Cray Wanderers 2019-20 – That was the season that wasn’t – A pictorial review

Match 4 – 20/8/19 – Cray Wanderers vs Margate

Pictures: Kindly provided by Jon Hilliger

Cray Wanderers                                        3              Parker 30, 73, Taylor 35 (p)
Margate                                                     2              Leighton 52, Johnson 90+1

Already Cray’s third home game of the season and the Wands first win in the Isthmian Premier since March 2014 in another exciting game at Hayes Lane.



The match was brought forward from the Bank Holiday weekend and saw a fine performance from Cray and perhaps more comfortable than the scoreline suggests. The game saw an accomplished and polished debut from loanee Harry Hudson who shone alongside Mitchell Nelson at the back. Also new signing Geofrey Okonkwo was on the bench.

Cray started well although Andre Coker had to go off after just five minutes and Joe Taylor fired just wide while at the other end Adem Ramadan shot just past the post for Margate.

The Wands were getting on top and went ahead on the half hour through Freddie Parker who fired home following Bradley Pritchard’s cross which was held up by Taylor and Parker lashed home from 10 yards.


Five minutes later, Cray went two nil up when Pritchard was upended in the area by Noel Leighton and Taylor scored his first of the campaign from the spot.

Straight from the restart Lewis Carey made a superb save to deny Kudas Oyenuga’s swerving shot from distance to preserve the two goal lead at the break.

Margate pushed after the break and Leighton pulled a goal back in the 52nd minute but Cray regrouped and finished the game strong.


In the 73rd minute the Wands restored their two goal advantage when Pritchard found Lee Lewis down the right and his cross was turned home by Parker with the young players coming to the fore.

Margate did pull a goal back in the first minute of stoppage time when Dan Johnson followed up a blocked shot but Cray held on to claim the win and move on to 5 points in another fine game under the lights. The only down side were the knocks to Coker, Aaron Rhule and Tom Carlse.

Cray Wanderers: Lewis Carey, Barney Williams (Capt.), Tom Carlse (Charlie Allen, H/T), Mitchell Nelson, Harry Hudson, Lee Lewis, Bradley Pritchard, Jerome Federico, Andre Coker (Aaron Rhule 6, Tom Murphy, 56), Freddie Parker, Joe Taylor:  Subs:  Charles Etumnu, Geofrey Okonkwo

Att: 242

This is the first Cray Wanderers Pitchside video of the season taken from the game with Margate  With many thanks to Ozay Booth for these great videos which gives the fan a unique pitchside look at the Wands, pre-game, game time and post match. Also sees the start of the Crossbar Challenge saga.   .

The Thoughts of Tony Russell

“That was a really good win, we played well in the first three games and didn’t really get the breaks we deserved and there were two wins we left behind in those opening matches. I thought first half we were really good, second half give credit to Margate they came at us a lot more and a manager as good as Jay Saunders is not going to accept that first half display and we should expect a reaction and they did. At 2-1 it could easily have been deja vu but we rallied and finished the game much the stronger.

The third goal to me epitomised how I wanted my time at the club to be. Our right back, Lee Lewis from our youth team and our attacking midfielder Freddie Parker also from our youth team, that goal was made in Cray. That’s always how I wanted it to be, I appreciate the boys that we’ve brought in and Harry Hudson who was immense but you can’t beat a bit of home grown talent and it means everything to them that we’ve given them the chance.

I thought we were good value for the win, 3-2 perhaps makes it sound a bit more closer than it actually was but Margate were competitive and a good side. It was hard we had three more injuries and it is hard to get consistency when you are constantly making subs but the boys did really well.

I think sometimes when you haven’t won for a little bit the confidence can be low and the first win is always the hardest. We just got a little bit nervy but one thing we did do was work hard for each other. Lee Lewis, you know me I’ve been banging on about this boy for about a year now and the kid is class. We put him at right back and the lads were calling him Ben Lewis as he had a bit of Ben Mundele about him and we’re fortunate to have him.

(re. injuries): Andre got a knock against Folkestone, he responded well to treatment and was very positive. I asked him to do a fitness test yesterday and text me to say he was fine and another test at lunchtime on Wednesday and again was alright. He just opened up the first injury and he felt it and perhaps just tweaked it so we’ll see for Sunday (FA Cup tie vs Hythe) but we’ve no game midweek after that and the boys just need a rest right now. Tom Carlse came off with a tight hamstring, Lee Lewis a tight groin, Rhuley with a tight hamstring so we are desperate for that break after we’ve got Sunday out of the way and put the best side I can out”

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