Simon Wormull made two changes from the side which lost at Leatherhead on Wednesday evening, re-introducing Dan Choules and Andre McCollin to the starting XI.
On a wet and stodgy pitch, the Hillians enjoyed the majority of possession in the opening 5 minutes. However, the Casuals dealt the first blow in the 7th minute, when Mfula capitalised on a defensive error from Richmond and cooly slotted under the on-rushing James. The hosts continued to press, and following 6 successive corners thought they’d doubled their lead. An in-swinging corner caused the Hillians problems with the ball pin-balling inside the six-yard box, somehow, Josh James managed to claw the loose ball, from behind himself, around the post and clear of danger. The half hour mark saw the Hillians begin to find their feet, with Dan Choules and Keano Deacon proving a threat down the right hand side. The pace of Deacon almost brought the Hillians level, but his cross flicked off the top of the crossbar and away from danger. In the 42nd minute, the Casuals extended their advantage through Hamilton Antonio. The midfielder evaded two Hillians challenges and fired past James from 20 yards – sparking lively celebrations from the home crowd.
The Hillians started the second half better, with McCollin stinging the hands of Bracken from 35 yards. James was called into action, once more, in the 54th minute as he turned Ekim’s dipping effort around the post. Odunaike passed up the opportunity to put the game to bed, as he blasted over the bar from inside the penalty area. The Hillians’ best chance of the game came in the 74th minute, as Andre McCollin let fly from 25 yards only to see his effort cannon back off the post. The game was put to bed in the 85th minute, as an unmarked Strange headed home from four yards out. The final chance of the game fell to Beck but Bracken was equal to his low strike.
A bad day at the office for the Hillians, as we struggled to get going on a miserable afternoon in Tolworth.
The Hillians MOTM was awarded to Josh James, who kept the Hillians in the game for the majority of the ninety minutes with a string of fine saves.
Next up, it’s a break from league action and a trip to Kent in the Velocity Trophy!