Cray Wanderers 1 (Dent 9) Dorking Wanderers 2 (Sole 32, Philpot 85) – 3/8/17
Cray Wanderers first home game on the new 3G playing surface at Hayes Lane ended in defeat as a late winner gave Dorking Wanderers victory in Cray’s penultimate pre-season game.
Cray began the game in a positive manner and took the lead in the 9th minute when Brandon Scott’s right wing cross shot was turned into the net by Karl Dent on the goal line. Dorking though are a tough side and fought back and levelled in the 32nd minute when Giuseppe Sole curling in a free kick out on the left.
It seemed that the game may be heading for a draw but Dorking claimed a winner in the 85th minute when Isaac Philpot stole in to score from a whipped in free kick.
The first half was a very entertaining affair with both sides seeming to adapt to the surface fairly quickly. Dorking posed some early threat but it was Cray who broke with great pace particularly from Brandon Scott who was electric in the opening twenty minutes. After six minutes, he broke down the right, cut past two defenders and cut the ball into the box which Freddie Parker reacted quickest but saw his close range shot blocked.
Three minutes later in an almost identical piece of play, Scott again down the right showed pace and this time drilled a low cross-shot which Dorking keeper Slavomir Huk got a slight touch and Karl Dent turned the ball in via his knee for the first Cray Wanderers home goal on 3G.
A few minutes later, Scott again down the right fizzed an angled cross shot towards goal which Huk did extremely well to get a fingertip to push the ball round the left post.
Then this time down the middle, Scott curled a shot narrowly past the right post. Dorking though were always in the game and Sam Beard shot wide.
Cray kept coming forward and Jerome Walker out on the left hit a shot which Huk did well to claim and then Dent fired wide.
Dorking though ended the half strongly and levelled in the 32nd minute. A free kick was awarded out on the left some 20 yards from goal. Giuseppe Sole who scored against Cray with a free kick in the league last season is an adept set piece taker and curled in an unstoppable shot which flew past Nick Blue.
Dorking came close again when James McShane rolled the ball wide from close range whilst for Cray Scott again came to the fore with a ball across which Lea Dawson fired over the bar.
Before the break both keepers made good saves. First Blue did well to push out a shot from Matt Briggs and the follow up from McShane was deflected through to the keeper. Then right on half time, a stinging shot from Dent was goal bound but Huk did well to push the ball behind.
The second half played in quite an unusually chilly August night was a bit more steadied and with less chances as the first.
An effort from Dent was claimed well by Huk and then he set up Luke Medley for an effort deflected behind for a corner. Good play by Warren Whitely down the left saw the ball played across to Dent who shot over.
Perhaps the greatest moment of the half came when with an audacious piece of skill, Michael Frieter from fully 35 yards saw the keeper slightly off his line and hoisted a ball towards goal which Huk had to push over the bar.
Medley was a little unlucky not be awarded a free kick right on the edge of the penalty area after appearing to have been caught by a defender but the referee waived away appeals.
Dorking look a side capable of challenging for the Bostik Premier this season and though they didn’t create too many chances play a clever passing game coupled with great pace. The Wands defence though was playing well and keeping chances to a minimum aside from one effort which went just wide of the right post.
The game appeared to be settling down for a draw although Medley’s cross found Dawson whose shot was saved, and then Medley down the left curled in a shot which Huk did well to hold.
With the game entering the final five minutes, Dorking went ahead when from a free kick down the left, the ball was floated into the box and Isaac Philpot ghosted in to turn the ball into the net.
That was rather hard on Cray who had played well but Dorking are a good side who deserve to be in the Bostik Premier and take their chances well and defend well. They managed to see out the remaining few minutes to claim the win.
With the first home game on the 3G now out of the way, Cray have one more pre-season game at Merstham on Saturday before the start of the new season against Thamesmead Town on August 12th. Definitely the start of a new era and though it might take a little while to get used to this is the way forward.
Team: Nick Blue, Barney Williams, Timi Osidobu, Jay Leader, Mitchell Nelson, Lea Dawson, Brandon Scott, Dean Carpenter, Freddie Parker, Karl Dent, Jerome Walker: Second Half Subs: Warren Whitely, Luke Medley, Michael Frieter, Anthony Adesite.
Dorking starting XI: Slavomir Huk. Tom Summerfield, Sam Beard, David Wray, Isaac Philpot, Giuseppe Sole, Luke Moore, Matt Briggs, Tom Hutchison, Sol Pinnock, James McShane