It was deja-vu for James Bracken and his Corinthian-Casuals side as they booked their place in the Bostik League South playoff final for the second consecutive year, defeating Greenwich Borough 3-0 in the process.

Last year saw a dramatic 4-3 win with goals from Shaun Okojie, Reyon Dillon and Mu Maan clinching their first ever final spot. This year, a more comfortable scoreline, thanks to a brace from Gabriel Odunaike and a penalty from Josh Uzun sees Casuals cruise into the final against their namesakes – Walton Casuals, who defeated Cray Wanderers 5-2 in the other semi-final.

Casuals took the lead on 23 minutes. A ball over the top to Odunaike was well saved by Michael McEntergart in goal but the rebound was collected by the striker before being fouled by Callum McGeehan. A calm and cool penalty was dispatched by Josh Uzun to take the lead.

13 minutes later and Casuals doubled their advantage. A long ball through from Warren Morgan was skilfully controlled by Odunaike who made no mistake in hitting the mark.

After the break, Casuals thought process was to kill the game off. And they were given a helping hand just seven minutes after the break when Danny Fitzsimons woefully sold short his backpass and Odunaike sprung into action to slot through the keeper’s legs and seal the result.

“No disrespect to Greenwich but that was comfortable tonight”, said James Bracken after the match.

“Last year, we came here and played with ten men for 70 minutes. This time, with eleven on the pitch, we took a grip on the game early doors, put ourselves in the driving seat and finished it off at the start of the second half.

“However, you’ll find that was probably the most upset I’d been at a half time interval this season. Even with the games we’ve lost in, I never went as mad as I did at Greenwich. Why? We didn’t do certain things that well, despite being 2-0 up against a very good side. I felt we could’ve been much better. Second half, they done everything I asked them to do. Be responsible. Don’t go and hide, don’t disappear. We done that in the first half. You can’t do that in semi-finals and certainly cannot do that on Saturday.

“Saying that, I thought our boys were phenomenal in the second half. We denied them anything. They fought for it. Gareth didn’t need to make a save. We were fantastic.

And Bracken now looks forward to the final test, Walton Casuals who defeated Cray Wanderers 5-2 at Hayes Lane.

“We’ve earned ourselves a home tie against Walton Casuals but we were ready to take on anyone at any venue. We’ll be ready. They’re a decent side who likes to play good football but we’ve beaten them here this season so we’ll take confidence in that.

“What does earning Bostik Premier football mean to me? It’s another step up the ladder.

“It’d also be a fantastic achievement to do it with our resources, playing with no budget. Everyone knows our situation. And with the amount of injuries we’ve had, we’ve been pulling up trees. Absolute trees.

“To get promotion with a fully fit squad, we’d have been doing the unbelievable. To do it with the amount of players we have injured would be something I couldn’t have even told you was possible. If you’d said to me at the start of the season, ‘James, you’ll go into the last two games of the season with the nine or ten players we have missing and you’ll go on and win it,’ I’d have called you crazy.

“But as a few have called it, including wise words from Alec Stewart – it’s about a team at this stage. We are a team. Everyone fights for each other. Everyone knows their position, knows their cog in the machine. That was enough on Tuesday night and it’ll be enough on Saturday.”

Corinthian-Casuals host Walton Casuals at King George’s Tolworth in the Final on Saturday, May 5, 3pm.