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Grier's Guide to Corinthian-Casuals

The game: Corinthian-Casuals v Kingstonian, Isthmian League. (Bank holiday) Monday 30 August, 15:00.

The club: Amateur club formed in 1939 as a merger of Corinthian FC and Casuals FC. In 1984 they were harshly thrown out of the Isthmian League for not having their own ground, recovering their status in 1996. In recent years they've been revitalised under James Bracken's management - achieving promotion back to the Isthmian Premier in 2018 for the first time since 1973, having narrowly missed out in the two previous seasons. They moved to Tolworth in 1988 - prior to that they'd played at various grounds across South London, including a season at Richmond Road. 

The ground: United Business Group Stadium, Queen Mary Close, Hook Rise South, Tolworth, Surrey KT6 7NA. This is our fourth season groundsharing there - in 2018 the two clubs announced plans for a partnership to develop it but this has since been abandoned with Ks looking elsewhere for their long-term future.

Tickets: £12 adults / £7 concessions / £1 U18s. They're not available online.

Directions: Ks fans presumably all know where the ground is but remember with a derby crowd parking will be more difficult than usual. If the car parks are full, which they probably will be by kick-off, it may be easier to park on Davis Road or Roebuck Road, off Jubilee Way.

Our record there: The two teams met frequently from 1945 to 1974 but were then in separate divisions for some 31 years. So it wasn't until 2005 that we made our first competitive visit to the ground, in the old Ryman 1, playing out a goalless draw. We've now met there seven times in the league, yielding five wins for Ks and two draws, including a spectacular 5-2 victory on the way to winning the Ryman 1 South title in 2009. Casuals did end our hopes of retaining the Surrey Senior Cup in 2006-07 though, dumping Stuart McIntyre's side out with a 2-1 win.

Players to watch: Goalkeeper and captain Danny Bracken is their talismanic leader, closing in on 500 appearances for the club. Striker Nathaniel Pinney played for Ks under Tommy Williams and has been a consistent goalscorer throughout his career. Centre-back Jack Strange is a highly-rated youngster and former K’s U18s stand-out Ben Cheklit is a skilful goal threat.

Recent form: They enjoyed a strong pre-season with five wins and a draw but lost their opening two league games to Potters Bar and Folkestone.

Crowd: Their live crowds have grown under Bracken and are typically around the 300 mark. They also have thousands of Brazilian fans who have adopted them from a distance - seven time Brazilian champions Corinthians Paulista were inspired by Corinthian FC and the two clubs have maintained ties since, including Corinthian-Casuals making three tours of Brazil.

Drinking: Tolworth has sadly become a complete desert for pubs over the last 20 years. The Toby Jug was a legendary music which hosted David Bowie, Led Zeppelin and Fleetwood Mac in its heyday; The Cap in Hand, the usual pre-match choice in the Ryman 1 years, is now derelict; Hot Shots snooker hall and the Harvester have long ago become flats; The Maverick, where we celebrated our 2009 title win, is a convenience store; and the last pub standing, the Broadway Bar, closed its doors for a refurb at some point before lockdown and hasn't reopened since. The clubhouse will be open or there's plenty of choice in Surbiton.

Food: While it's hard to get a pint in Tolworth it's not hard to get something to eat, with a huge variety of fast food joints, cafes and restaurants lining both sides of the Broadway and reflecting the area's diversity. A new addition is Luxxo, a takeaway which opened in March selling a burger covered in edible gold leaf for £125. A few days after opening they admitted to the Surrey Comet that they hadn't sold any; it's now been reduced to £70.95.


Published Sunday 29th August 2021