Ryman League Division One South – 1/4/17
Cray Wanderers 0
Dorking Wanderers 2
Tolfrey 8, Sole 22
Cray Wanderers mini revival came to an end as Dorking Wanderers kept up their title challenge with a professional and at times impressive victory in the first ever meeting at Hayes Lane.
Cray came into the game on the back of two wins and looked to continue that momentum against their high flying opponents. However an excellent first quarter of the game from the visitors saw Dorking Wanderers go two nil up with fine goals first from Tom Tolfrey after just eight minutes and then a tremendous free kick strike from Giuseppe Sole after 22 minutes. Despite Cray’s best efforts they were unable to score a goal which would have made for a dramatic second half and Dorking Wanderers with a solid defensive display won the game and kept themselves very much in the battle for the Ryman South title with Tooting & Mitcham United.
There were a couple of changes to the side which beat Herne Bay on Wednesday. Into the side for his debut came deadline day signing Antonio Lazzari for Jai McKinlay with Paul Lorraine coming in for Zak Henry.
Both sides are good footballing teams and a good match was in prospect on a rather mixed day weather wise with spells of sunshine and then grey clouds and a brief April Shower before half time, topped off by a rainbow in the second. Dorking in a very striking all lime green strip started very impressively looking confident and passing the ball well. They created the first opening after six minutes when Tom Summerfield down the right set up James McShane who fired a shot wide of goal from thirty yards.
Two minutes later Dorking Wanderers went in front. A throw in down the right from Dean Gunner was flicked on and the ball was cleared out to Tom Tolfrey who from twenty yards planted a fine shot into the bottom right corner of the net giving Nick Blue no chance to save.
Cray looked to come back into it and Lee Prescott set up Karl Dent for a shot which was blocked by Gunner. For Dorking, a Summerfield cross was turned behind by Paul Lorraine for a corner.
Cray almost got back into it in the 19th minute when Luke Medley played a ball forward down the left which led to a rare bit of indecision at the back and as keeper Slavomir Huk hesitated Danny Haynes stole in but from a tight angle Huk did well to block his attempted shot.
Dorking almost scored when Tolfrey down the right set up Giuseppe Sole who hit a first time shot which was saved and well held by Blue.
A minute later though, in the 22nd minute, Dorking made it 2-0 after the award of a free kick twenty five yards from goal out on the right of the penalty area. The experienced Sole stepped up and curled a tremendous strike into the back of the net to give Cray something of a mountain to climb.
Cray kept in the game and from a free kick Haynes fired in a shot which was comfortably held by Huk and then other attempts to find openings were repelled by a line of green shirts. Cray threatened with a ball from Dawson to Dent on the edge of the box whose shot was blocked by Jerome Beckles and the ball looped through to Medley who set up Dawson whose shot from eight yards was blocked by Chris Boulter. The rain then started to fall as and the game lost a bit of its early zip.
Dorking almost notched a third when after a neat passing buildup Gunner made a run down the left and played the ball across to Tolfrey who flicked an effort just wide. Then from a corner down the left, Sole’s cross was headed wide by Dean Hamlin. Tolfrey was then denied a second goal by a good block by Lorraine.
Cray had to make a change five minutes before the break with Brandon Scott replacing Haynes. The last shooting opportunity of the half came to Cray when Dawson set up Medley whose shot forced Huk to get down to make a smart save and did well to hold the ball.
Half Time: 0-2
The second half saw Jai McKinlay introduced for Lazzari as Cray looked to find their way back into the game.
For Dorking, Tolfrey down the left put a ball across to McShane who saw his effort blocked and the ball was cleared whilst at the other end, Medley down the left set up Dent for a shot which went well wide of the left post. Sole then put over a cross knocked wide by Gunner.
The best opportunity for Cray to get back into the game came ten minutes after the break when Medley down the left set up Scott who from nine yards saw his goalbound shot well saved by the leg of Huk. A goal then would have given the game a bit of impetus and the possibility of an exciting last half hour. .
After that there were few real chances in the game as Dorking perhaps taking stock of what they had didn’t have to over exert themselves in attack.
Cray for their part kept plugging away and didn’t do a lot wrong but found the Dorking back line hard to get through. The nearest they came was when down the right the ball came to Roberts who lashed a shot well off target. For Dorking, the hardworking McShane saw an effort blocked by McKinlay.
The introduction of Anthony Adesite for the last twenty five minutes added some extra pace and he combined well with Dent to fire in an accurate shot from thirty yards which was well claimed by Huk.
The last few minutes saw the game peter out a little with Dorking going closest to scoring again after Matt Briggs right wing cross was put behind for a corner by Lorraine. From the corner the ball eventually fell to Briggs who a fine strike which just went over the crossbar.
Finally in injury time, Beckles shot wide for Dorking and the game ended with the visitors claiming the three points which keeps them three points behind Tooting & Mitcham United with four games left and the teams due to meet at Dorking on the final day of the season. They are at least confirmed to be in the playoffs and would be a difficult team to beat.
Cray for their part worked hard and there were positive displays especially from Timi Osidobu, Ben Mundele, Dent and Adesite in particular standing out. The Wands next face another playoff contender on Sunday as Hastings United visit Hayes Lane as the season starts to wind down to its conclusion.
Cray: Nick Blue, Ben Mundele, Timi Osidobu, Antonio Lazzari (Jai McKInlay, H/T), Paul Lorraine, Lea Dawson (Capt.), Sean Roberts, Karl Dent, Danny Haynes (Brandon Scott, 40), Luke Medley, Lee Prescott (Anthony Adesite, 62): Subs: Zak Henry, Tyrone Guthrie
Herne Bay: Slavomir Huk, Robb Sheridan, Dean Gunner, Chris Boulter, Dean Hamlin, Jake Beecroft, Jerome Beckles, Tom Summerfield (Matt Briggs, 68), Giuseppe Sole (Gareth Chendlik, 82), Tom Tolfrey (Dan Pearse, 68), James McShane: Subs: Alex Wells
Referee: Adrian Waters
Assistants: Craig Pullen, Steve Hawkes