Cray Wanderers vs Fisher FC
London Senior Cup 2nd Round – 24/1/24
Photos to follow
Cray Wanderers 3
Oyebola 19, Evans 51, Cook 90+5
Cray Wanderers advanced to the Quarter Finals of the London Senior Cup after a professional performance against a spirited Fisher side to set up a home clash with Dartford or Queens Park Rangers Development.
Cray started the game on the front foot and took the lead in the 19th minute when Tayo Oyebola turned the ball into the net after Yahya Bamba’s shot was saved. The Wands added a second six minutes after half time when Alfie Evans netted his first goal for the club with a composed finish. The scoring was completed with the last kick of the game when from a corner, Frankie Raymond’s shot deflected into the net off Anthony Cook.
Neil Smith’s side were looking to get back on track after the defeat to Billericay Town on 13th January and with recent postponements fielded a very strong side. Into the team however came Charlie Paye as centre-half whose father, Michael played for Cray in the late 80’s – early 90s and managed the club. On the bench were U18s players, Freddie Warwick, Michael Ihiedi and Cameron McQueen-Hinckley.
Fisher, stand 11th in the SCEFL Premier but are an athletic, enthusiastic side and Cray showed the South Londoners lots of respect and began the game on the front foot.
In the opening minutes from a free kick down the left, Tom Beere put over a good ball to the near post which was well claimed by keeper Samuel Nwabuko. Then a fine cross from Emmanuel Kwatchey down the right to the far post was turned wide by Gary Lockyer. This was followed by a ball towards goal by Kwatchey being pushed out by Nwabuko.
Cray continued to threaten and in the 8th minute a corner from Frankie Raymond down the right was headed over by Tayo Oyebola..
Fisher didn’t have much possession early on but a minute later, Kaylam Burgess from 25 yards out to the left fired in a shot which was well gathered by Shaun Rowley. Meanwhile, for Cray a cross from the right was headed wide of the right post by Yahya Bamba.
However, in the 19th minute Cray went ahead when Bamba made a fine surging run into the box and his shot was saved by Nwabuko but following up Oyebola netted his third goal in just five starts from 3 yards.
Charlie Paye played one or two fine passes out to Oyebola down the right who cut into the area and won a corner off a defender before shooting. The match then went through a bit of a lull for twenty minutes but Fisher before half time began to get more of a foothold in the game and Burgess hit a well struck shot which went past the right post from distance.
Before half time Cray twice came close to adding to the scoreline with Bamba down the left drove a shot into the side netting. Then from a free kick down the right towards the far post was flicke on for Bamba who volleyed over the top.
Fisher started the second half more on the front foot but in the 51st minute Cray went two nil up with a well taken goal. A strong run from midfield from Tom Beere ended just inside the D with a ball through to Alfie Evans down the right and fired home a well taken finish for his first goal for the Wands.
Cray managed to take the sting out of the game although Fisher gave it all their all and Darenlle Bailey-King down the left struck a shot which hit the side netting.
As the half wore on, Cray were looking fairly comfortable and almost added a third after a fine passing move between Raymond and Beere ended with Gary Lockyer from close to 25 yards firing over.
The Wands introduced youngsters Freddie Warwick for his debut and Michael Ihiedi and Cameron McQueen-Hinckley for the last twenty minutes. Certainly for Cray, Tom Beere and Frankie Raymond in the midfield were excellent and helped increase the tempo when needed.
Cray came close to a third when from a corner down the right, Raymond’s cross was headed wide by Charlie Paye.
The rest of the half became a bit stop-start with stoppages for injuries for Nwabuko and Fisher substitute Conor Darwish but Cray looked to end the game on a high.
In the fourth minute of injury time, substitute Anthony Cook from forty yards fired a shot towards goal which Nwabuko palmed behind for a corner. From the corner down the right, Ellis Brown cut to the byline and set up Frankie Raymond for a shot which deflected off Cook and into the bottom left corner with what turned out to be the final kick of the game.
Cray needed a positive result after the Billericay loss and were very professional from the start of the game and kept a fourth clean sheet in the last five home games. Cray now head to a Quarter Final against Dartford or QPR Development in better heart and now head to Saturday and the visit of Wingate & Finchley looking to improve the league position and maintain the run of good form at home.
Cray Wanderers: Shaun Rowley, Emmanuel Kwatchey, Tom Bonner, Charlie Paye, Jamie Mascoll, Tom Beere (Freddie Warwick, 72), Frankie Raymond, Alfie Evans (Cameron McQueen-Hinckley, 72), Yahya Bamba (Michael Ihiedi, 80), Tayo Oyebola (Ellis Brown, 63), Gary Lockyer (Anthony Cook, 80)
Fisher: Samuel Nwabuko, Ibrahim Kamara, Ben Sangare, Darnelle Bailey-King, Kaylam Burgess, Prince Imoru, Teddy Jones, Jehovanay Kinzonzi (Conor Darwish, 86), Thomas Ngegba (Ezekiel Miller, 72), Michael Sarpong (Kyron Cooper, 61), Nathan Tshola: Subs: Mark Chidi, Sineen Sineen
Booked: Sangare 45+2
Referee: Morgan Conn
Assistants: Jordan Crichlow, Thomas Nicolls