Cray Wanderers vs Dulwich Hamlet

Isthmian Premier – 25/11/23 – Match Report


Cray Wanderers                                             1

Lockyer 79

Dulwich Hamlet                                              1

Wanadio 52 pen

Pics to follow

It ended honours even at Hayes Lane as Cray Wanderers and Dulwich Hamlet fought out a tight affair with Gary Lockyer’s stunning strike for Cray cancelling out a Luke Wanadio penalty.  The result keeps Cray in 17th place on 17 points and unbeaten in three league games at the start of a busy period of two games a week over the next fortnight.

Cray came into the game looking to continue to move up the table and build on wins in the last two league matches.  From the side which were beaten at Weston-super-Mare in the FA Trophy last Saturday into the team came a new signing, experienced centre-half Tom Bonner along with Nyren Clunis in place of the injured Cameron Black and Antonio Dembele.  

Dulwich Hamlet were 11th in the table at the start of the game and unbeaten in six league games and from the side which beat Folkestone Invicta last Saturday into the side came Adrian Clifton for Danny Mills.

On a bright afternoon but a touch chilly, the game promised to be an exciting one and got off to a fast start.  Cray threatened first with a ball in from the right out to the left for Ellis Brown who flashed a shot across goal.

Dulwich though almost went in front in the 3rd minute when Anthony Jeffrey attempted an audacious effort looking to catch Shaun Rowley off his line but the Wands keeper backpedaled to turn the ball over the bar.  From the corner the ball was played back into the box and headed over by Michael Chambers.

Cray then came close when Frankie Raymond played a fine ball over the top for Yahya Bamba to latch onto and from inside the box was denied by a blocked save from R’avan Constable.

Dulwich then had a decent spell and Jeffrey shot wide from outside the area and then from a free kick out on the right, Luke Wanadio’s ball into the area was cleared out by David Ijaha to Ayuk Tarh who volleyed over.

Both defences then got on top and the game became intriguing without too many clear cut chances being created.  

Before half time, Dulwich won a corner and Jerome Binnom-Williams ball to the near post was headed over by Chambers.  Then Ryley Scott set up Jeffrey down the right who drove a cross-shot wide but at half time the game remained goalless.

HT:  0-0

After a somewhat cagey first half the second half certainly promised more and the match opened up.

Dulwich were the first to threaten with a free kick 30 yards out and Binnom-Williams shot was well claimed by Rowley.

Then the ball went down the other end and Bamba was denied by Constable and following up Lockyer from outside the box saw his lofted ball towards goal drift just over.

In the 51st minute Cray had the ball in the net when Lockyer set up Ellis Brown who finished well but the flag was raised for what must have been a marginal offside.

A minute later the ball went up the other end and former Bromley player Luke Wanadio down the right of the area was adjudged to have been brought down by Jamie Mascoll and Wanadio scored from the spot.

Dulwich had a spell where they were looking comfortable with Cray having to replace Emmanuel Kwatchey with George Porter with twenty five minutes to go.  Cray though began to piece things together and Bamba and Porter combined to find Brown down the right and his ball across was put behind for a corner.  Then from inside his own half, Raymond looked to float an audacious effort on goal but straight to Constable and then Lockyer saw a strike from outside the box deflected off target.

In the 72nd minute there was concern when former Hamlet stalwart Nyren Clunis had to go off with what looked like an ankle injury and had to leave on a stretcher and was replaced by Alfie Evans.

In the 75th minute Hamlet could have put the game beyond doubt when Binnom-Williams hit a fine strike from outside the area which crashed off the underside of the bar and following up Scott saw his effort saved superbly by Rowley pushing the ball across goal and was cleared.

Four minutes later Cray were level with a goal that was well worth waiting for as out of nothing Gary Lockyer picked up the ball well outside the area and hit a screamer for the second successive Saturday which flew past Constable and into the net.

With the game going into its final ten minutes and six minutes of injury time both looked to claim a winner.  

Dulwich almost went back in front when a cross from the right came to Wanadio who found space but perhaps under pressure from Jack Holland hooked a shot over.

Then at the other end Lockyer set up Ijaha who fired in a rasping shot which just cleared the crossbar.

Both teams had put in a lot of effort into the game but in the end finished all square which perhaps over the course of the ninety minutes was the right outcome.

Defensively, Cray were very good and Bonner and Holland did well against a strong Hamlet side, Shaun Rowley made two excellent saves and battled hard especially the midfield of Ijaha, Clunis, Brown and Raymond who were excellent while Lockyer continued his rich vein of form with another class goal.

Cray stay 17th in the table on 17 points, three clear of the bottom four and are back in action at Hayes Lane on Wednesday night vs Whitehawk, ko 7.45 pm

Cray Wanderers: Shaun Rowley, Emmanuel Kwatchey (George Porter, 64), Tom Bonner, Jack Holland, Jamie Mascoll, David Ijaha, Ellis Brown, Frankie Raymond, Nyren Clunis (Alfie Evans, 72), Yahya Bamba (Antonio Dembele, 88), Gary Lockyer:  Subs: Sam Wood, Josh Tobin

Booked: Raymond 54

Dulwich Hamlet: R’avan Constable, Dwight Pascal, Michael Chambers, Manny Parry, Jerome Binnom-Williams, Ryley Scott, Ayuk Tarh, Kreshnic Krasniqi, Adrian Clifton (Josh Shonibare, 87), Anthony Jeffrey, Luke Wanadio: Subs:  Craig Braham-Barrett, Kaya Hansson, Richard Pingling, Sean Bonnett-Johnson

Booked: Chambers 19, Scott 90

Referee: Harrison Blair

Assistants: Matthew Funnell, Connor Fanelli


Att:  404