Casuals revival has boss Matt Howard dreaming of survival through cleansheets

Wimbledon Guardian: All Smiles (from left): Jamie Byatt, Steve Goddard and Dave Hodges celebrate Goddard’s strike against Redhill on Tuesday 	Picture: Stuart Tree All Smiles (from left): Jamie Byatt, Steve Goddard and Dave Hodges celebrate Goddard’s strike against Redhill on Tuesday Picture: Stuart Tree

Nevermind striker Jamie Byatt’s goals, Corinthian Casuals boss Matt Howard believe cleansheets are key to his side’s survival hopes.

The King George’s Field side stand six points clear of the Ryman Division One South dropzone – ahead of last night’s trip to Three Bridges – having been nine points adrift of safety at the beginning of March.

Casuals drew 0-0 with fellow-strugglers Whitstable Town on Saturday and backed that up on Tuesday with a 3-0 win at Redhill through goals from Jamie Byatt, Juevan Spencer and Steve Goddard.

Byatt has 25 goals to his name this term and has done much to inspire the turnaround in recent wiiks with Howard’s men having now secured seven points from their past three league games prior to last night.

But, with nine matches still to play before the end of the campaign, the manager knows his side need more than just goals to maintain their survival fight.

“Since I took over, I have always thought we’d score goals, but I have questioned whether we are good enough to keep cleansheets,” he said.

“We have not conceded a goal in our past three games now so we are getting somewhere.

“I am over the moon with the way we have performed over the past three games.”

With the exception of leaders Peacehaven & Teslcombe, Folkestone Inbicta, Burgess Hill Town and Walton Casuals, Howard’s side face teams in mid-table or below over the closing weeks of the campaign.

And the manager and his men are not getting ahead of themselves.

“We have got seven points from a possible 12 recently, but the lads are not getting carried away,” he said.

“They know there is still a long way to go and we are still in a scrap til the end.

“We play Redhill again on the final day and it could easily go all the way.”

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