Cray Wanderers continued their pre-season programme last night with a 1-0 victory at Corinthian. In a fairly close game, Cray perhaps shaded the early stages of the game and led through a fine Barney Williams goal ten minutes before the break.
The second half saw Corinthian come into the game a bit more and Cray perhaps couldn’t quite get things going in the final third but defensively Cray were very resolute.
Corinthian started on the front foot and Nick Blue had to be quick to react after hesitation at the back let in the no 9 and Blue came out to smother. The Wands then came into it and Warren Whitely who was very lively in the second half at Fisher on Saturday started in the same vein and after a jinking run down the right looked to have been tripped inside the area and was denied a penalty.
Whitely then fired over the angle of post and crossbar and Michael Power saw a near post effort blocked by the keepers legs. Then James Duckworth fired over the top. Cray continued to press and Whitely’s cross was headed over by Power.
For Corinthian the no 2 fired a shot well wide and then from a free kick just outside the area to the left, a shot was curled round the wall but was safely gathered by Blue.
The game then went through something of a lull until the 35th minute when Cray took the lead. Play was worked down the left and Duckworth set up Karl Dent who charged to the byline and cut the ball back to Barney Williams who hit a crisp shot giving the keeper no chance.
Corinthian almost hit back as the lively no 9 fired just wide of the left post before a bit of rain at half time led to the supporters heading for the club house.
The second half saw few real chances as the game got a bit bogged down with some nice passages of play from both sides but no real cutting edge.
For Cray, Duckworth cut in from the left and saw a curling shot well held by the Corinthian keeper. Corinthian looked a decent passing side and the no 14 fizzed a shot just over the crossbar but most of their efforts were repelled by the excellent defensive pairing of Jay Leader and Marcus Evans.
Cray saw efforts from Power and Anthony Adesite blocked whilst the home side looked to catch Cray on the break.
Towards the end, Cray almost put daylight between the sides when Mitchell Nelson came close to scoring twice in a minute. First from a Dent corner from the right, the ball came to Nelson whose header was blocked by the keepers legs. Then from another corner, Nelson powered a header fractionally wide.
The second half had seemed to have lasted an eternity but ended with the Wands picking up another narrow win on their travels and perhaps now are looking to just add a bit more sharpness to some fine approach play. Defensively Cray are looking very sound and after the game, Tony Russell was glowing with his praise for Evans who looks very composed and reassured for someone so young.
The Wands next head off to Bearsted on Saturday, 3pm kick off.
Team: Nick Blue, Barney Williams, Jay Leader, Marcus Evans, Mitchell Nelson, Dean Carpenter, Lea Dawson, Karl Dent, Warren Whitely, James Duckworth, Michael Power: Josh Owen, Anthony Adesite