Cray Wanderers – 2019-20 season – That was the season that wasn’t – A Pictorial Review
Isthmian League Cup – 1st Knockout Round: Saturday 21st December, 2020
Worthing v Cray Wanderers
Jelley 29, Mundele o. g. 43, Chalaye 67
Cray Wanderers 2
Pritchard 49, Dent 84
Cray Wanderers first Isthmian League Cup tie since 2014 ended in defeat at Worthing in an entertaining if fairly low-key pre-Christmas fixture.
Cray were looking to bounce back from the 2-7 defeat at Bognor Regis Town the previous Saturday but after a difficult first half, the Wands played well in the second and unlucky in the end perhaps not to take the game to a penalty shoot-out.
Since the 2-2 draw at Hayes Lane on 2nd November, Worthing had been on a good run and were joint top of the Isthmian Premier with Folkestone Invicta and seven points clear of 6th placed Cray. Worthing began the game well and should have taken the lead after 8 minutes when Joe Clarke was played through but put the ball wide of the right post. Cray’s best moments came with a Joel Rollinson shot which went past the right post and Lee Lewis fired over from a free kick.
Worthing went ahead on 29 minutes when from a free kick down the right, Ollie Pearce’s ball towards the far post was headed on by Arran Racine and following up Dylan Jelley found space to fire into the net.
There was a blow for Cray when Tom Carlse had to go off with a toe injury while Worthing came close again with Alex Parsons firing over and a Pearce cross-shot was well saved by Lewis Carey.
Two minutes before half time it was 2-0 to Worthing when from a quickly taken free kick the ball came to Jasper Pattenden down the left who played the ball across to Pearce who steered the ball towards goal with the last touch going in off Ben Mundele.
Cray played well in the second half and Worthing were guilty of overplaying at the back and Danny Barker was dispossessed by Bradley Pritchard and found Jerome Federico whose excellent weighted pass put Pritchard through inside the area who finished well to make it 2-1 in the 49th minute.
Pritchard came close with another close range effort saved by Carl Rushworth and Federico put a cross-shot over the bar.
Worthing restored their two goal advantage in the 67th minute when down the right Darren Budd found Clarke whose cross was turned in by Thomas Chalaye.
Cray were unfortunate not to score when from a free kick, Karl Dent’s shot was goal bound but came back off the left post and following up Tom Murphy’s effort was blocked by Rushworth.
A great moment for the U18s with Chris Al-Hassan and Archie Daniels both making their Wands debuts came on for the last ten minutes.
The Wands did get another goal in the 84th minute when Raccine presented the ball to Dent who broke into the box and stroked home to make it 3-2.
There could have been goals at both ends but Cray had a great chance to level when Rollinson played in Joe Taylor but his effort was saved by Rushworth.
In the end Cray were beaten but had shown enough to suggest they could get something out of their next trip to Worthing on 8th February. Cray’s next match would be on Boxing Day at home to in-form Leatherhead.
Cray Wanderers: Lewis Carey, Ben Mundele (Archie Daniels, 80), Tom Carlse (Joe Taylor, 33), Jay Leader, Mitchell Nelson (Capt.), Lee Lewis, Bradley Pritchard, Karl Dent, Jerome Federico (Geofrey Okonkwo, 64), Joel Rollinson, Tom Murphy (Chris Al Hassan, 81): Subs: Joe Vines
THE THOUGHTS OF TONY RUSSELL
I thought the first half against Worthing we seemed to be suffering a hangover from the week before. We played well with the ball but in terms of the final third I thought we were a bit powderpuff and going in 2-0 down obviously we were a bit concerned as Worthing are a good side so the last thing that we needed was two heavy defeats in a row. I spoke to the boys at half time not necessarily in terms of the result but in terms of the performance and I thought we were very good in the second half. If I’m honest I thought we should have won the game and I know JT has gone through near the end and his shot has gone to the keeper but we hit the post, Murphy missed an open goal, Feds was put clean through but blazed his cross-shot over. I thought it was a very good game and I like Worthing and the two games against them have been excellent matches, open and they was some good young players on show on both sides and I look forward to going back down there in the league.
We scored two good goals through Bradley Pritchard and Karl Dent. I thought against Bognor that we were poor without the ball and usually our pressing is very good. We had to make changes against Bognor and that seemed to affect us so we went back to the drawing board a bit, spent the week watching videos talking about the press and how we were going to do it, what triggers that press and intensity of that. For the whole game we pressed them well and made them go long and make a passing team turnover the ball a lot. That is what Bognor did to us, so I thought without the ball against Worthing we were a lot better. Although we were beaten in the end we were pleased with the way we played and we wish Worthing all the best in the competition.
ME & MY OLD MAN – PART 3 – Henderson Russell brings his videocamera to Worthing pre-Christmas following his Dad Tony Russell and the Wands.
MATCH HIGHLIGHTS – COURTESY OF WORTHING TV