Corinthian-Casuals were held to a stalemate 0-0 draw by Hythe Town in the Bostik League on Saturday despite their opponents playing the second half with only 10 men.

Though Casuals have gone eight games unbeaten in all competitions, the draw saw them lose ground in the promotion chase and slipped to fifth in the table.

A large crowd, along with ex-Liverpool and England Striker Stan Collymore who was filming for his TV show watched as Casuals were frustrated by the Kent Coast side for most of the game.

Though starting slowly, a red card shown to Hythe’s Jordan Johnson-Palmer for a reckless challenge on Reyon Dillon changed the course of the game. Despite the advantage, Casuals were unable to break down the Cannon’s defence and the points were shared.

“Really frustrating today,” said Assistant Manager Dan Pringle after the match. “In the first half, we weren’t at the races.

“Through our poor start, we allowed them to get a foothold in the game. We allowed them to get some belief and from there-on, it was difficult for us to assert ourselves back into the game.

“For sure that was a definite red card. In fact, there could’ve been another one issued for the tackle on Max Oldham. They were fortunate to go in at the break with ten men still on the field.

“Playing against ten men can be a poisoned chalice. Teams change their mindset. They sit in and are happy to take a point at that stage. It’s a great result for them.

“We’ve not pressurised them enough. Not enough shots at goal in the second half. Not enough sustained penetration. The final ball was lacking or someone not being in the right area at the right time.

“In all honesty, we could’ve played for another 90 minutes and not scored today.

“When we’re at our best, as we saw on Tuesday at Hendon, we can beat anyone. We dominated that game, passed them off the pitch and should’ve scored more than the three we did.

“It’s just a shame we go from that to this performance today.

Despite dropping to fifth in the league, Pringle is still confident that the King George’s Field-based side can be champions, with sixteen matches left to play.

“We’ll believe we can still win this league until it’s mathematically impossible for us not to do so.

“In our three years here, we’ve never come across another side who we feel like we’ve been outplayed or feel like we should’ve lost to. We’ve had poor halves of football now and again but I don’t think we’ve ever had a full 90 where we believe we should’ve been beaten.

“We can take confidence from how we ended the last two seasons. Last year, we won 10 on the bounce to get to the playoff final. That’s fantastic but we have to be mindful that other teams respect us much more now.

“The first season, it was unheard of here and we were a complete surprise. The second season, people expected us to fall away and not sustain our challenge. Therefore, this year it’s harder than ever because there’s far more respect towards us.

“We’ve got so much talent in our changing room though that there is no reason why we can’t win every single game, even against the big boys. I believe if we achieve that, we will finish as champions.

“If not, we’ve been in the playoffs last year so we know what to expect. It was a good experience, though hard to take defeat at the time, so we take great confidence from what we learned in that and the last two years as a whole.”

Casuals travel to Whyteleafe on Saturday.