Cray Wanderers – 2019-20 season – That was the season that wasn’t – A Pictorial Review

Isthmian Premier – Game 13 – Tuesday 22nd October

Horsham                                                1              Dawson 35
Cray Wanderers                                     1             Leader 37

Pictures credit – John Lines – Horsham FC

This was a very good game as the two sides promoted from the Isthmian South-East played the first ever meeting at the Camping World Community Stadium, the impressive new home of Horsham FC.

There was so much quality on show and after a cagey opening the match settled down into a competitive game, full of strong tackling and good forward play.

Cray had a couple of early half chances for Tom Murphy who fired a free kick over and Bradley Pritchard saw a shot blocked but at the other end Jay Leader and Mitchell Nelson were rock like against a Horsham side who were 2nd in the table.

Horsham though went ahead in the 35th minute after the award of something of a soft free kick out on the right and Charlie Harris’s ball towards the far post was met by a text book header from Lea Dawson to make it 1-0 to the Hornets.

This Cray side though had shown resilience at Merstham and Lewes after falling behind and did so again two minutes later when from a corner Tom Murphy’s cross was met by Mitchell Nelson who got above the keeper to head the ball towards goal and Leader was on hand to score his second goal of the season.


Cray thought they had scored again when Charlie Allen lifted the ball into the net but was disallowed for a foul on the keeper while on the stroke of half time, Ben Mundele’s ball into the area looked to have hit the hand of a defender.

The second half saw some good action but no further goals but Cray did come close to winning when Joe Taylor latched onto a ball forward and flicked the ball goalwards but came back off the left post.

Then good work from Jerome Federico down the right saw the ball going into the box for Pritchard who poked the ball agonisingly wide of goal.

Horsham had a Harris free kick pushed over by Carey while at the end Zack Newton twice came close flashing wide from a right wing cross and in stoppage time when keeper George Bentley’ ball over the top found the striker on goal but shot wide.

Not a bad result though for Cray and kept up the unbeaten away record and in 7th place, 7 points behind Horsham with a game in hand.

Cray Wanderers: Lewis Carey, Ben Mundele (Barney Williams, 68), Tom Carlse, Jay Leader, Mitchell Nelson (Capt.), Charlie Allen, Bradley Pritchard, Tom Phipp, Tom Murphy (Lee Lewis, 89), Andre Coker (Jerome Federico, 68), Joe Taylor: Subs: Karl Dent, Geofrey Okonkwo

Att: 481

The thoughts of Tony Russell

” I’m not usually one to mention referees as they have a hard job but at Horsham the referee had an indifferent game for both teams if I’m honest. There’s been three key decisions in the first half which has cost us and we could have been three nil up at half time. Horsham have scored with their only attempt on target from a free kick that should never have been given as Jay won a header up against their striker and the referee has given a non-existent foul from which of course, Daws does what he does best and scores with a terrific header. Then Charlie Allen goes through over the top, heads the ball over the keeper and into the net but the ref gives a foul on the keeper even though the keeper has connected with Charlie after the ball has gone so that should be 2-0. Then before half time a cross has come in from Ben from the left and their defender has put his hands up and pushed the ball out of play and a clear and blatant handball. These were key decisions in the game and we go in 1-1 when we could have been 3-0 up.

I thought we were the better side first half, second half credit to Horsham they played with more purpose and put us under a spell of pressure for 10-15 minutes but never really tested Lewis Carey apart from one free kick from 35 yards from Charlie Harris which he’s had to push over for a corner. We rode that storm out and I thought we came on strong at the end. We had a good chance when JT went through on goal and just flicked it goalwards and it’s hit the outside of the post and gone wide. The form he’s been in you just expect that chance to go in. Then Fed’s got wide down the right and put a ball across which Bradley Pritchard has got a flick to and went just wide of the post. I thought we were the only team likely to win it at that stage but to be fair to them they’ve nearly won it at the end when Zack Newton has turned a right wing cross wide when it seemed easier to score which was a good chance and just like that we could have lost the game 2-1.

It’s really annoying when you put so much into the week but when decisions go against you in a game you start to get a bit nervous on the touchline when normally so calm because you don’t know what the ref’s going to give next. We’d have taken a draw as they’ve made a cracking start to the season and full credit to them they’ve made life very hard for teams that have gone there and we’ve restricted them to two shots on target all game. Certainly better for us than last season when we lost 4-2 so an improvement in that respect but we felt perhaps disappointed we didn’t win it with the decisions which went against us and the missed chances in the second half. It was a good game between two honest sets of players and although there were 8 bookings it was never a dirty game but Horsham are a good side, I like their manager Dominic and they are a good benchmark for other teams because if you don’t turn up against them they will beat you. They’ve got an excellent set up down there, good fan base and are a good club and enjoy going there.


LEAGUE TABLE – 22/10/19