


But Borough immediately picked themselves up and almost found an equaliser minutes later when Mark Kirby rose highest from a corner, heading an effort just over the cross bar. But while Haringey had more of the possession, it was Casuals who were able to eke out chances once they had possession. Odunaike held the ball up well, before teeing up Kevant Serbony who blazed over. But another ball over the top aimed at Odunaike was this time cut out by Pajetat; the Borough ‘keeper being alert and off his line to clear up at the back.


The game was then turned on its head within two minutes. Firstly on 29 minutes Borough drew level as a ball outside the box was curled into the net by Georgios Aresti. Then two minutes later Joel Nouble stroked a penalty beyond Bracken to hand Borough a quick turn-around lead.


But Casuals lifted themselves and in the 35th minute Majed Osman latched onto a ball but could only lash wide. Then in the 42nd minute Joseph Staunton beat Borough’s offside trap, but then overhit his cross and it flew harmlessly away.


But Borough put Casuals under the cosh for the remaining minutes of the first half with Bracken having to get down low to keep out an Oyenuga shot. Then the resulting corner saw Rakim Richards fire off a header that Bracken saved; the ball then worked its way back across the box where Richards had another header well saved by the Casuals stopper.


Borough opened the second half with a well worked move that required the boot of Hakeem Adelakun to clear from the six-yard box. But Casuals then crafted a chance themselves, with a fine delivery by Odunaike towards the back post being wasted by Osman, whose initial miscue allowed the Borough defence to regroup and then clear their lines. Coskum Ekin curled a Casuals free kick well past Pajetat’s left hand post soon afterwards but after that Casuals saw the survice upfront drowned out by Haringey’s defence.


Haringey were now back on the attack as Barker played a nice pass to Nouble, who went down in the box but the referee waved away the appeals. Then on the hour Olufemi found Barker with a pinpoint cross which ended up in the net, but the goal was soon chalked off for offside. But it looked like the next Haringey goal was coming.


Instead Casual drew level in the 64th minute when Osman turned and struck a low shot past Pajetat. It had come against the run of play as at that point it had been Haringey holding most of the attacking possession. The hosts were soon back at the other end as Aresti laid the ball out wide to Olufemi; the resulting cross zipped dangerously across Bracken’s goalmouth with Oyenuga just failing to apply the final touch. It wasn’t all one-way traffic as Pajetat had to save an Odunaike grasscutter, but the introduction of Dimitrious Froxylias in the 69th minute suddenly saw the hosts looking threatening upfront. Froxylias started a fine passing move that ended with him receiving  the final pass and firing it past Bracken. It would have been a fine goal, but once again the Assistant Official’s flag was up.


The Casuals had to really soak it up as the game came into the final stages. In the 85th minute Froxylias went on a good run that split the Casual defence, before laying off Oyenuga whose half volley clipped the post. Karl Akinwande and Aresti both had shots blocked late on, then in stoppage time an Akinwande cross nearly got turned in by a Casual player.


The result means Haringey Borough remain 2nd, but with Dorking Wanderers now opening up an 11-point lead after they beat Burgess Hill Town 6-0, means that they realistically any promotion is now likely to come via the play-offs.


Haringey Borough: Valery Pajetat, David Olufemi (Capt), Michael O’Donoghue, Lionel Stone, Mark Kirby, Rakim Richards, Charley Barker (Karl Akinwande 74’), Joseph Staunton (Dimitrious Froxylias 69’), Kudus Oyenuga, Georgios Aresti, Joel Nouble.

Scorers – Georgios Aresti (29’), Joel Nouble (31’p).

Corinthian Casuals: Daniel Bracken (Capt), Juevan Spencer, Hakeem Adelakun, Jack Strange, Reece Hannighan, Coskum Ekin, Majed Osman, Antonio Hamilton (Josh Uzun 82’), Gabriel Odunaike, Mu Mann, Kevant Sebony (Warren Mfula 77’).

Scorers – Gabriel Odunaike (10’), Majed Osman (64’).

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