Beckenham Town 2 Cray Wanderers 1 – 16/7/19
The third match of Cray Wanderers pre-season campaign ended in defeat as a strong fightback from Beckenham Town in the last quarter of an hour turned the game on its head.
After a fascinating but goalless first 72 minutes the game suddenly sprang into life with Cray taking the lead with a neat goal scored by a trialist and that looked to give the Wands the 3rd win of pre-season. However two goals in four minutes by Damien Ramdasamy put Beckenham first on level terms and then in front and could have claimed a hat-trick but for a great double save from Lewis Carey.
On the always immaculate playing surface at Eden Park Avenue the two teams served up a fine, competitive game on a very pleasant evening for football.
After a cagey start the game picked up and from a corner down the right, Freddie Parker’s ball came to Bradley Pritchard whose shot was deflected behind for another corner.
Beckenham though possibly had the best chance early on when the ball was worked down the left and the cross from the no 11 was pushed out by Lewis Carey and the no 10 following up knocked the ball wide.
Cray threatened when awarded a free kick just over 20 yards from goal and Parker stepped and curled the ball round the wall but just wide of the left post. Then Parker made a strong run from the half way line and charged towards goal but mishit his shot from 30 yards and went well wide.
This was followed by the ball being worked down the left by Tom Carlse into Joe Taylor who curled a ball across goal and was deflected for a corner.
Cray were unfortunate when Aaron Rhule down the left played a neat ball across into the area to Carlse up from the back at the near post but turned the ball wide under pressure from a defender.
The Wands then with their best passage of play almost went in front when Pritchard’s neat back heel put Lee Lewis through down the right of the area and just pulled his shot across goal and wide of the left post.
Both keepers were tested before half time. First a trialist for Cray wearing the no 7 shirt was having a lively game and his shot from 20 yards was pushed behind by the Becks keeper.
Then the home side were awarded a free kick around 25 yards from goal and the no 11 hit a dipping strike which Carey did very well to tip over the bar for a corner.
Before the break, Pritchard’s shot went into the arms of the keeper and for Beckenham the no 9 shot wide from distance.
Half Time: 0-0
There were a handful of changes for the Wands at half time but it was Beckenham who began stronger and the no 3 put in a excellent cross-shot which was deflected across goal and behind for a corner. Then from a free kick from 30 yards, the no 11 again got the ball round the wall and his skimming shot required Carey to push the ball away.
Cray began to get things going up front and Karl Dent set up Neil Spencer whose shot was held by the keeper. Then Cray forged perhaps their best opening when the ball was worked down the right to Dent and his cross to the far post was volleyed wide by the no 7.
Then from a corner down the right, Parker’s cross was met by the head of Charles Etumnu but his effort was off target.
Beckenham had the ball in the net when the no 3 put the no 11 through and was just fractionally late and the goal was ruled out for offside.
Cray then went back on the attack and a trialist wearing no 20 slipped a superb pass through to Spencer down the right of the area who bore down on goal but dinked his effort fractionally over the top.
Beckenham were just beginning to look the most likely winners when Cray broke and scored a fine goal on 72 minutes. Worked down the left the no 7 combined with the no 20 and his ball into the area to the no 7 was despatched emphatically from 8 yards and the Wands were in front.
A minute later it could have been 2-0 as Cray stepped up the gears and Spencer set up Etumnu whose shot was blocked and following up a trialist wearing 15 was denied by another block from the keeper.
In the 75th minute it was all square once again when the down the right the no 11 found space and his ball across was met by Damien Ramsamy who turned the ball in from 8 yards.
Four minutes later the game was turned on its head completely when Beckenham won a corner down the left. From the corner the ball was played to the edge of the area to Ramsamy who drilled a low shot into the bottom left corner of the net.
This led to Beckenham having a purple patch towards the end of the match and but for Carey possibly would have notched more goals. First the no 11 down the right hit a sweetly struck shot which Carey did well to push out.
Then Ramsamy broke into the area and could have claimed a hat-trick but was twice denied by good blocks from Carey.
Finally from another free kick, the no 11 saw a third free kick shot blocked by Carey and the game ended with Beckenham probably on the evening warranting the victory.
Games in pre-season come thick and fast and offer different challenges. Next Cray head to Isthmian South-East Whitstable Town on Saturday looking to get the momentum going ahead of the big league kick off on 10th August.
Team: 1. Lewis Carey, 2. Lee Lewis (17. Barney Williams), 3. Tom Carlse (18. Neil Spencer), 5. Edward Jones, 6. Tom Phipp (14. Charles Etumnu), 7. Trialist, 8. Bradley Pritchard (16. Karl Dent), 9. Joe Taylor (20. Trialist), 10. Freddie Parker, 11. Aaron Rhule (15. Trialist)