Cray Wanderers soggy pre-season continued as Tony Russell’s side made if four straight wins with a 3-1 victory at SCEFL Premier Bearsted.
On an unusual July afternoon of rain, showers and intermittent sunshine Cray took a little while to get going in the game against a strong Bearsted side who probably had the better of the opening half hour before a fine individual goal from Luke Medley in the 33rd minute put Cray more in command.
Two goals in four minutes soon after half time from Lea Dawson and another from Medley gave Cray some breathing space before a late Bearsted rally saw a consolation goal.
Both sides started the game with a positive attitude and Cray came close early on when Mitchell Nelson out on the right flashed a shot narrowly over the top from twenty five yards.
Bearsted then had a good spell and from a right wing corner to the far post the ball fell to the captain but his effort was cleared almost off the line by Jay Leader.
Then the Bearsted no 2 curled over a right wing cross-shot which looked to have deceived Nick Blue but the Cray keeper did well to turn the ball over the bar. Then the no 4 hit a fine shot from 30 yards which Blue got down well to save.
Cray struggled at this stage to carve out a chance and the Wands were indebted to the brilliance of Blue once again when the no 8 hit a tremendous shot from distance which Blue pushed onto the crossbar and over for a corner.
The Wands around the half hour mark started to impose themselves and were unlucky after a swift passing move Michael Power’s cross was met by Anthony Adesite whose effort was miskicked but managed to win a corner. From the left wing corner, James Duckworth’s cross was deflected to the back post to Power but his effort was blocked.
Cray then threatened when Leader’s pass forward found Medley who teed up Duckworth who drove a shot wide of the right post.
The Wands took the lead in the 33rd minute with a fine piece of finishing from Medley when he picked the ball up down the left, burst forward and jinked past a couple of defenders before hitting a cross-shot which crept into the bottom right corner from eight yards.
Before half time the heavens opened then Luke Medley did well to get the ball through to Duckworth down the left of the area but his effort was pushed out by the Bearsted keeper.
The second half began with Cray much more in control and Warren Whitely saw a near post shot turned behind for a corner. From the corner in the 48th minute went two nil up when a right wing cross from Jack Clark was played to the far post where Lea Dawson was on hand to head the ball into the net from four yards.
Four minutes later Cray scored a third which owed much to the pace of youngster Ken Charles who broke down the left and unselfishly laid the ball into the path of Medley who drilled a shot under the keeper from just inside the area. Medley then curled a shot narrowly wide of the right post.
Cray continued to press and Whitely fired well over and Power curled a free kick over the wall but through to the keeper. Lively substitute, Freddie Parker headed over from Charles’s left wing cross.
With seventeen minutes to go Bearsted who kept on going throughout the game pulled a goal back when from a throw in down the right the ball came to the no 9 who found space inside the area to place the ball past Blue and into the net.
Then more good work by Charles saw a fierce shot from the left edge of the area which was palmed out by the keeper who did well to flick the ball away from the head of Parker who was looking to knock in the rebound.
Then, the Bearsted captain headed over the bar and then fired wide before Leader headed wide from another Clark corner.
As the game finished off, Parker came close again working an opportunity down the right and firing in a shot which may have taken a slight deflection which turned the ball wide.
Cray had possibly faced their toughest game of pre-season so far and although they are perhaps looking for that little bit of sharpness still they seem to be slipping into good form and Tony Russell was very pleased with what was a young side at the end of the game with Marcus Evans once again outstanding and the fine displays from Charles and Parker.
Cray next head to Erith and Belvedere on Tuesday night where hopefully the rain may leave off after torrential rain at Sheppey, Corinthian and now Bearsted.
Team: Nick Blue, Timi Osidobu, Mitchell Nelson, Jay Leader, Marcus Evans, Dean Carpenter, Lea Dawson, Anthony Adesite, James Duckworth, Michael Power, Luke Medley: Subs: Jack Clark, Warren Whitely, Ken Charles, Freddie Parker, Josh Owen, Joe Vines