Cray Wanderers vs. Bowers & Pitsea – Isthmian Premier – Sunday 18th September – Match Report
Cray Wanderers 3
Bassett 33, Cook 66 pen, Crook 70
Bowers & Pitsea 3
Ijaha o. g. 21, Ofori-Acheampong 44, Fish 53
Pics: Jon Hilliger/www.hilligerpix.com
Cray Wanderers moved up to 4th in the Isthmian Premier League table after coming from 3-1 down to pick up a point against a strong Bowers & Pitsea side.
Cray fell behind to a David Ijaha own goal following a left wing corner but drew level with a clinical finish from Dan Bassett in the 33rd minute for his fourth goal of the season.
Bowers were a threat from corners and regained the lead in the last minute of the first half when Duane Ofori-Acheampong turned the ball in from close range. In the 53rd minute Bowers scored a third with a well taken goal scored by Sonny Fish but Cray fought back well and Anthony Cook scored from the spot after Bassett was brought down in the box. Cray levelled in the 70th minute Billy Crook headed in a right wing corner but neither side could chisel out a winner.
Before the game there was an immaculately observed minute silence and a superb rendition of the National Anthem sung by Jay Britton.
There was one change to the Cray Wanderers side from that which won at Folkestone Invicta on Tuesday night. Into the team came David Ijaha for his debut in place of the suspended Mitch Chapman. Bowers drew 2-2 at home to Wingate & Finchley on Tuesday and Duane Ofori-Acheampong came in for Eddie Allsopp.
There weren’t too many chances in the early stages but Cray threatened in the 3rd minute when a Sam Wood free kick down the left was glanced wide by Tom Derry. At the other end a corner down the left from Ridwan Ajala was headed off target by Mobolaji Dawodu.
Bowers perhaps just shaded the first 20 minutes and a cross from D’Jean Spencer was turned behind by Roman Charles-Cook for a corner. Then a long ball from Dawadu
found Spencer who hit a volley wide of the right post.
In the 21st minute Bowers went ahead when a corner down the left from Ajala was played into the six yard box and the ball went into the net via Roman Charles-Cook via Ijaha with three defenders on the line.
It has been a bit of a slog for Cray at this stage but in the 33rd minute drew level when Ijaha’s ball forward was flicked on by Tom Derry through to Dan Bassett who down the left of the area slotted the ball clinically into the bottom right corner.
However, Bowers were a threat from corners in the last minute of the half regained the lead when a corner down the right from Julian Gibson led to a scramble in the six yard box and Ofori-Acheampong was on hand to score from close range.
Before the break, a Wood corner towards Ijaha was deflected behind for another corner but Bowers led at half time.
The second half began with Bowers in the ascendancy and Spencer hit a volley wide and won a couple of corners.
In the 53rd minute Bowers scored a well crafted third goal when Ofori-Acehampong played the ball out to Spencer down the right and sent over a cross into the six yard box where Sonny Fish was on hand to score.
Cray did threaten a comeback when a free kick from Sam Wood was pushed out by Kie Plumley but the flag was raised for offside to thwart any follow up. Then a cross from Michael Ademiluyi down the right was headed wide at the far post by Bassett.
The Wands though did get the goal they were seeking in the 66th minute when down the left, Bassett was brought down in the area by Dylan Thistleton and from the spot, Anthony Cook who had been on the pitch for six minutes made it 3-2 with a calmly taken penalty.
Four minutes later, Cray were level again when from a corner down the right, the ball was played towards the near post where Billy Crook got ahead of a defender to place a header wide of Plumley with Ademiluyi on the line for his second goal of the season.
Both teams had battled hard but there were not too many chances in the last twenty minutes and the ten minutes of injury time although Cray were perhaps closest when Crook’s ball into the box was cleared out to Ademiluyi who volleyed wide. Also the hardworking Tom Derry down the right sent a ball across to the far post to Crook whose shot was blocked.
Despite a lot of endevaour the match finished in a 3-3 draw which perhaps over the game was a fair outcome and did maintain a six game unbeaten league run for Cray against a Bowers & Pitsea side who are certainly a better side than their league position suggests.
Cray now go again on Wednesday night with a home league game versus Hastings United and certainly had shown their character to grab a point where perhaps they weren’t at their very best which is a sign of a good side.
Cray Wanderers: Shaun Rowley, Roman Charles-Cook, Jalen Jones, Sinn’kaye Christie, Sam Wood, Sam Skeffington (Anthony Cook, 60), David Ijaha, Billy Crook, Michael Ademiluyi (Jargal Enkh, 90+3), Danny Bassett, Tom Derry: Subs: Alex Bentley, Kieron Bennett
Booked: Jones, Christie
Bowers & Pitsea: Kie Plumley, Dylan Thistleton, Mobolaji Dawodu (Valckx Fernandes, 81), Dexter Peter, Jamal Allen, Ridwan Ajala, Julian Gibson, D’Jean Spencer (Matthew Campbell-Mphole, 90+7), Emmanuel Oluwasemoe, Duane Ofori-Acheampong, Sonny Fish: Subs: Alfie Osborne, Billy Knott, Eddie Allsopp
Booked: Thistleton, Oluwasemo
Referee: Matthew Fletcher
Assistants: Kyler Mayhew, Marcus Tingey