Corinthian-Casuals and Carshalton Athletic both drew a blank in a high quality Boxing Day clash at Colston Avenue to leave both sides outside the Bostik League South automatic promotion places.

Chances were few and far between for both sides, though Captain Danny Bracken in goal was the busier of the two keepers in a fine display. Reyon Dillon had two good opportunities for the Casuals but neither side could make the breakthrough.

Corinth Boss James Bracken was pleased with taking a point from a tricky promotion rival.

“I don’t ever accept coming into a game looking for a draw,” said Bracken following the match.

“Sometimes, after the match has finished, you can say a draw is a good and fair result. It’s a point gained rather than two lost.

“A point keeps them behind us. This isn’t an easy place to come and Carshalton played very well today. I’ve seen them a few times this season and that’s as good as I’ve seen them move the ball around in the second half as I’ve seen this year. But we’ve more than kept with it. We’ve had our own attacks, not through controlled possession as they have but still created one or two chances.”

Casuals came into the contest on the back of 3-2 victory courtesy of a 96th minute winner against East Grinstead Town last Saturday and look to be back on track for any title hopes.

“We’re starting to get there,” continued Bracken. “That’s one defeat in the last six and a clean sheet away at Carshalton. I believe we’ve turned the corner and now out of what was our blip. We need to push on and pick up a consecutive run of three points.”

But Bracken had some words about the gruelling schedule for his players, all of whom are unpaid at a semi-professional level.

“New Year’s Day will be our 39th game this season and that’s just ridiculous. If Premier League players have to play twice in four days they’re up in arms, yet they’re professional athletes.

“Our boys go to work in the day, whether they’re builders, teachers, whatever. They do a day’s work and turn up for a Tuesday night game, getting home at two in the morning and returning to work the next day. Thursday training then Saturday football again. Where are they supposed to catch up and recuperate?

“It needs to be looked at. They’ve crammed the first half of the season with fixtures way too much. Perhaps at the start of the season, maybe two or three Tuesdays out of every four is a matchday. If any of those get called off, I’m sure the spare Tuesday at the end of the month or those at the back end of the season will suffice in rearranging. Ultimately, it’s stretched us to the max.”

Casuals travel to Phoenix Sports on Saturday before hosting Walton Casuals on Monday.