Ryman League Division One South – 17/4/17
Cray Wanderers 0
Greenwich Borough 0
Cray Wanderers mascot Jake Hillman lines up with the Cray Wanderers team along with Tony Russell before the game against Greenwich Borough.
Cray Wanderers returned to league action after their unexpected afternoon off on Saturday to pick up well deserved point against playoff bound Greenwich Borough at Hayes Lane.
Despite the lack of goals this was a really fine football match and after a difficult initial first fifteen minutes for Cray the Wands got themselves back into the game and twice hit the woodwork through Karl Dent and Danny Haynes. Greenwich Borough for their part looked dangerous for in the initial stages but the Cray defence stood firm and when they got through found Nick Blue in fine form and made fine saves to deny Travis Gregory and late on from Lewis Clark.
The Wands match on Saturday at Three Bridges was postponed due to pitch vandalism and from the side which played against Hastings there was one change with Antonio Lazzari coming in to partner Paul Lorraine in central defence.
Cray have struggled at home in 2017 and the visitors with a playoff place assured started the game very confidently with Liam McDevitt, Travis Gregory and Rob Denness looking dangerous and kept the ball well. Chances for them though were at a premium but did win four corners in the first ten minutes which a resolute Cray side were able to repel.
Gradually Cray worked their way into the game and had the first real semblance of a chance in the fifteenth minute. From a corner down the right, Lee Prescott’s cross towards the far post was met by the head of Lazarri from fifteen yards but went just wide of the right post.
This spurred Greenwich into action and Gregory made a charge down the left and fired in a shot from twenty five yards which was well held by Blue.
Greenwich still looked the better side but Cray did have a half shout for a penalty when Ben Mundele made a run into the box and looked to have been impeded by Liam Hickey and went down but the referee waived away claims.
After 31 minutes, Greenwich created the best chance yet when Bradley Pritchard won the ball in midfield and played in Gregory who from the right edge of the area fired in a shot which Blue did well to get his hand to and push behind for a corner. Then Gregory set up Lewwis Spence who fired wide from the edge of the penalty box.
In the 36th minute though, Cray were desperately unlucky not to score. From another Prescott right wing corner the ball was floated to the far post where Paul Lorraine headed the ball back into the box, where the ball was cleared out by Lewis Clark as far as Karl Dent who cracked in a tremendous volley which came back off the top of the crossbar and over.
Cray had a lot more possession after that but it was Borough who perhaps came closest before half time when Nathan Paul down the left put over a cross which was glanced wide of goal by Spence.
Half Time: 0-0.
The second half saw Cray come out the quicker and four minutes after the restart almost took the lead with what would have been a great goal. Mundele won the ball in midfield and strode on to the right edge of the penalty area and played the ball out to Brandon Scott down the right who breezed past Clark to lay the ball across to Haynes who hit a first time sidefooted effort which beat Craig Holloway in goal but came back off the post and agonisingly away from goal.
Greenwich pressed and Pritchard set up Denness for a close range shot which was blocked by Lea Dawson.
Cray came close again when Dawson won the ball and played in Scott who played a one two with Prescott just outside the penalty area and set up Haynes who curled a shot just wide of the right post.
Borough who needed a win to confirm third place at the end of the season worked an opening down the right through Denness who played the ball across to Peter Sweeney who swept in a shot which Blue got down well to save. Then, Greenwich had a decent opportunity when McDevitt in a good position from fifteen yards could only chip the ball straight to Blue.
Cray kept plugging away and Dent saw an effort blocked and Scott following up found Haynes from the right edge of the penalty area and his shot was deflected off Paul for a corner.
Cray then had a good spell of possession which ended with Prescott firing just wide from twenty five yards.
As the game entered the last fifteen minutes Greenwich started to look more threatening and after Mohamed Eisa was brought down outside the area, Sweeney fired a free kick over the bar. Then after a left wing cross was cleared by the impressive Lazzari the ball came to Gregory who hit a rather tame shot straight to Blue.
Going into the final minutes both sides came close to winning the game, First Cray came close when Lazzari played a great ball through to Luke Medley down the left of the area who took a couple of touches to set up a shot but saw his effort blocked by Paul.
Then Greenwich had a great chance when Clark burst through down the left and with Blue to beat his shot at the near post was well blocked by the Cray keeper.
Finally the unlucky Haynes down the right worked his way into the area but under the challenge of Spence drove a shot into the side net.
The final whistle then went and a very decent game ended goalless and Cray put in a tremendous shift with everyone doing their bit. Particular mentions for Brandon Scott who was excellent as were Dawson, Dent and the two centre halves. Ben Mundele though probably more than anyone caught the eye with his mature display. Danny Haynes was very unlucky not to score but kept plugging away till the end. Greenwich for their part played very well at times and need just a point from their last game of the season at home to Guernsey to confirm home advantage for the playoffs.
The Wands now await the outcome of when and where Thursday’s game with Three Bridges takes place before ending the season at Faversham Town on Saturday.
Cray: Nick Blue, Ben Mundele, Timi Osidobu, Antonio Lazzari, Paul Lorraine, Lea Dawson (Capt.), Sean Roberts, Lee Prescott, Danny Haynes, Karl Dent (Luke Medley, 82) Brandon Scott (Anthony Adesite, 87): Subs: Zak Henry, Jai McKinlay, Tyrone Guthrie
Greenwich: Craig Holloway, Nathan Paul, Lewis Clark, Glenn Wilson, Liam Hickey, Peter Sweeney, Lewwis Spence, Bradley Pritchard, Liam Macdevitt (Mohamed Eisa, 71), Rob Denness, Travis Gregory: Subs: Josh Shonibare, Cameron Reardon, Danny Young, Stefan Wright
Referee: Isaac Searle
Assistants: Jack Fagg, Joseph McKay