Cray Wanderers vs SE Dons – Pre-Season Friendly – 6/7/24 – Match Report

Cray Wanderers             1

SE Dons                          1

Cray Wanderers after years of anticipation finally started a pre-season campaign at Flamingo Park on a huge day for the club with a 1-1 draw against an SE Dons side taking the step up to Saturday football after ten years as a Sunday league side.

The game kicked off at 1 pm to allow supporters to stay behind for the England v Switzerland Euro 2024 Quarter Final at 5 pm and was a match pitting two different sides in each half with a number of trialists on show for both teams.

The Wands and Dons supporters turned up in good numbers and were entertained pre-kick off and at half time by ska/reggae band the Brockalites and were given a warm reception by the fans.

The teams emerged onto the pitch with youth team members waving flags and a green smoke flare for added colour and despite the disappointing weather, too many rain bursts and strong wind it was a decent game which seemed to flow quickly.

The Dons came close early on with a shot from outside the area which hit the crossbar while at the other end a Wands trialist had the ball in the net disallowed for offside.

The Dons keeper, George Kamurasi  had to be sharp to deny David Smith and a couple of efforts from the Dons went just wide of goal.

Before half time Cray began to exert pressure and came close to scoring before the break.  Firstly, a Dons back pass was wind assisted and Kamurasi had to clear off the line.  Then Jack Leahy fired a shot wide and Archie Johnson down the left saw his close range shot pushed onto the post.  Then Anthony Cook headed over from a right wing corner.

HT:  0-0 

After an extended half hour half time break to allow the Brockalites to continue two different sides came out for the second half.  For Cray, a fine cross from the trialist no 2 was headed wide by Alex Teniola.

It was the SE Dons who went in front in the 57th minute when down the right a cross from the no 14 was finished well by the no 10 from six yards who shortly after saw a shot blocked.

Cray sought a leveller and another cross headed over by Teniola who shortly after had the ball in the net disallowed for offside.

In the 75th minute Cray levelled when after a spell of pressure and a good advantage played by the referee a ball from the right was partially cleared and a pass through found Enoch Muwonge to score from close range.

Shortly after Teniola shot wide and with the last kick of the game, the trialist no 7 fired just past the left post.

In the end the game finished in a draw but in many ways the day was more about the occasion and the shape of things to come for Cray Wanderers, now in our new home.

The SE Dons will next season at least be known as Forest Hill Park FC in the SCEFL DIvision One and promise to bring a lot of colour and positive noise to the non-league pyramid so big days ahead for them too.

After the game and a settle down and a pint of beer or two it was time to watch England in a bit of a slow burner with the Swiss advance to the Euro 2024 Semi Finals and after the tense penalty shoot out a loud contingent of Wands supporters voiced their approval and brought to an end a fantastic day for Cray Wanderers.

Team:  1st half:  Shaun Rowley, Archie Johnson, Anthony Cook, Jack Leahy, David Smith + trialists

2nd Half:  Shaun Rowley, George Brooke, Alfie Evans, Enoch Muwonge, Charlie Edwards, Nyren Clunis, Alex Teniola + trialists.

Att:  412