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05 February 2017

Whyteleafe 0 Corinthian-Casuals 1

My second visit to the Whyteleafe ground, this time to see the real home team take on Corinthian-Casuals, a club with an astonishing history. The present day club is the result of a merger between Corinthians and Casuals in the 30s, but before then Corinthians had an amazing philosophy, epitomised in this quotation from Wikipedia:
Committed to the amateur game, the club only played friendlies, despite attracting the most gifted players of the age. Deprived of competition at home, the club made overseas tours, helping to establish football in Brazil, where the club Corinthians still bears their name. And today - and presumably at every match - the Casuals fans displayed a banner bearing the words "Obrigado por fazer parte da nossa historia" (thank you for being part of our history). One of their fans was even flourishing an old-fashioned wooden rattle.

We were far from Brazil. Neat passages of play by both teams but very little goal-threat. As I've said before, the ground is picturesquely situated among the Surrey hills, but those hills mean sunset is early and cold on a winter's day. As the chilly air settled into the valley after half-time the game grew even less animated. With about 15 minutes to go, Casuals got the only goal from a well worked free kick.

Both clubs seem destined for a mid-table finish. Most of the 168 crowd accepted the defeat with an appropriately stoic resignation, while the 20 or so travelling fans were attic in their celebrations.

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