Corinthian-Casuals hit the summit of the Bostik League South with a routine 3-0 win over lowly but spirited Ashford United.

Two goals from Reyon Dillon sandwiched Max Oldham’s strike to propel Casuals two points clear of second place Lewes, who have a game in hand.

Despite a resounding 6-1 win at South Park on Tuesday night, Bracken made five changes to the starting XI and admitted afterwards that he had ten players unavailable through either suspension or injury. What has been evident this campaign is the strength in depth.

Ashford have struggled in their first season back at Step Four but on this afternoon, they showed that they’re a better side than perhaps league position suggests.

Though Fraser Walker gifting the ball to Reyon Dillon in the eighth minute didn’t help their cause. The defender misjudged a pass which let the imposing striker freely shoot from 20 yards into the bottom corner to give Casuals the early lead.

Though retaining the bulk of the possession and territory, Casuals didn’t quite click, especially where it mattered. Dillon’s slip in the six yard box at the crucial moment prevented him from bagging a brace. By the end of the half, Ashford had grown into the game and put late pressure on the Casuals defence.

The second half saw more frustration as Corinth looked to put the game to bed. Dillon’s bundled effort was adjudged to have been offside and the score remained at a precarious 1-0.

Josh Uzun’s whipped free kick was safely held by Aaron Lee-Wharton in goal. Max Oldham’s improvised scissor kick, parried from a Lee-Wharton save was aimed just wide. Frustrating, especially as Casuals’ promotion-chasing rivals were all losing.

With 20 minutes remaining, Oldham put the game out of Ashford’s sight. Man of the Match Mu Maan played a perfect pass to the zippy American who had no hesitation in placing the ball between Lee-Wharton’s legs to make it 2-0.

Dillon wrapped up the proceedings in the 82nd minute converting a Gabriel Odunaike cross and celebrating with his now trademark knee slide. Job done. Casuals made hard work of it at times and Ashford have some real quality which they’ll look to build upon in the coming weeks.

“We made hard work of it,” said Boss Bracken after the match.

“We had some good chances in the first half and had some fantastic balls flash across the face of their goal. But we didn’t punish them as we should’ve done. In no way, shape or form was that our most fluid performance but with the rain and the pitch becoming more greasy, it’s not easy.

“The squad was fully used again. Not out of choice but necessity. The boys who came in have done well though. I actually thought it’d be a 1-0 game. I said on Tuesday that you get some games where we’ll score six from six chances and others that you scrape a 1-0.

“Fair play to the lads for getting another couple of goals on top though. That’s tipped our goal difference to being the best in the league which helps.

“My approach won’t change being at the top. We have to remember that Lewes have a game in hand and if they win it, we’re second. We’ll approach it that way.

“Results going our way was nice. Greenwich losing to Horsham, Lewes scraping a draw with a last-minute equaliser at home to Thamesmead. Sittingbourne comfortably beaten by South Park. These things happen and we have to use their misfortune as a wakeup call that it could be us next time. We need to make sure that doesn’t happen.

“Let’s remember, it’s November. We’re top now. In another week’s time, we might be back down to second or third. We’ll do our best to stay top from now on. It is out of our hands with Lewes’ game in hand, but we’re going well and must keep it up.”

Casuals face Phoenix Sports at home on Tuesday night before travelling to Sitingbourne on Saturday.