Cray Wanderers vs. Horsham

Isthmian Premier – Wednesday 8th December, 2021 – Match Report

Cray Wanderers                                3

Horsham                                            1

Cray Wanderers kept up their good recent home form with a deserved victory against a Horsham team who had won their last six games with well taken goals from debutant Kyel Reid, and late second half strikes from Chris Dickson and Jamie Yila.

Cray who are now unbeaten in their last five games at home moved up to 19th in the table with the only blip a late penalty from Chris Harris which prevented what would have been a first clean sheet of the season.

 After a lively start from both teams, Cray took the lead in the 16th minute when Kyel Reid finished superbly to tuck home under keeper Sam Howes. The game was getting stretched in the last quarter of an hour and Cray deservedly made it 2-0 on 77 minutes when Chris Dickson was in the right place at the right time to fire home after Jamie Yila’s shot was saved. Five minutes later it was 3-0 as Cameron Brodie won the ball and Anthony Cook’s through ball found Yila who made no mistake lashing home a great finish.  Horsham pulled a goal back with the last kick of the game after Eddie Dsane had been brought down and Chris Harris scored from the spot.      

 On a very cold night with a wintry downpour of sleet at half time, there were three new arrivals for Cray Wanderers signed before the game, experienced winger Kyel Reid, central defender Ethan Kaiser and on the bench Erald Desa. From the side who played against Worthing on Saturday into the side came Reid, Kaiser, Cameron Brodie and Jamie Yila in place of Fjord Rogers, Richie Danquah, Anthony Cook and Andy Drury. Adam Coombes has since departed the club. 

 Horsham who had won six league games on the bounce to move up to mid table made one change to the one which won at Merstham on Saturday with Charlie Hestor-Cook coming in for Lee Harding.   

 The game began at a fast pace and Horsham looked bright and confident to begin with but Cray posed the first real threat when down the right, Chris Dickson whipped over a fine cross which Jamie Yila just couldn’t get on the end of.   Then in the 10th minute, down the left Sam Skeffington found Cameron Brodie who fired over the top from 20 yards.

The first real Horsham chance came three minutes later when down the left Tom Richards cross fell invitingly to Lucas Rodrigues but miskicked and the ball went wide.

Cray went ahead in the 16th minute when the play built up down the left and Brodie and Dickson found Yila and from just inside the area played a fine ball towards the far post to Reid who showed deadeye accuracy to control the pass and shoot past Sam Howes.

For Horsham, Harvey Sparks cross was volleyed wide by Rodrigues while for Cray, there was an opportunity from a free kick on the left edge of the area and Yila’s shot hit the side netting.

There weren’t too many chances before half time but Cray almost grabbed a second when a Reid corner was glanced off target by Ethan Kaiser.  Then just before half time,  Horsham came close when  Tom Kavanagh was found in the box but his shot went wide under pressure from Dean Beckwith.

H/T:     1-0

A fair flurry of sleet started during the half time interval and carried on to the early stages of the second half.  Cray though as in the first were defending well and the midfield three of Brodie, Skeffington and Reason were outstanding while Kaiser and Beckwith at the back looks to be a winning combination.

Horsham had the occasional opening and Rodrigues right wing cross into the box looked to find Hestor-Cook but couldn’t get a firm connection to direct the ball goalwards,

Cray came close to adding to their tally when Brodie found Reid and his fine ball across was met by the head of Chris Dickson and was well claimed on the line by Howes.

For Horsham. Hestor-Cook found a bit of space down the right of the area and his shot was well blocked by Beckwith and behind for a corner.  For Cray, Dickson had the ball in the net and was disallowed for offside shortly before Anthony Cook came on for Reid.

Perhaps the best moment for Horsham came in the 72nd minute when substitute Lee Harding cut inside from the right and curled a shot towards the left post which went fractionally wide.

 After this Cray had a bit of a purple patch of form and Sam Skeffington seeing Howes a little off his line attempted an audacious effort from 35 yards which went just over the bar.  Then Jai Reason played a great ball through to Dickson who advanced on goal and was unlucky to see his lob just drift onto the top of the net and over.

 On 77 minutes it was 2-0 as Barton found Yila who was unlucky to see his shot pushed out by Howes and following up Dickson rifled home from 12 yards for a goal his performance deserved.

 Five minutes later Cray scored a third to give more comfort to the proceedings as Brodie won a tackle down the right and Cook picking up the ball played a great ball through to Yila and kept his composure to fire into the net from 8 yards.

 From here Cray looked to add more goals and Brodie from 30 yards hit a screamer which only just went over and then down the right another great cross-shot from Yila went just across goal and behind.

The last chance for Cray came for substitute Erald Desa and he did well to pick up a pass in midfield and strode to within 20 yards of goal and curled a shot just over the top.

Cray were searching for an elusive clean sheet this season and were seconds away from achieving it but in the third minute of injury time, Kaiser was adjudged to have brought down Eddie Dsane down the left of the area and Chris Harris with the last kick of the game gave Horsham the final say of the night’s entertainment.

The Wands had deserved to pick up a win at some point as performances had been good and just needed to convert chances when on top of games and today against a Horsham side who were playing well and will continue to pick up points did so and produced an excellent performance.

There were many stand out performances from the likes of Brodie, Skeffington, Dickson, Reid, Beckwith, Kaiser and the full backs Kasim Aidoo and Freddy Barton all could stake a claim for man of the match but it was a great all round team display.

A big word too for the referee Scott Rudd who up until the penalty at the end was barely noticed and officiated the match superbly and there were no bookings in the match and allowed the game to flow on what could have been a tricky night with the wintry cold weather.

Cray move up to 19th in the table and next move on to another huge game against Bishop’s Stortford on Saturday and can do so with renewed confidence.    

Cray Wanderers:       Jack Turner, Freddy Barton, Dean Beckwith, Ethan Kaiser, Kasim Aidoo, Cameron Brodie, Jai Reason, Sam Skeffington (Daniel Uchechi, 82), Jamie Yila, Kyel Reid (Anthony Cook, 69), Chris Dickson (Erald Desa, 86):  Tom  Hanfrey, Richie Danquah

Scorers:         Reid 16, Dickson 77, Yila 82

Horsham:       Sam Howes, Tom Day, Harvey Sparks, Doug Tuck, Danny Dudley, Jack Brivio (Capt.), Lucas Rodrigues, Tom Kavanagh (Lee Harding, 58), Charlie Hestor-Cook (Charlie Harris, 66), Rob O’Toole (Eddie Dsane, 79), Tom Richards: Subs: Steve Metcalf, Will Miles   

Scorer:           Harris 90+3 pen

Referee:         Scott Rudd

Assistants:    Billy Woods, Matthew Jackson

Att:      213