Bostik League South-East – Sunday 7th April 2019
Cray Wanderers 1
Greenwich Borough 1
Tyreece-Walters 6 (p)
Goal video courtesy of Vikrant Dogra and Capturemast
Cray Wanderers wait for promotion from the Bostik South-East continues onto next week as the Wands who just needed three points to win the title were held at home by Greenwich Borough who require the points at the other end of the table. As a result of the draw, Cray lead the table by 8 points on 73 points from Horsham in 2nd place (3 games to play) and 11 from Hastings United (4 to play) but Ashford United who Cray face on Saturday are 12 behind with four to play and Cray have a better goal difference.
On a gruelling afternoon, Cray went a goal down after 6 minutes when Teshuane Tyreece-Walters gave them the lead from the penalty spot after Olutoyosi Olusanya was adjudged to have been brought down inside the area by Mitchell Nelson and the visitors led at halftime. Borough were resolute in the first half but Cray gradually wore them down and Greenwich were reduced to ten men when Rhys Paul was sent off for two bookable offences in the 74th minute. Three minutes later, Cray deservedly levelled when Tom Carlse’s left wing cross was turned in to the net by Karl Dent. Cray though had the opportunity to win the title when four minutes from time were awarded a penalty of their own when Nelson was fouled but Tom Phipp’s penalty was saved by Oliver Webber who made a number of fine stops during the game.
Cray were looking to bounce back from last Saturday’s defeat at Whitstable Town and three games without a win and were buoyed by Ashford United’s defeat at Hythe Town on Saturday which meant just three points would be enough for Cray to cross the line. From the side which played at Whitstable there were two changes with Archie Johnson and Jerome Federico coming in for Tom Carlse and Freddie Parker. Greenwich started the game a point behind Guernsey in the table and the two sides meet at Guernsey next Sunday so this was going to be a tougher afternoon than some might have expected.
On a murky but mild afternoon with a touch of tension in the air it was Greenwich who settled the better and from out of nothing were awarded a penalty after 6 minutes when Olutoyosi Olusanya broke into the area and was adjudged perhaps harshly to have been brought down inside the area following a tackle from Mitchell Nelson. Teshaune Tyreece Williams stepped up to confidently stroke the ball into the net and give the visitors the perfect start.
Greenwich were in the mood to spoil the party and shortly after from a free kick, Olusanya set up Rhys Paul who had been booked a couple of minutes before who fired over from 25 yards.
Cray were finding it hard to create openings and just before the 20 minute mark a ball over the top from Nelson found Joe Taylor who looked to hook the ball towards goal but was claimed by Oliver Webber. Greenwich were looking to slow the pace of the game down and Cray were awarded a free kick just inside the area when Webber took too long to release the ball but Karl Dent’s free kick was charged down.
Just before the half-hour Cray came closest when Jerome Federico found Ben Mundele who played in Karl Dent who turned past Jamie Stuart down the right of the penalty area and his near post cross-shot was pushed out by well by Webber and Stuart put the ball behind for a corner. From this, Dent found Federico who hit a shot wide of goal. Then a Dent free kick out on the right into the area was headed away by Paul under pressure from Jay Leader.
Before half time, Archie Johnson down the left set up Junior Dadson who cut inside but fired over the top from 20 yards and Cray went in at half time a goal down and finding Greenwich a tough nut to crack.
Half Time: 0-1
Although never a classic encounter, the second half was compelling although for Cray fans a touch twitchy as the game went longer without a Wands breakthrough. From a right wing corner, Dent’s cross came off the head of Leader and wide of goal.
Greenwich were still defending well but glimpses of a Cray goal were starting to appear and Federico found Mundele down the right who from just outside the area tested Webber with a well struck shot and was held by the keeper. Then from a free kick on the left byline, Dent’s cross to the far post found Leader but he headed across goal and was cleared.
Greenwich came close to adding a second goal when following a free kick out on the left, Jack Sammoutis’ fine ball into the area was met by Olusanya but headed over from five yards.
Cray continued to knock on the door and from another left wing corner from Dent, his cross was met by an excellent goalbound header from Nelson but was headed off the line by Stuart. Then Tom Phipp found substitute Jordan Clarke down the left who cut into the area but his near post shot was held by Webber.
It looked like it might be one of those days for Cray when another substitute Tom Carlse almost scored within seconds of coming on when Clarke found him inside the area, looked to find space and his shot from 10 yards was saved on his goalline by Webber.
On 74 minutes though, Greenwich were reduced to ten men when Paul was shown a second yellow card for a high boot which caught Dent in the head twenty five yards from goal. From the free kick, Phipp set up Mundele who fired over.
A goal for Cray had to come and did so in the 77th minute when Sean Roberts found Carlse down the left who put in a first time cross which found Dent who slotted home a cool finish from 10 yards and we finally had parity in the game.
Four minutes later, a free kick from Dent was deflected behind for a corner from which the ball was headed wide by Leader.
The pressure was telling from Cray and from another corner in the 86th minute down the right the ball was flicked off a head to Nelson down the left of the area who was nudged over inside the box by Luke Leppard for the award of a penalty kick. Amidst great tension in the ground, Phipp stepped up to take the kick but his effort was saved by Webber pushing the ball round the left post for a corner.
Going into the last minute, Dent down the right put over a tremendous cross which was met inside the area by a sharp volley from Carlse which was well saved by Webber possibly off his head but went over the bar for a corner.
Due to a number of stoppages, injury time went on for a while and Cray almost won it when Mundele set up Dent who shot over and then Clarke went down in the box but was booked for diving and this led to some ill-feeling with Paul who had been sent off re-entering the field of play which led to more added on time.
Strangely despite being under the cosh it was Greenwich who almost won it on the resumption of play when Kayne Roberts broke away down the right and fired a shot from just inside the area which crashed off the crossbar and fortunately for Cray away from goal.
In the end it wasn’t to be for Cray and had to be content with a draw which still gives them a chance to win the title on Saturday if they beat Ashford while for Greenwich they now go level with Guernsey ahead of next Sunday’s game.
Despite not being able to clinch the title today it wasn’t for the want of trying and although without a win in four games their destiny still lies in their hands and need to go again on Saturday which should be a great occasion.
Jerome Federico, the Man of the Match as sponsored on his 50th Birthday by Club Secretary Mike Green
Cray Wanderers: Nick Blue, Ben Mundele, Archie Johnson (Tom Carlse, 69), Jay Leader, Mitchell Nelson (Capt.), Tom Phipp, Sean Roberts (Freddie Parker, 79), Karl Dent, Joe Taylor, Junior Dadson (Jordan Clarke, 55), Jerome Federico: Subs: Lee Lewis, Barney Williams
Booked: Roberts, Phipp, Clarke
Greenwich Borough: Oliver Webber, Miquel Scarlett, Conrad Lee, Rhys Paul, Geoffrey Okwonkwo, Jamie Stuart, Teshaune Tyreece Walters, Bertie Valler (Kayne Roberts, 70), Olutoyosi Olusanya, Jack Sammoutis (Luke Leppard, 76), Tony Robinson: Subs: Olalekan Bankole, Ryan King-Elliott, Theo Fairweather-Johnson
Sent Off: Paul 74 mins
Booked: Paul, Walters
Referee: Simon Finnegan
Assistants: Andrew Connor, Luke Pullen