Pre-Season Friendly – 4/8/18
Chipstead 1 (Bademosi 35)
Cray Wanderers 3 (Pritchard 42, Trialist 49, Federico 55)
Cray Wanderers brought their pre-season schedule to a close with a confident victory at Chipstead on a hot and sunny Surrey afternoon.
The Wands went a goal down in the 33rd minute before Bradley Pritchard levelled just before the break. Cray had a good spell immediately after half time and a lively trialist made it 2-1 four minutes after the interval and then ten minutes into the second half, Jerome Federico tapped in Aaron Rhule’s cross to complete the victory.
Cray went into the game without Jay Leader, Mitchell Nelson or Michael Power for this game but did start with left back Archie Johnson who has signed on a dual registration arrangement with Welling United. The Wands started with Marcus Evans and Tom Phipp as the central defensive pairing.
The game started at a quick pace with Bostik South Central side Chipstead having the first opportunity of the game when a right wing cross was volleyed over the bar by the no 3. Then Ezekiel Bademosi beat the Cray offside trap but his effort on goal was blocked.
Cray probed for an opening and were unlucky not to take the lead when Jerome Federico’s right wing cross-shot was deflected against the crossbar by a Chipstead defender and following up Aaron Rhule’s effort was blocked.
Chipstead threatened again when from a corner down the right the ball was played into the box before being cleared out as far as the no 11 whose snap shot brought a sharp save from Nick Blue.
This was followed by Cray coming close when Federico worked his way down the right into the area and fired narrowly past the left post.
The heat then took over the game and despite plenty of endeavour from both sides the match not surprisingly slowed to a sedate pace.
After a brief respite for a water break the game resumed and after 33 minutes, Chipstead took the lead with a fine piece of finishing from Bademosi who was found by a midfield pass which again caught out the Wands offside trap and with space inside the area fired in to the net via the foot of the left post.
Cray almost levelled straight away when Federico found Karl Dent down the left of the area who turned inside the box and saw his goalbound effort saved well by the outstretched leg of keeper Michael Sibley. The loose ball came to Rhule who appeared to possibly have been bundled over in the area but no penalty was given.
Three minutes before half time Cray levelled with a well worked goal. Blue found Rhule with a pass out on the left who played the ball to Sean Roberts who made a run into the area and his ball into the six yard box was nudged into the net by Bradley Pritchard who just got to the ball before Dent to score.
There was still time before the break for the Chipstead no 7 who hit a shot on the turn which was comfortably saved by Blue but 1-1 at half time was about the right score.
Half Time: 1-1
The second half began with a bit of Chipstead pressure but Cray looked far more assured after the restart and brought on a young trialist at the start of the half.
The Trialist went on to make an immediate impact four minutes into the half as Johnson who had another impressive game after his first involvement at Chatham last Friday played the ball down the left to Rhule who cut inside and played the ball into the trialist who with deadly accuracy controlled the ball and fired the ball into the net via a Chipstead defender.
Chipstead came forward searching a goal and a right wing cross from the no 11 was turned behind for a corner from which Phipp did well to clear an attempted shot.
Cray though were beginning to look menacing going forward and in the 55th minute scored a third goal when Dent in midfield found Rhule down the left who took on a defender and then put over a wonderful cross to the far post which was despatched by Federico from seven yards.
From here Cray were able to control the game whilst defending solidly in trying weather conditions and looked to quell any potential Chipstead comeback.
For the home side the no 11 was unfortunate when down the right he got himself in a good shooting position but fired into the side netting.
As the half wore on Cray looked to score again and Pritchard fired over the bar and then Federico’s cross was flicked wide by Rhule.
After a much needed water break the Chipstead no 4 saw an effort blocked and then for Cray, a Dent corner was eventually cleared out as far as Tom Phipp who fired well over.
Cray’s last opportunity fell for the trialist when he took Dent’s pass and from just inside the area saw his shot pushed away well by Sibley.
The game was virtually won but Chipstead almost pulled a goal back late on when the no 11 with an excellent pass found the no 17 down the right of the area but shot just wide.
In the end Cray had done well to finish pre-season with the confidence boost of a win and can now concentrate on the start of the Bostik South-East season next Saturday at Greenwich Borough.
Team: Nick Blue, Barney Williams, Archie Johnson, Marcus Evans, Tom Phipp, Sean Roberts (Zak Henry), Bradley Pritchard, Karl Dent, Jerome Federico, Aaron Rhule, Freddie Parker (Trialist)