Cray Wanderers stretched their unbeaten run to 15 matches with a thumping 7-0 win at East Grinstead Town on Saturday. Tony Russell gives his thoughts on the game and looks ahead to the Moneyfields FA Trophy replay.
It must have been a very happy bench on Saturday afternoon after the 7-0 win at East Grinstead. From first whistle to last was this as good an away performance as you can get especially bearing in mind the damp conditions.
I think anytime you win away from home and keep a clean sheet you are always happy. So the 7 goals were obviously nice, but you still only get 3 points for that! So we can’t get too carried away with things like that. It was a very pleasing performance that I would describe as very professional and ruthless.
We scored a variety of well taken goals yesterday and shared them around with six different scorers (even the own goal scorer used to play for Cray). Was that one of the most pleasing aspects of the game as well as another clean sheet.
We touched on this very subject after the game on Tuesday, and spoke about it more in depth before the game Saturday. The chat was about the importance of players taking responsibility them-self and scoring goals. Although we are happy Shaggy is scoring lots of goals for us you can’t be solely reliant on one man to score all of your goals. You can become tactically easily stopped and also Shaggy will have flat periods during the season and maybe injuries. So we need to carry a goal threat all over the pitch. Football being a funny old game that it is we end up scoring 7 and he didn’t get any of them. So after the game the message was clear. Whenever we are in the final third are you in a position where you can create or make an opportunity to score a goal.
I thought the midfield area was in excellent form with Dawson, Henry and Frieter in full control. Zak Henry in particular seems to get better with each game and the last two matches has been superb. Is this time for a good call out to John Paul Collier and the work he has done in making Zak possibly now one of the first names on the teamsheet.
I agree, I thought the midfield 3 were very good on the day especially Daws and Zak who sit in there and allow the boys to bomb on and go forward. It’s very easy when you go 4 – 5 up to start bombing forward looking for glory yourself, but they kept their discipline, were breaking the play up and winning the ball back for us so we can go on the attack again. Freiter is getting a run in the side with Denty being injured and we are just starting to see him come good. For me there is more to come from Frieter. It’s easy to forget he is still only 21, he got a pro contract at Gillingham and like many young pros who get released he just lost his way a little bit. So I think we are just starting to see him getting his confidence back but still have a little way to go with him. He has all the tools to be a top player and like all the boys in the dressing room, he’s a real likeable chap. Me and Vinesy are looking forward to when that penny drops with him and he realises how good he is, because he could be a big player for us!
Zak goes from strength to strength having come through the 21’s last year. Zak is that player that if I told him to mark the number 8 all game he would follow him in the showers after until I told him to leave him alone!! He is so easy to coach and is dying to learn. So credit must go to Zak himself for his application to training and also to John Paul and Mark Dacey for the work they do with young players, they have only been doing this a couple of years and have already got Zak, Freddie & Ralique in the first team. That’s without the boys that have played one or two games for the 1st team and are on the fringes. We are all fully committed to producing good young players for the 1st team.
Aaron Rhule and Brandon Scott were in terrific form and caused East Grinstead a lot of problems with their pace. In connection to Brandon, was that performance a hark back to a year ago when he was unplayable at times.
Rhuley baring missing an open goal and hitting the cross bar was brilliant he was at his rampaging best and was probably my man of the match. It’s great to have Brandon back and him going away to play for Whitehawk for a couple of months was probably the best thing that could’ve happened in hindsight. Having gone he was back on the phone after a month asking can he come back, I think he thought by jumping up 2 leagues it was going to be a lot better for him in terms of the coaching, set up and playing at that level etc. I think it genuinely shocked him and it made him appreciate the work we do at Training and the way we play. So he’s definitely come back with a bit of fire in his belly but he knows he has a real battle on his hands just to get in the side cos Rhuley, himself, Jerome and Ralique are all vying for two positions so he knows he needs to be at it every game.
East Grinstead looked a very young side with pace and started quite well but once they went behind their belief seemed to evaporate. Is that the key for these sort of games against the lower sides to score an early goal and deflate the opposition.
They were a very young side but I must admit their formation at the start even threw me. Must say their formation of 1-5-5 is a new one on me!! It’s always good when you come up against something new but I must say when we went 2-0 up and the centre halves had the ball 40 yards from our goal and look up and there is just a line of their midfielders sitting there 40 yards from their goal it was a bit of an odd one! I could hear one or two of their supporters in the stand getting restless with it and from our point of view we are away from home 2-0 up and you are stuck in between a rock and a hard place with it, we all want to entertain people but for a period in that 1st half it started to get a bit silly as they seemed more interested in not getting beat by much than wanting to attack us. Thankfully 2nd half they had someone up front so we could get back to some normality I suppose, there is a compliment in there somewhere!
Finally, we look ahead to the FA Trophy replay with Moneyfields at Hayes Lane on Wednesday. What are your thoughts ahead of what will be a tough game,against a side which won again yesterday remaining unbeaten in the league.
It will be exactly that a tough game, they are a team unbeaten in their league and are top. They will come to our place full of confidence and will have no fear and we will need to be at our best but coming off a 7-0 victory confidence is high so we are looking forward to it.
Thanks again to the Cray fans who stood behind that goal getting soaked for the whole game, It’s much appreciated so hope you all dry off and we will see you all Wednesday