PSF – 15/7/23

Beckenham Town                                   1

Jalloh 83

Cray Wanderers                                     2

Black 26, Porter 53

Cray Wanderers made it two wins out of two in pre-season with victory at Beckenham Town on an afternoon of contrasting weather with a goal in each half from Cameron Black and George Porter.

On a day of sunshine, strong wind and a first half shower of rain there was much to admire about the afternoon on the immaculate playing surface at Eden Park Avenue and it was a decent match played in a good spirit.

The Wands with Tim O’Shea in charge for the day with Neil Smith playing in a charity game named a strong side first half and for the first hour before utilising the subs bench to see out the game.

After a spell of sparring Cray started well and Cameron Thompson had a half chance inside the area but couldn’t connect when about to shoot.  Then David Ijaha who had a superb first half made a strong run from his own half into midfield, exchanged passes with Nyren Clunis and shot over from just outside the area.

Then down the left, Jamie Mascoll cut into the area and his cross-shot was blocked well by former Wands keeper Nick Blue’s legs.   This was followed by a corner down the right from Frankie Raymond towards the far post where Jack Holland headed wide.

In the 26th minute though Cray were in front when from a corner down the left, Nyren Clunis’ ball into the box was met by the head of Holland but Blue did well to parry but following up Cameron Black saw his first shot blocked but came back to the defender who turned the ball in from five yards.

After this from a free kick down the right, Raymond’s ball into the area was glanced on by Holland but Black couldn’t get on the end of it.

Beckenham though who were tidy in possession threatened before half time and the no 7 drove a cross-shot across goal and then was found in space on the edge of the area and his shot was well held by Liam Northwood.

Before the break, Rio Campbell shot wide but Cray led 1-0 at the interval.

The second half started with Cray still on the offensive and came close to scoring twice in the first five minutes.

Firstly, Mascoll broke through down the left but fired over the angle of post and crossbar.  Then a minute later a fine ball out of midfield put Porter through but with Blue coming to meet him lofted a shot just over the bar.

In the 53rd minute Cray added a second with a fine goal which was well worked down the left and Mascoll’s cross found Porter unmarked for a diving header from 11 yards for a quality piece of finishing.

From here the Wands had a bit of control and on the hour nine substitutions were made to give valuable minutes and also a few young players like Reggie Rye, Alfie Evans, Charlie Sharp, Tom King and Tom Penfold.  The closest Cray came to adding a third fell to Yahya Bamba down the right who drove in a fine cross which went across goal with no-one to apply a touch.

Beckenham to their credit kept plugging away and pulled a goal back with a superb strike from Ibrahima Jalloh in the 83rd minute from 20 yards which gave King no chance to save.

However, Cray saw out the remaining minutes for a second win at the start of pre-season and another professional display.  The Wands next head to Isthmian South-East Cray Valley PM on Tuesday night for a rare match between the sides and another good test ahead of the start of the season on 12th August.

Cray Wanderers lineup:  Liam Northwood, Archy Taylor, Jack Holland, Cameron Black, Jamie Mascoll, Rio Campbell, David Ijaha, Frankie Raymond, Cam Thompson, Nyren Clunis, George Porter.  Second half replacements:  Tom King, Anthony Cook, Sam Wood, Tom Penfold, Reggie Rye, Alfie Evans, Charlie Sharp, Trialist, Trialist, Yahya Bamba, Tom Derry, Louis Collins