It was a dramatic Monday evening at Hayes Lane as Cray Wanderers completed a league double over Greenwich Borough in a ten goal thriller.
Greenwich twice led in the first half hour before Cray fought back to lead 3-2 at the break including a thunderbolt strike from John Paul Collier. Then three goals in four minutes just after half way of the second half saw the game go from 4-2 to 4-4 before Cain Cruz’s fierce drive fifteen minutes from time put Cray back in front. Then we had a dramatic minute of action as in the 88th minute, Greenwich were awarded a penalty which Tiwa Fujamade made a terrific save and from the breakaway Cray scored a sixth goal to complete an incredible night of action.
The match started at a breakneck pace and Greenwich started well and Eric De Melo hit a fine shot from 20 yards which swerved and crashed off the crossbar and back into play after 2 minutes. Then David Orisatoki saw an effort deflected behind off Marcus Evans for a corner.
Cray though were putting some good passages of play together and Freddie Parker saw a close range effort saved by keeper McKenzie Foley but the flag was up for offside.
After 11 minutes Evans’ ball into the area was flicked off the head of Harry Skinner into the path of Parker but he was a denied by a good save by the legs of Foley. This was followed a minute later by another good save as from the right Ross Cable played the ball across to Ralique Lawrence and his near post effort was again blocked by the keeper’s feet. Then Cable set up Parker inside the box but was denied a goal by a fine tackle from Emmanuel Paul.
It was just a little against the run of play when Greenwich took the lead in the 21st minute. There was a good advantage played by the referee after what looked like a sturdy challenge on Chris Mochine in midfield but the play switched out to the right to Joshua Shonibare who hit a fine shot across Tiwa Fujamade and into the net.
Parker then shot wide for Cray but Greenwich’s lead lasted just four minutes as they got back into it when a swift move saw Toby Bayliss find Lawrence who showed explosive pace to go down the right and played a fine ball across to Cable who finished with great style from 12 yards.
Bayliss then shot wide from distance before Greenwich went back in front on the half hour. Femi Ogunbumi set up Frederic Olafsem who hit a shot from 25 yards which Fujamade got his hands too but couldn’t prevent hitting the back of the net.
There is a refreshing stickability about this Cray team and they were back on level terms in the 34th minute with a goal of stunning quality when the ball was worked down the left and the ball fell to John Paul Collier who blasted a shot from close to 30 yards which flew past Foley high into the net.
The Wands had their tails up now and took the lead in the 39th minute when Collier played in Parker on the edge of the area and with great assurance simply placed the ball past Foley to give Cray a 3-2 lead at the break.
Half Time: 3-2
The second half seemed to fly by as both teams continued to place the emphasis on attack. The best chance early on came to Cray when Parker found Cable who fired straight at Foley from ten yards.
Then Bayliss saw an effort blocked before Greenwich almost got back into the game but Shane Masiello’s down the left of the area saw his effort pushed behind well by Fujamade.
The game then went through about a five minute lull as tackles started to get more crunching before a dramatic last twenty five minutes.
Firstly, Cable found Parker inside the area which Foley dashed out to clear but only as far as Bayliss who from 35 yards attempted to chip the ball into the net and was on target but Foley was able to just get to the ball. Then Lawerene found Deshon Carty whose effort was blocked and came out to Tyrelle David who shot wide.
A minute later in the 67th minute Cray went 4-2 up when the hard working Bayliss saw a shot saved by Foley but Cable was the quickest to react to tuck home a very tidy finish.
Within a minute though Greenwich pulled a goal back as a ball forward caught out the Cray defence and Mochine latched onto the ball well and slid the ball under Fujamade to make it 4-3.
In the 70th minute it was back to all square when a cross from the left was flicked on by a Cray defender into the path of Ogunbimi at the far post and drove a well hit shot into the net.
Greenwich seemed to have the advantage at this stage and Orisatoki fired over the bar but Cray showing great character and resolve went back in front in the 75th minute.
The superb pace of Lawrence saw him play the ball to Cain Cruz who had only been on the pitch for a couple of minutes down the right of the area and he smashed a shot at the near post which Foley couldn’t keep out to make it 5-4 to Cray.
Chances came at both ends as Cable looking for a hat trick shot just over the bar and then Carty shot wide before Fujamade made an excellent one handed save to deny Leo Goring what looked like a certain goal.
There was two minutes to go when it Greenwich were presented with a chance to level when Shonibare was brought down in the area by Joe Vines and a penalty was given. Goring stepped up to take the penalty but his effort was met by a terrific save from Fujamade and did well to push out the loose ball and Cray were reprieved.
Then in a minute of action which summed up the match, Cray broke away and Cable burst forward down the left, squared the ball across to Cruz whose shot towards goal was possibly going wide but was deflected into the net by Orisatoki to complete the scoring and round off an incredible nights action.
The Wands are in action again next Monday as they face Ashford United looking to maintain the momentum and perhaps gain a bit of consistency as this was their second straight win following two previous league defeats.
This Cray side play without fear and with great tenacity and I would recommend supporters to came along and watch them play.
Team: Tiwa Fujamade, Ralique Lawrence, Marcus Evans, Robert Depeazer (Deshon Carty, 57) Joe Vines, John Paul Collier, Adam Fleming, Toby Bayliss (Cain Cruz, 72), Freddie Parker, Ross Cable, Matt Hall (Tyrelle David, 53): Subs: Joe Barber, Charlie Foster.
Greenwich: McKenzie Foley, David Orisatoki, Shane Masiello, Emmanuel Paul, Harry Skinner, Adam Sheepwash, Femi Ogunbumi, Frederic Olafsem (Leo Goring, 71), Chris Mochine, Eric De Melo, Joshua Shonibare (Capt.): Sub: Theodore Osinfolarin
Referee: R. Mortimer
Assistant Referees: P. Webb, M. Simpson