Bristol Manor Farm v Cray Wanderers

FA Cup 3QR, Tuesday 13th October, 2020

Bristol Manor Farm                                    3

Day 12, Bryant 52, Vowles 70

Cray Wanderers                                          3

Mundele 6, Parker 11, 45


Pics: Jon Hilliger,

Cray Wanderers made it through to the 4th QR of the FA Cup for only the second time in the clubs history following a night of incredible drama which saw Cray twice go two goals in front, both sides were reduced to ten men before half time before Bristol Manor Farm staged a dramatic fightback in the second half to take the tie to penalties which Cray won 4-2 with Herson Rodrigues Alves firing in the decisive kick.

Cray got off to a flyer with two goals in the first 11 minutes through Ben Mundele’s first goal of the season and then Freddie Parker’s superbly taken free kick. Bristol Manor Farm though showed they carried a threat and within a minute, Marcus Day pulled a goal back for the home side. 

Parker added a third goal for Cray on the stroke of half time but in the aftermath of the goal keeper Ben John was sent off for aiming a headbutt at Parker but also Mundele was sent off although not quite sure what the offence was which led to his dismissal.  Also during this spell, Rhys Murrell-Williamson was in a very bad way and had to leave the field at half time.

The second half saw a dramatic comeback from Bristol Manor Farm backed by a sellout crowd and Mike Bryant pulled a goal back seven minutes after half time and then twenty minutes from time, Lucas Vowles curled home a terrific finish to tie the game.  As a result the game went to spot kicks and after Parker’s first penalty was saved by Luc Rees, both Vowles and Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist missed from the spot for Farm. Goals from Joe Taylor, Mitchell Nelson, Barney Williams and finally Herson Rodrigues Alves scored to send Cray through to Thursday lunchtime’s draw.

Cray were looking to bounce back after two league defeats last week and from the side which lost to Bishop’s Stortford on Sunday, there was one change with Rhys Murrell-Williamson coming in for Jason Banton.

On a terrific night for football played in front of a bumper, capacity crowd of exactly 400 Cray got off to a flyer in the game and could have scored after three minutes when out on the left, Tom Phipp attempted an audacious effort seeing the keeper off his line but came back off the right post and keeper Ben John held the ball at the second attempt.  Then Murrell-Williamson was unlucky to see his effort blocked and the follow up shot held by John.

In the 6th minute and with Cray’s tails up went ahead with a well worked goal when Murrell-Williamson down the right jinked past a defender and slipped a ball through to Ben Mundele who slotted a superb finish wide of John and into the net for his first goal of the season.

Bristol Manor Farm looked to hit back and Lucas Vowles won the ball outside the area and broke into the box but Lewis Carey came to smother the ball.

In the 11th minute, Cray went two nil up when Jerome Federico was brought down 20 yards from goal slightly to the right of the area and Freddie Parker stepped to fire over the wall and into the net for his 6th goal of the season.

A minute later though Bristol Manor Farm were back in it when Lewis Carey’s clearance came to Marcus Day who burst into the area and placed the ball into the bottom right corner and it was game on once again.

The half flew by after that sensational scoring start to the game and Cray almost scored a third when Phipp found Murrell-Williamson who cut in from the right and fired in a shot which John did superbly to push the ball away one handed.

Then at the other end Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist set up Day whose fizzing shot was deflected behind for a corner.

Cray were then back on the attack and from a cross from the right the ball was cleared out to Jay Leader whose shot was deflected over for a corner.

Bristol Manor Farm though were showing they were not going away any time soon and almost levelled when the dangerous Day saw his run end with a shot which Carey had to push over the bar from just outside the box.

Cray almost added a third when from a free kick 25 yards from goal, Parker’s shot was spilled by John but did brilliantly to block with one hand from Joe Taylor when he seemed destined to score.

With the brisk half almost over there was there late drama when Murrell-Williamson down the right laid the ball across into the area where Taylor left the ball for Parker to fire in from 12 yards for his second goal of the game.

However, that wasn’t the end as with the ball looking to be wrestled back into play John appeared to aim his head in the direction of Parker and a brief melee entailed and was sent off. After this, Mundele was also dismissed but not evident as to his offence as he was not booked. 

