Pre-Season Friendly – 26/7/16
Cray Wanderers 2 Dent 59, Mundele 79
Leyton Orient 2 Allate 7, Abrahams 62
The honours were shared at Hayes Lane as Cray and a young and skillful Leyton Orient Development side fought out an entertaining 2-2 draw.
This was the fifth game of Cray’s pre-season campaign and it was obvious from the start that this would be their most toughest test to date. Continuing to look at some trialist players, Tony Russell announced a strong looking line up including former Margate player, Solomon Taiwo in midfield.
It was the O’s though that were quickest out of the traps and their slick passing saw them take the lead in the 7th minute. Good combination play between Charley Barker and Patrick Adamson saw Steven Allate played through and slipped the ball past Nick Blue and a long evening for Cray beckoned.
Orient dominated the game for the first half hour but good defending from Jai MckInlay and Jay Leader in particular prevented further goals for the East Londoners with timely blocks and challenges.
For Cray Joel Ledgister tested Sam Roach with a low drive but Cray found it hard to keep possession in the early stages.
Cray had a let off after a defensive mistake saw the ball given away to Tristan Abrahams whose attempt on goal was cleared off the line by McKinlay.
Then in the 33rd minute, Abrahams was denied by a tremendous save by Blue after his twenty five yard shot was palmed over the top. Blue then had to make a smart stop from a fizzing drive by Sam Dalby.
Cray though in the last ten minutes started to make inroads into the game and came close to scoring twice before the break.
Firstly, Karl Dent fed Danny Haynes who made a forceful run down the left hand side and put across a superb cross to the far post which was stabbed wide by Ledgister.
Then Dent working hard as usual worked an opening for Haynes who under pressure from a defender fired over the top. Haynes then from a tight angle down the right fired straight at Roach.
Half Time: 0-1
The second half began the way the first half had with Orient in general control of the game and Adamson tested Blue with a decent strike on goal.
Cray though were never out of the game and came closest yet to scoring in the 52nd minute when a patient passing move saw Seedy Njie lay the ball off to Haynes who hit a fine strike which hit the top of the crossbar.
Then a corner from Haynes down the left was headed onto the roof of the net by Lea Dawson. With the game going from end to end, another mistake by Cray saw Abrahams shot pushed wide by Blue for a corner.
Cray though weren’t to be denied and deservedly levelled in the 59th minute. The searing pace of Haynes down the right saw the ball go to Njie who appeared to have been crowded out by three Orient defenders. In turn the ball fell to Dent who from twenty five yards fired in a shot which seemed to deceive the keeper and nestled in the back of the net.
Orient showed real class to retake the lead three minutes later when the impressive Dan Happe played a defence splitting pass through to Abrahams who tucked the ball past Blue with some aplomb.
The introduction of substitute Ben Mundele injected some new vigour back into the Wands and did well with a low cross shot which the keeper did well to hold. Meanwhile Orient came close again when Dalby shot’s from the edge of the box was well gathered by Blue.
Cray levelled for the second time with an excellent goal in the 79th minute when Sean Roberts through ball found Mundele and as the keeper advanced, expertly tucked the ball past him into the net.
At this stage a draw would probably have been the right result but Leyton Orient almost won it at the death when Sam Alderson’s cross was met by the head of Michael Clarke who from eight yards forced an excellent reflex save by Blue.
In the end the game finished in a 2-2 draw and provided a look at some fine young players on both sides and plenty of goal mouth action.
Cray next travel to Glebe on Friday, 29th July as the season edges ever nearer. If the entertainment value is the same throughout the season as it was tonight, the supporters will be royally spoilt for the next few months.
Team: Nick Blue, Taylor McDonagh, Grant Basey (Timi Osidobu), Jay Leader, Jai McKinlay, Lea Dawson (Capt.), Sean Roberts, Solomon Taiwo, Joel Ledgister (Seedy Njie), Karl Dent (Ben Mundele), Danny Haynes (Anthony Adesite).
Leyton Orient: Sam Roach, Andrew Tayaca, Toby Stevenson, Henry Ochieng (Victor Adeboyago), Rian McLean, Dan Happe (Teddy Perkins), Steven Allate (Michael Clarke), Charley Barker (Sam Alderson), Tristian Abrahams, Sam Dalby, Patrick Adamson