GREENWICH BOROUGH 3-3 WALTON CASUALS
Bostik League South Division
Tuesday 26 September
A first-half brace from Lartey Sarpong wasn’t enough for Walton Casuals to claim three points in a tightly-contested affair at Greenwich Borough.
Joe Hicks’ second goal of the season opened the scoring for the Stags, and Sarpong took his personal tally to five.
However, extravagant spenders Greenwich Borough – tipped as league favourites this year – fought back courtesy of goals from Ali Fuseine and MacDonald.
On the road for the first time in nearly a month, the Stags opted for one chance from the side pipped by Lewes on Saturday. Alex Kelly returned to the XI after serving his suspension, with Jack Battie featuring on the bench.
Striker Josh Kelly earned the first big chance of the game, but watched his effort whistle past the post inside 10 minutes. After a frantic start, the game began to settle and the Casuals pressured the hosts with several corners testing the Borough defence.
On top throughout the first half, central defender Hicks broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute after tapping in from close range, and Sarpong extended the lead just nine minutes later.
An immediate response from Borough saw them race up the field from kick-off and earn a penalty, which MacDonald was able to slot past keeper Denzel Gerrar.
On the stroke of half-time, the two-goal cushion was restored by Sarpong. After Josh Kelly was unable to get a clean shot away, the ball fell to the attacking midfielder who made no mistake in beating Ben Bridle-Card.
The hosts were without Jack Sammoutis and Malachi Hudson – who both featured for Walton last year – but substitute Tom Carlse was able to make an immediate impact. After coming off the bench, the midfielder raced down the wing before finding Fuseine, who rocketed an effort past Gerrar.
Greenwich stepped up the pressure in the hunt for an equaliser and kept the Casuals on the back foot. Mark Phillips and MacDonald both forced fine saves from the Walton number one, and Carlse continued to cause issues out wide.
And the equaliser eventually came through MacDonald. With 11 minutes on the clock, the striker’s shot rifled in off the underside of the crossbar to level the game of two very different halves.
The Stags will look to bounce back with a win when hosting Hastings United at the Elmbridge Xcel Leisure Centre on Saturday 30 September.
Greenwich Borough XI: Ben Bridle-Card, Nathan Paul, Mark Phillips, Dean Gunner (Tom Carlse 45), Charlie Macdonald, Connor Hunte, Liam Hickey (Bradley Pritchard 21), Danny Fitzsimmons, Ali Fuseine, Sam Corne, Kaka Dembele (Francis Babalola 84)
Subs Not Used: Ryan King-Elliott, Travis Gregory
Goals: Charlie MacDonald (32, 79), Ali Fuseine (50)
Walton Casuals XI: Denzel Gerrar, Samuel Labinjo, Harry Mills, Alex Kelly (Mohamed Abukar 90), Max Hustwick, Joe Hicks, Luke Holness (Stefan Cox 57), Daryl Coleman, Josh Kelly, Lartey Sarpong, Sean McCormack
Subs Not Used: Jack Battie, Stuart Baldwin, Alfie Taylor
Goals: Joe Hicks (22), Lartey Sarpong (31, 45)