Also Murrell-Williamson became ill close to the right touchline and had to go to hospital with looked like either a seizure or a fit.  At this stage the referee called for half time which was the best thing to do in the circumstances.

The second half began for Cray with Barney Williams coming on for Rhys while for Bristol Manor Farm keeper Luc Rees, who was the penalty saving hero in the previous round win at Kidlington came on.

Cray looked to be on the front foot again and Federico fired wide from down the right from an angle.

In the 52nd minute though, Bristol Manor Farm had reduced the arrears once again when Stuart Tovey’s cross from the left towards the far post was turned in from close range by Mike Bryant.

Now it was most definitely game on and Phipp shot wide for Cray while at the other end, the home side almost levelled when Jamie Adams found Day whose shot was headed off the line by Tom Carlse.

Bristol Manor Farm were having a sustained spell of pressure and Lucas Vowles who had an impressive second half cut in from the left and hit a shot which was deflected past the right post for a corner.  From the corner from the right to the far post a header from Steve Kingdon was held by Carey.

A minute later, it was 3-3 when Vowles again looked to cut inside from the left and this time from just inside the area crashed a shot past Carey and into the net and suddenly the home side could smell an upset.

Cray though looked to end the game on top and Parker set up Bradley Pritchard whose shot was pushed behind by a fine save from Rees for a corner. From the corner, a header from Jay Leader was deflected over and from the next corner both Leader and Pritchard saw efforts charged down.

A lively substitute appearance from Herson Rodrigues Alves looked to have added more impetus and he was unlucky after exchanging passes with Parker to see his shot parried away by Rees.

Then the young keeper excelled again when after a free kick from Parker was deflected behind, from the corner the ball came to Leader whose header was pushed behind by a one handed save by Rees.

Bristol Manor Farm though pressed for a winner and Day whipped in a cross into the heart of the area and the ball came to Adams and his strike was blocked and that was the last of the breathtaking action and a penalty shoot out was required to separate the teams.

The always heart-stopping penalty shoot-out began with Cray taking the first kick and Parker’s effort was well hit but was brilliantly pushed round the right post by Rees.  Then following up with Bristol’s first kick, Vowles saw his shot saved by Carey.

Second for Cray was Joe Taylor who blasted down the middle to make it 1-0 and then for Bristol Manor Farm Leigh-Gilchrist’s attempted Panenka chip went over the bar.  Mitchell Nelson made it 2-0, then Jamie Adams responded for Bristol.  Barney Williams restored a two goal advantage and then Jamie Bird made it 3-2. However, the Wands only needed one more goal and Rodrigues Alves calmly and efficiently crashed the ball into the net and Cray were through to Thursday’s 4th QR draw but had to go through an almighty scrap to do so.

This was a great occasion not only for the non-league game in the current uncertain climate but also for the FA Cup as the occasion meant so much for both sides it was great to see two good sides, battling out a game which had ever possible ingredient you need to make a match great, good goals, near misses, good saves, controversy and a good full blooded cup tie.     


Cray Wanderers: Lewis Carey, Ben Mundele, Jay Leader, Mitchell Nelson, Tom Carlse, Rhys Murrell-Williamson (Barney Williams, H/T), Tom Phipp (Charlie Allen, 76), Bradley Pritchard, Jerome Federico (Herson Rodrigues Alves, 72), Freddie Parker, Joe Taylor: Subs:  Lee Lewis, Martin Onoabaghbe, Kyron Richards, Roman Hall

Scorers:         Mundele 6, Parker 11, 45

Sent Off:        Mundele 45+1

Booked:         Nelson

Bristol Manor Farm:   Ben John, Tyler Ashmead, Stuart Tovey (Jamie Bird, 90+2), Jamie Turner, Steven Kingdon, Jamie Adams, Marcus Day, Michael Bryant, Lucas Vowles, Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist, Lewis Bamford (Luc Rees, 45+1): Subs: Dan Spencer, Nyall Gray, Llewellyn Ntihemuka, Kieran Ireland, Mihal Constantinou  

Scorers:         Day 12, Bryant 52, Vowles 70     

Sent Off:        John 45+1

Booked:         Tovey


Referee:          Stacey Pearson

Assistants:      Mitchell Terry & Adam McAnoy

Att:     392