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19TH & 23RD AUGUST 2023

This was the third meeting between The Casuals and The Reds in the Fa Cup, and like the two previous occasions it was a Preliminary Round tie that brought them together. In 1985 and 1994 Uxbridge came out on top, winning 3-1 and 1-0 respectively, and were therefore hoping to complete a hat-trick of victories and book a place in the First Qualifying Round.

On Saturday Uxbridge made their first ever visit to King George’s Fields and despite leading twice they had to settle for a draw and a replay at their temporary home at Slough Town. After a quite start Uxbridge started to create several chances. Dean Morgan had a shot blocked on the line and moments later Mal Thomas gave The Reds the lead. Michael Bryan floated in a free kick and Luke Paris lost his marker and planted a header towards the net. The giant Muhammed Otuyo, in the Casuals goal, palmed away the effort and Thomas following in fired home. On the stroke of half-time Anuar Ceesay had three shots blocked on the line. A far post cross was recycled by Bryan and Ceesay hit shot after shot at The Causals goal, each one being kept out by outstretched legs and flying bodies. HALF TIME: CORINTHIAN CASUALS 0 UXBRIDGE 1

Seven minutes into the second period the home side pulled level. The Reds failed to clear and with no one spotting The Casuals Captain, Reece Deakin, lurking at the far-post, the number nine had the simple chance of tapping home from three yards. Uxbridge’s response was immediate and impressive. Thomas outpaced two defenders and curled in a peach of a cross. Morgan arrived at pace and flung himself at full stretch, to send a header past Otuyo that almost broke the net. Too early for “goal-of-the-season”? Strangely, The Reds failed to build on their lead, and the game became scrapy, with mis-placed passes and the intensity seemed to be missing from The Reds play. The Casuals weren’t exactly pulling up any trees, and new signing Loris Marcimain in the Uxbridge goal was having a quiet afternoon. However, a one goal lead is always dangerous – do you stick or twist? With fifteen minutes remaining a lapse of concentration allowed Deakin space behind the Reds defence. Substitute Adrain Spence, spotting an opportunity, made a run into the box - Deakin’s cross sailed over Marcimain and Paris – allowing Spence to head home from just a yard out. Both sides had chances to win the tie – Donnel Moore for the Casuals failed to beat Marcimain with a lob in the 89th minute and in stoppage time Ezra Ndukuba twice unlocked the home sides defence to set up Kensley Maloney. The first chance was high over the bar and the second was kept out by the boot of Otuyo. Honours even and a replay on Wednesday at Uxbridge’s temporary home at Slough Town. FULL TIME: CORINTHIAN-CASUALS 2 UXBRIDGE 2.


Uxbridge Line-up: Marcimain, Andrew, Taylor, Paris, Preddie, Cole, Ceesay, Maloney, Bryan, Morgan, Thomas. Subs Used: Ndukuba for Ceesay, Paine for Preddie, Mensah for Bryan. Not Used: Patrick, McGuinness, Purcell and Witham.


Both managers rang the changes for Wednesday night’s replay. The Casuals making four and Uxbridge five. When the dust had settled (okay not that much dust flying around off Slough Town’s 3G pitch) the consensus was Danny Edwards changes had had the desired effect. The Reds could have been three up in the opening ten minutes. Alex Witham, unmarked, mishit his shot from nine yards, after good work from Ndukuba. Ndukuba then strolled past Oscar Walton and clipped a shot past Otuyo which hit the outside of the post, and a great move involving a number of players wearing red shirts – ended with Lewis Patrick’s cross being deflected onto his own post by a defender, and into the grateful arms of Otuyo. Uxbridge continued to play their high-energy front foot football and were rewarded with a goal in the fifteenth minute. Witham curled a right-footed shot towards the far-post which Otuyo could only push out and Ndukuba stooped to head into an empty net. The Casuals, however, were soon back on level terms, against the run of play. Deakin’s free kick from the corner of the area took a huge deflection off Bernard Mensah and the wrong footed Marcimain could only watch as the ball nestled in the back of the net. The Reds responded and looked to restore their advantage. Ndukuba forced Otuyo into a good stop and lively winger was behind most of Uxbridge’s best moments. Although, it was an old head that put the home side back in front. Witham got to the bye-line and once again Otuyo pushed the ball out and Alan Hedley calmly side-footed the loose ball into the corner. Two soon became three. Ndukuba picked up a poor clearance and ghosted past the last defender and placed his shot into the far-corner. HALF TIME: UXBRIDGE 3 CORINTHIAN-CASUALS 1.

The second period continued in the same vein as the first. Uxbridge looking dangerous every time they came forward, and The Casuals only attempts coming from long range – which Marcimain dealt with comfortably. The killer fourth came just before the hour mark. Lewis Cole’s free kick picked out Paris, and the tall defender headed down and over Otuyo, to put the tie all but out of reach of the men from Tolworth. The final nail in the coffin came courtesy of the impressive Mensah. Turning quickly in a tight situation he drilled a low shot past Otuyo – his performance certainly deserved a goal. With twenty minutes remaining Edwards made three substitutions – bringing on Thomas, Bryan and Ceesay for Preddie, Mensah and Witham. The Reds continued to dominate possession and were quite content with their four-goal lead. Although, Edwards was willing his side to be ruthless and push for more goals. So that’s three Preliminary Round victories for The Reds in the FA Cup against Corinthian-Casuals and this sets up a First Qualifying Round tie at home to Cray Valley Paper Mills. Slough Town are at home on the 2nd of September so this match will take place on Sunday the 3rd at 3pm.



Uxbridge Line-up: Marcimain, Andrew, Patrick, Paris, Preddie, Cole, Ndukuba, Hedley, Mensah, Morgan, Witham. Subs Used: Bryan for Preddie, Thomas for Mensah, Ceesay for Witham. Not Used: Paine, Maloney, Pagliaroli and Taylor.


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