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

The day before the match with Cheshunt on Friday 8th November, 2019 we learnt of the sad passing of Cray Wanderers legend Dave Jackson. Prior to the game a poignant and dignified period of silence for Dave with his brother Peter, another club legend along with Chairman Gary Hillman and the management and playing staff.

Undoubtedly the toughest public address announcement I ever have had to make but hugely important to get across how much Dave meant to everyone at the club.

Our great photographer @Jon Hilliger took a couple of moving snaps before the game pictured here.

When the game started Dave would have been pleased as Cray turned on the style and as the season went on Dave would always be with us with Adrian Jewell’s flag a permanent fixture with the Cray Massive.

Isthmian Premier – Game 15 – Saturday 9th November

All photos kindly provided by Jon Hilliger

Cray Wanderers                         6          Rollinson 1, Lewis 40, 54, Taylor 59, 65, 67

Cheshunt                                   1          Moss 7 (p)

Cray moved up into the playoff places into 5th for the first time this season after a fine attacking display produced six goals against a ten man Cheshunt side. Joe Taylor notched his second hat-trick of the season in eight second half minutes after an incredible goalscoring debut for Joel Rollinson scoring after 38 seconds and two superb Lee Lewis goals edged Cray further away after Cheshunt levelled with a penalty.

An emotional afternoon for the club following the passing of Cray Wanderers legend Dave Jackson the day before the match and an impeccably observed two minute silence before the match coinciding with Remembrance Day was the most moving moment of the season.

On the second consecutive wet and grey Saturday afternoon, the game was lit up right at the start as Joel Rollinson brought in on loan from Stevenage and just 38 seconds into the game Karl Dent and Joe Taylor combined to play Rollinson through who finished with great composure.

Cheshunt had a decent spell after that and Bobby Mills who tested Lewis Carey with a shot from 12 yards was then fouled just inside the area by Mitchell Nelson and a penalty was awarded. Ryan Moss stroked home the spot-kick to level the scores.

Cray though were playing well and Ben Mundele and Dent came close before Cheshunt were reduced to ten men in the 22nd minute when Giuseppe Re was dismissed for a slightly mistimed challenge on Barney Williams.

The Wands were looking dangerous and Dent fired just over and Williams’ cross from the left was turned just wide by Taylor and Nelson put the ball in the net but was disallowed for a push.

Five minutes before half time and Cray’s pressure paid off with a goal out of nothing when Lee Lewis who was having a great match strode forward and from 25 yards hit a shot which gave Harry Girling no chance.with his second goal of the season and his first in the league.

The second half saw Cray press home their man advantage in some style and came close early on when Bradley Pritchard fired just over the bar from Rollinson’s pass.

In the 54th minute it was 3-1 when Pritchard’s corner kick was only partially cleared and receiving the ball from distance, Lewis hit an unstoppable shot for his second great goal of the match.

Five minutes later, Taylor who had had a fine game up to that point scored his first of the match when Mundele played a fine ball through and Taylor from the right of the area cracked home his 17th goal of the season.

In the 65th minute it was 5-1 with Taylor scoring his second after he switched the ball out to Rollinson down the right and his ball across was turned home by JT in deadly fashion.

Two minutes later Taylor completed his hat-trick when Cheshunt gave the ball away and Pritchard rolled a pass through to Taylor who from 12 yards claimed the match ball and showed a player in confident form.

Cray almost had a seventh when Lewis’s shot was spilled and Charlie Allen tucked home the rebound but was ruled out for offside but the Wands had done more than enough and helped to brighten up what was a sad start to the afternoon and give a performance to make Dave proud. This was Cray Wanderers biggest ever Isthmian Premier League win.

Cray Wanderers:  Lewis Carey, Barney Williams, Tom Carlse, Jay Leader, Mitchell Nelson, Lee Lewis, Bradley Pritchard (Charlie Allen, 67), Karl Dent (Charles Etumnu, 86), Ben Mundele (Andre Coker, 76), Joel Rollinson, Joe Taylor:  Subs:  Geofrey Okonkwo, Grant Hall

 Att:  162


(On the biggest Isthmian Premier win) ” Me and Vinesy like little stats like that. We want to try and achieve as many records as we can and keep up pushing boundaries and doing things the club has never done before and raise the bar.

As for the game before the red card it was very much defence v attack and the sending off made it a bit easier but I had no doubts in my mind that we would go on and win the game. It was nice in that it was similar to some of last season’s games where in the last twenty minutes, the opposition have taken their forwards off just to restrict the score. We are happy with that as we could take players off, kept it at the back and didn’t expend too much energy as we have a game Tuesday night.

It was a good performance, we did still miss chances but we had spoken at half time that Cheshunt had worked hard just to stay in the game and we felt if we hit them early in the second half they would crack and for twenty minutes we just blew them away and then we eased down after that. We needed to up the tempo, be good on the ball, make them work all over the pitch and be ruthless and it was good to see us go up the gears. Nice for Joel Rollinson too for making his debut and scoring and two assists which has settled him in nicely.

I said to the players before the game one thing you get from a Craig Edwards side is that they will never give up and will give you everything. Credit to them as 6-1 down they could easily have rolled over and we could have gone to town on them but they were still fighting and trying to defend for their lives and I think that would serve them in good stead going forward. It was perfect to be able to wind it down with another game coming up and we said to the lads at the back, just keep the ball, try not to get any more injuries and not over exert ahead of Tuesday. It was good also for our goal difference too.

(On Joel Rollinson’s debut) I think with us, this is why we have a good rapport with professional clubs. Because of the way we play and train it is very similar to what he has experienced at Stevenage U23s football. It might not be the most competitive game in terms of physicality but it is very technical and a lot of passing, movement and pockets and not too dissimilar to how we play. Obviously we had Harry Hudson before that and Joel has fitted in really quickly because it is something he does day in, day out. Joel said to the boys that he was quite shocked when he was told he was coming to us on loan and wasn’t sure what to expect but I think he is quite pleasantly surprised how we go about our business.

We had a training session with him last week and we was working with him and looking at him getting his shots off more, in little pockets inside rather than hugging the touchline. He is very easily coachable and he understands what we want him to do and will follow the letter of the law and really enjoys it”

PITCHSIDE VIDEO – Please see another excellent edition of Pitchside put together by Ozay Booth with a touch of Henderson Russell thrown in. Here on an emotional day for the club, the video features pre-match footage including crossbar challenge, captures the silence before the game, and match footage.