Corinthian-Casuals suffered a first-half wake up call after conceding FIVE goals in 45 minutes at Margate in their Bostik League Premier Division opener on Saturday.

A nightmare first period saw James Bracken’s side facing a drubbing in the club’s first match at the Premier level. A much-improved performance in the second half saw Casuals restore some pride as they went down 5-2 against the Kent-based league favourites.

“I knew it’d be a tough learning curve,” said Bracken following the match. “What I mean by that is we can play like we did in the first half against a Bostik South side and gone in at the break one-nil down. If we’d have responded like we did in the second half, we’d have come away with the three points.

“However, the learning curve here in this league is we go home with no points, based on the first half performance. That was nowhere near good enough. Some of our defending was suicidal. You give the opposition ten yards of space, they’re going to score every time.”

Though Casuals started brightly, the Tolworth-outfit found themselves two down in the first 20 minutes. An injury to stand-in keeper Mo Maan didn’t help matters and Margate capitalised scoring another three before the break.

A much-improved second half performance saw Casuals restore some pride. Debutant Warren Mfula was awarded a penalty though sent his spot-kick sailing over the bar. He made amends a minute later slotting home and giving Corinth their first Bostik Premier goal. Continuing to threaten, Gil Carvalho added a second with minutes left to give Bracken some positivity from the day.

“I told them at half time just to play more,” continued Bracken. “All pre-season, we’ve played good football. We’ve got it down, passed the ball well, moved off the ball. Everything you’d want to come and watch.

“At half time, I said, as far as I am concerned, I’m happy to draw a line under it and put right what we needed to put right. There’s no pressure on us now as the game is done. You’re playing for your shirts on Tuesday night… go and show what you’ve got. We couldn’t get any worse so have a go in the second half and win it, which we did.

“You win or you learn. That’s a common ethos and I honestly believe it. In this league, nothing is expected of us. We got what people expected from this fixture – nothing.

"But we learned a hell of a lot by the end of the match and if we start the game the way we started the second half, we’ll give others a right good game. Then the fine margins come into play as to whether you win or you lose.”

“Remember, this isn’t our season done. It’s one game in and there’s always funny results on the opening day. We’ll certainly be more prepared. The nerves will be gone and hope to get back to our pre-season performance levels.”

Casuals lost 3-1 at home to Folkestone Invicta on Tuesday night. Hamilton Antonio was on target for James Bracken's side.

Casuals are at home to Merstham on Saturday.