Casuals defeat Fulham 5-1 to win the inaugural Fulham Deaf v Casuals Annual Shield
A new look Casuals side fielding 5 debutants defeated Fulham 5-1 to win the inaugural Fulham Deaf v Casuals Shield, formed In recognition of the intense two year, six match rivalry between Fulham Deaf and Westminster Casuals.
In a well competed game that saw the Casuals, now managed by Grant Payne who made his managerial bow, enjoy most of the possession.
Fulham failed to match their superior opponents on the day and were found lacking in fitness, sharpness and concentration in some areas, and were duly punished by the experienced Casuals giving a wake up call before the start of the new season.
Fulham have just one more pre-season friendly left to fine tune the squad before the KDFL Division One kicks off, against AC Malden at Surbiton Town FC this Saturday, Kick off 12pm.
Ivan Stones reserve squad starts their first season in the KDFL Division 4 against Red Star FC on Saturday, at Motspur Park. Kicking off at 3pm.
Match report taken from www.westminstercasuals.co.uk
Michael Rootes opened the scoring midway through the first half after combining well with Payne and Andy Barnett before finding the top corner.
Right back Dave Brain then scored a brilliant first goal of his Casuals career when he met Rootesâ€™ deep cross with a spectacular volley from a narrow angle.
Newly elected penalty taker Sam Holder increased the lead from the spot to put the visitors firmly in the driving seat.
However within a minute of the restart the Casuals received a timely reminder that you are never more vulnerable than just after scoring when Fulhamâ€™s Italian striker Alex Bovino finished a cross from the right from close range.
Edwards and van der Laan entered the fray at half time and within a minute â€˜Gaffer Grantâ€™ ran past two Fulham defenders before lifting his shot over the advancing goalkeeper.
The introduction of Great Britain Deaf International winger Ben Lampert enlivened Fulham but with Edwards sitting in a holding midfield role in of front of the impressive new centre back pairing of Oliver Harker-Smith and Adam McCullagh the Casuals proved difficult to break down.
The visitors enjoyed an element of good fortune for their fifth goal when a Fulham defender saw the linesmanâ€™s raised flag and caught the ball in the area. Unfortunately for him the referee had waved play on and had no choice but to award the Casuals another penalty. Never one to show any mercy, Sam Holder stepped up to covert in some style.
With a couple of minutes remaining and Holder substituted, Barnett had his own chance to audition for the role of penalty taker as the Casuals were awarded their third spot kick of the afternoon but he fluffed his lines and the relieved Fulham keeper sat on the weak effort without having to move.