Pre-Season Friendly – 31/7/18
Canvey Island 1 (Tuohy 12)
Cray Wanderers 0
In their penultimate pre-season game Cray went down to a narrow defeat at Canvey Island in a very tight game at the Frost Hire Stadium. Cray played well and had opportunities to score but were beaten by an early goal from Martin Tuohy for the Bostik North side.
On a very decent playing surface and on a perfect night for football there wasn’t too much to choose between the sides as chances were kept to a minimum and both defences looked strong.
The first opportunity came early for Canvey Island when a free kick out on the right from Mitchell Gilbey found George Sykes whose scrambled effort at the far post was kept out by Nick Blue and the follow up was cleared.
Cray managed to come forward and Freddie Parker who once again held the ball up so well found Bradley Pritchard but gone under his shot and the ball went over the bar.
The goal which would turn out to be the winner came in the 12th minute when good work down the left by Sykes saw his ball across flicked by Martin Tuohy out to Frankie Merrifield who cut the ball back to Tuohy who from six yards found the net after his initial shot was blocked.
Cray then began to come into the game and Parker down the left put a good ball across into the box which no-one could get on the end of. Then Cray were unlucky when Dent made a strong run from midfield and his shot from the left of the penalty are saw keeper Harry Palmer push the ball away.
After this the game developed into an intriguing game but Cray were dealt a blow when Junior Dadson had to go off on 28 minutes to be replaced by Joe Vines who came on and gave a fine display at the back.
For Canvey, Tuohy almost scored a second when his audacious lob went just over the bar while for Cray Sean Roberts’ run into the area saw an effort blocked by a defender.
The last opportunity of the half came to Cray when Parker down the right found Jerome Federico who shot wide of the left post.
Half Time: 1-0
The second half saw more of an end to end feel but there weren’t too many clearcut chances. For Cray Karl Dent did well down the left and his ball across came to Mitchell Nelson who found Vines whose wicked ball into the area was cleared away by a Canvey defender on the left post.
Canvey almost grabbed a second when Tuohy’s header was blocked by Blue and the follow up from the striker was cleared by Marcus Evans.
Blue excelled again with a fine stop to deny Gilbey who hit a low shot down the left to the near post and Blue turned the ball behind for a corner.
For Cray, Dent cut inside down the left but couldn’t control his shot and went well wide of goal. Then the Wands were unfortunate when a free kick was played out to Federico who set himself a shooting chance down the right of the area and curled a shot wide.
With the game going into the last ten minutes, Federico was unlucky when a cross appeared to be safely gathered by Palmer but let the ball slip form his grasp and rolled slowly towards goal and was cleared away frantically by Steve Sheehan.
For Canvey, Merrifield shot wide but Cray pressed in the latter stages and from a free kick the ball was played towards Tom Phipp who shot over.
The Wands overall probably deserved a draw and almost claimed one when the once again impressive Mitchell Nelson laid the ball down the left to Dent who whipped in a fine cross shot which Palmer had to tip over the bar.
Despite a fair deal of pressure Cray couldn’t get the goal their performance deserved in the second half and Canvey won the game through that very early goal.
Cray now conclude their Pre-season schedule this Saturday as the Wands travel to Surrey to face Chipstead (3pm)
Cray: Nick Blue, Barney Williams, Marcus Evans, Mitchell Nelson, Bradley Pritchard, Sean Roberts, Tom Phipp, Karl Dent, Junior Dadson (Joe Vines 28), Jerome Federico, Freddie Parker
Canvey: Harry Palmer, Jake Pitty (Billy Willis, 61), Jordan Brown, Frankie Merrifield, Alex Stephenson, Steve Sheehan, Marlon Agyakwa (Trialist, H/T), Mitchell Gilbey, Jordan Cox (Jerrome Sobers, 85), Martin Tuohy (Ryan Melaugh, 61), George Sykes