Cray Wanderers 2019-20 Season – A pictorial look back on the season that never came to an end.

Game 1 – 10/8/19 – Isthmian Premier

Kingstonian 0 Cray Wanderers 0

Pictures: Kindly provided by Jon Hilliger

A decent point on Cray Wanderers return to the Isthmian Premier at a new look Kingstonian on a blowy start to the season.


Cray with a young midfield with Freddie Parker and Lee Lewis in a three with Karl Dent in the absence of Bradley Pritchard and Charlie Allen did well to hold at bay a strong side with Lewis Carey on his league debut making three great saves including one from Tom Bennett’s close range header. Tom Phipp played alongside Mitchell Nelson at the back in the with Jay Leader out injured for the early weeks of the season.



Cray weren’t without chances with Tom Murphy, another debutante along with Andre Coker and Joe Taylor shooting just wide and Karl Dent’s cross-shot was met by a fine save from Rob Tolfrey  Kingstonian perhaps edged the game on chances and Carey made fine saves to deny Louis Theophanous and Tom Bennett


There were some fine performances on the day with Carey and Lewis in particular but on reflection Tom Carlse was superb that afternoon and summed up a very consistent season. this was a very good point gained.



Team: Carey, Williams, Carlse, Phipp, Nelson, Lewis, Dent, Parker, Murphy (Rhule), Coker, Taylor

The Post Match Thoughts of Tony Russell

“They are a good side who will cause a lot of teams’ problems but to go away from home with players out and with a young midfield I was delighted. I thought a draw was fair, they had 13 shots we had 11 so not a lot in it. The only small negative was perhaps our decision making in the final third on the day which if we had been a bit more accurate could have led to a goal,

Carlsey just goes from strength to strength. When he first came in it can take a bit of time especially as a defender to get used to how we play and what we do. I think at first he was thinking about it a bit too much and now he knows it all he can just relax and looks like the player we identified when we were looking for a fullback.

I think Phippsy hates it at centre-half but he looks good there and will do a great job when Jay isn’t available. I thought Tom Murphy did ok and was unlucky not to score a couple of times and Andre Coker had to show the ugly side of the game as their right back is a real problem for teams going forward and was one of the things that we worked on and he showed a lot of discipline keeping him quiet.

I think special mention must go to the three boys in midfield. Freddie Parker a forward by trade but had to go into midfield, Lee Lewis only turned 17 in July and Karl Dent who played holding midfield. Against the likes of Kenny Beaney and Tom Kavanagh both excellent experienced players I thought it was an even contest in there and we gave as good as we got those three boys and don’t remember Beaney doing too much in the game and he is a terrific player. We asked Lee to do a job and he was so disciplined. Whatever you ask of him he always takes it on board and will carry out exactly what you want him to carry out. The job was to nullify them and thought he done it brilliantly. It was fitting in the 93rd minute of the game they had a really dangerous free kick, they whip it under the crossbar and he’s risen above everyone to head it away, taking responsibility. I said to the three boys after the game, I was so proud of them. Karl Dent is known as an attacking midfielder but he sat in there and worked so hard. He took a bit of a knock but seemed to get through it. Freddie also sacrificed himself for the benefit of the team. I asked all three to do something out of their usual comfort zone but for a club to go from strength to strength you need players that will go above and beyond what is normally asked of them. Andre Coker an out and out wide player blessed with great skill, he is running 40 yards back tracking their right back all game and did a great job too.


(On Lewis Carey) From a manager’s perspective you have got to have so many strings to your bow. You have to be able to coach, to man-manage and to recruit well. If you look at the players we’ve brought in over a period our recruitment is something we pride ourselves on. We don’t just gamble on people, we really do our background checks and watch players over and over again. I watched Lewis two or three times so I’m not surprised how good he is. He is the perfect fit to fill the big shoes left behind by Bluey.

.I don’t think we were brilliant, we were ok, a draw was a fair result but what I was proud of was the work rate and desire. That result will look a lot better in a few months’ time I’m sure”.