Brightlingsea Regent vs Cray Wanderers – Match Report

 Isthmian Premier – Saturday 29th January, 2022


 Brightlingsea Regent                                               1

Cray Wanderers                                                        0


Cray Wanderers completed their January fixtures with a defeat at Brightlingsea Regent in a match between two sides looking to avoid the drop from the Isthmian Premier.

 After a bright start from Cray it became a tense, often scrappy game that looked like it was going to end in a draw.  Regent though found a winner in the 72nd minute when Aaron Blair converted a through ball which was blocked by Bailey Vose but unable to prevent the striker rolling the ball into the net and clinching a first ever home victory against the Wands.

 Cray who were beaten 0-2 at Lewes on Tuesday night were looking to build on a decent performance but perhaps just needed a bit more punch in front of goal. From the side which played Tuesday into the side came Richie Danquah and Jai Reason in place of Tom Hanfrey and Luca Albon.  Brightlingsea Regent were unbeaten in their last two matches and picked up a valuable point from a 2-2 draw at Lewes last Saturday. From that side there was one change with Carlos Cachicote da Rocha coming in for the suspended Connor Barnby.

 On a bright  late January afternoon there was a fairly stiff breeze which possibly assisted Cray in the first half especially in the first ten minutes when the Wands set off at a brisk pace.

 From the kick off, Cray looked to attack and Cameron Brodie from just inside his own half lofted a ball forward that looked to be heading for goal which Charlie Turner pushed over for a corner.   Then from a free kick 25 yards from goal, Anthony Cook’ strike was deflected past the right post for a corner. 

 From another corner down the right, Jai Reason ball into the area was met by a fine header from Brodie but Turner did very well to push the ball away for another corner. This time from the left, Reason’s cross almost caught out the keeper and clipped the far post. This was followed by another free kick which was well driven by Cook but held by Turner.

After this decent start which perhaps Cray really needed to capitalise on Brightlingsea managed to get a foothold in the match and came close to scoring when Dom Locke found space to shoot and Bailey Vose did superbly to push the ball past the right post.

 Cray had the bulk of possession from here and Jacob Munting saw a shot blocked and Jamie Yila down the left put over a cross which went across the box but the game just went into a lull for 20 minutes with the game evened out. 

 Before half time there was a bit more action and Cray threatened when Freddy Barton put over an excellent cross from the right which was met by a half volley from Chris Dickson but went over the bar. 

Then down the right from a throw in from Barton the ball came to Cook and his cross to the near post was stabbed wide by Yila.

 Despite having most of the play and opportunities it was goalless at half time and was looking like a game where one goal could be decisive.

 HT:  0-0

The second half began with Regent having more of the ball but both defences with Nazir Bakrin and Danquah for Cray playing well and the Regent back four holding firm the game was looking like stalemate and perhaps a point apiece.

For Regent, the lively Aaron Blair fired a shot over the bar and a cross from Carlos Da Rocha from the left was put behind for a corner from which Vose had to clear the ball away.

 Just after the hour Cray began to look threatening and after a good build up, Cook and Munting combined to find Brodie whose shot was deflected behind for a corner. 

Then, down the right, Anthony Cook from inside the area drove in a near post shot which Turner did well to push over the top.  This was followed by Dickson setting up Brodie for a shot on the turn which past the left post and then Erald Desa and Luca Albon came on for Cook and Reason. 

 In the 72nd minute, Regent broke the deadlock when a ball was played forward to Blair inside the area and Vose came to block but Blair managed to react quickly to win the ball and roll the ball into the net.

From here Regent were in more control of the game and came close to scoring again twice in quick succession with Blair firing a shot over the top and then an effort from Locke just wide of goal.

 Cray looked to get back into it but were coming up against a resolute Regent defence could have gone two nil down as Carlos Da Rocha’s cross from the right was headed wide of the left post by Luke Skinner.

There was a half chance for another substitute, Emanuel Oduguwa down the right of the area but his scuffed effort was blocked and off target.

In the end despite three minutes added on time and another couple of efforts over the top from Blair and Locke, Brightlingsea see out the remaining minutes and picked up a league double over Cray Wanderers for the first time and moved them up to 17th place on 27 points. Cray remain 20th in the table on 23 and will next travel to Potters Bar Town on Tuesday, 1st February who are one place and one point ahead of them.

This was always going to be a match with lots at stake and probably won’t go down as a classic but there was plenty of honest endeavour despite the at times windy conditions and Cray did well defensively and in midfield but as at Lewes on Tuesday just lacked that little bit of a killer instinct or a cutting edge to turn the good passing and movement into more shots on goal and just need to do that and could start to move away from the relegation places.


Brightlingsea: Charlie Turner, Jamie Bennett (Andy George, H/T), Chris Gregan, Ollie Bell (Luke Skinner, 63), Chris Ribchester, Zack Littlejohn, Dom Locke, Charlie Durling, Aaron Blair, Carlos Cachicote Da Rocha, Valter Cachicote Da Rocha (Wyan Reid, 63): Subs: Kane Gilbert, Theo Osinforlarin

 Scorer:           Blair 72

 Booked:         Durling          

 Cray Wanderers:  Bailey Vose, Freddy Barton, Nazir Bakrin, Richie Danquah, Kasim Aidoo, Cameron Brodie, Jacob Munting (Emanuel Oduguwa, 83), Jai Reason (Luca Albon, 69), Anthony Cook (Erald Desa, 69), Jamie Yila, Chris Dickson: Subs:  Tom Hanfrey, Kyel Reid  

 Referee:         Rhys Battye              

 Assistants:  Luke Scottow, Daniel Baines                        


Att:      215