Bostik League South-East – Monday 22nd April, 2019
Cray Wanderers 3
Parker 20, Dadson 32, Clarke 72
Sevenoaks Town 4
Everitt 41, Parkinson 74, Sawyer 81 (p), 90
Photos kindly provided by Jon Hilliger
The curtain came down on Cray Wanderers home games for the 2018-19 season as Sevenoaks Town staged a dramatic comeback in the last 15 minutes to end the Wands unbeaten home record for the season in an Easter Monday thriller at Hayes Lane.
It looked like the Bostik South-East champions Cray would grab another three points as they led 2-0 just after the half hour with goals from Freddie Parker and Junior Dadson with Ainsley Everett pulling a goal back before the break. The Wands went 3-1 up with nineteen minutes to go via Jordan Clarke’s strike just thirty seconds after coming on as a substitute before Sevenoaks roared back with goals from ex-Cray players Dan Parkinson and two from in-form striker Frankie Sawyer including an 81st penalty and a well taken effort in the last minute.
There were a few changes to the side for Cray from the team which won 2-0 at Three Bridges on Saturday. Back came Ben Mundele, Jay Leader, Junior Dadson, Jerome Federico and making his full debut was midfielder Lee Lewis in place of Barney Williams, Archie Johnson, Joe Taylor, Jordan Clarke and Tom Phipp. Sevenoaks were unbeaten in three and had won the last two matches including a 1-0 win at Haywards Heath and had beaten Herne Bay 2-1 on Saturday with Sawyer grabbing the winner.
For perhaps the only time this season there was a relaxed and serene feel to the game with the pressure off and on a warm day both sides served up a fine attacking match which flowed from end to end particularly in the second half.
The match began in hazy sunshine and Cray enjoyed some good early possession and pressure but it was Sevenoaks who created the first opening in the ninth minute when Sawyer down the left got into the area and his effort was blocked by skipper for the day, Nick Blue and the ball came loose to three times former Cray player Tommy Whitnell and his shot was charged behind for a corner.
Shortly after Sevenoaks threatened again when Whitnell combined with Everitt down the right and his ball was cross was volleyed wide of goal by Sawyer.
Cray were beginning to put on pressure and on twenty minutes made the breakthrough when good work down the left by Junior Dadson who made a charging run down close to the bye line and pulled the ball across to Freddie Parker who scored his second goal over Easter with a clinical finish from ten yards for his 12th of the season.
Cray now had their tails up and played some fine football for the next fifteen minutes, and Charles Etumnu who impressed many with his debut performance at Three Bridges fired in a shot from 20 yards which was held by another ex-Cray player, Ben Bridle-Card.
On 32 minutes it looked like Cray had taken a full grip of the game with a second goal which was well crafted and finished by the impressive Dadson who made a strong run from midfield to the left edge of the penalty area and placed a shot wide of Bridle-Card into the bottom right corner to also edge to 12 goals for the season.
After this Dadson became provider again down the left and his ball across was fired over the top by Lee Lewis.
Sevenoaks though are a good side and pulled a goal back with four minutes left in the first half when Sawyer down the right whipped over a good ball from the byline to the far post and was swept home by Everett shooting into the bottom right corner.
Before half time Cray almost restored the two goal advantage when Tom Carlse and Parker combined down the left to set up Dadson who turned a couple of defenders to hit a shot at the near post which was held by Bridle-Card.
Half Time: 2-1
The second half started with Cray making a change with another fine young prospect, Kyrique Garvey-Williams coming on for Etumnu. The second half began in a fairly laid back fashion and there was no real indication of the late drama that was to follow.
Sevenoaks were certainly looking threatening and almost drew level when Sawyer and Everett combined down the right and set up Fraser Walker who fired just wide of the left post from 18 yards.
For Cray, Dadson saw a shot charged down but Sevenoaks were having a good spell and the Wands were indebted to Blue who made a good block to deny Sawyer who was found by Whitnell’s neat pass and looked to have taken the ball round the keeper but Blue did well to block with his hands and the ball was cleared.
Cray were unlucky not to score a third when another good whipped in cross from Dadson down the left to the far post was met on the volley by Jerome Federico and was possibly touched onto the crossbar by Bridle-Card and away out to Dadson who combined with Parker to set up substitute Joe Taylor but the ball was cleared before he could get a shot in.
Sevenoaks looked to level things up and from a free kick, Osman Proni put a ball into the box which was met by the head of Josh Dorling but was claimed by Blue. Then shortly after Everett set up Proni who shot over from 30 yards.
The game was going from end to end and Garvey-Williams who combined well with Taylor shot wide from 20 yards while at the other end Walker down the right byline put the ball across and rebounded off Lauris Chin straight to the grateful Blue who claimed the ball on the line.
On 71 minutes Cray’s final substitution, saw Jordan Clarke enter the fray and within thirty seconds put the Wands 3-1 in front with his first touch. The ball came from Garvey-Williams out to Federico down the right and his ball across was missed by Taylor but came to Clarke who from six yards fired into the net possibly off a defender on the line and seemingly give Cray some comfort in the game.
Two minutes later though Sevenoaks reduced the arrears when from a right wing corner, Everett’s cross was met by Dan Parkinson who powered home a header from five yards to make it game on once again.
From here the game was action packed with plenty of incident and Everett who had an excellent game for Sevenoaks curled in a shot from the edge of the area which was well held by Blue.
Cray came close when Leader’s ball found Carlse inside the area but Bridle-Card did well to block at the left post. Then another fine run forward by Leader saw the ball come to Federico down the right who cut inside and curled a shot just over in the 79th minute.
Two minutes later Sevenoaks had the chance to draw level when a ball was played out from the back over the top to Chin who broke into the area and was adjudged to have been brought down by Carlse and a penalty was awarded. From the spot, Sawyer stroked home his 15th of the season to make it 3-3 with still nine minutes to go.
Sevenoaks were unlucky not to take the lead when Bryan Fowler set up fellow substitute Michael Aziaya for a tremendous shot which looked to have beaten Blue all ends up but came thudding back off the right post.
Then in a breathless ending to the game, Cray were awarded a free kick out on the left and 25 yards from goal, Parker curled the ball to the near post and Bridle-Card did well to push the ball out and get a hand to push the ball away as Taylor looked to follow up. From the resulting corner, Parker headed over.
For Sevenoaks, Kyle De Silva found Chin inside the area but his shot was mishit and claimed by Blue while at the other end, Taylor set up Federico who shot over from 12 yards.
There was a sting in the tail as in the final minute, Sevenoaks took the lead when the ball was worked down the right to Sawyer who used his pace to break into the area, take the ball round Blue and did well to set himself up to fire into the net to complete the comeback.
Sevenoaks saw out the remaining minutes to pick up their first ever league win against Cray Wanderers and end the Wands unbeaten home record in league games which had stood since February 2018.
For Cray perhaps a flat way to end a great season but it was a great game and one which showcased some fine young players for the future and there was still much to admire in Cray’s performance. Sevenoaks Town for their part deserve credit for the comeback and look like a side if they can maintain many of the players who played today could be a contender next season on this evidence.
Cray go on to Hythe Town for the final game of the season next Saturday in what should be a great occasion on the south Kent coast.
Cray Wanderers: Nick Blue (Capt.), Ben Mundele, Tom Carlse, Jay Leader, Mitchell Nelson, Charles Etumnu (Kyrique Garvey-Williams, H/T), Sean Roberts, Lee Lewis (Joe Taylor, 53), Freddie Parker, Junior Dadson (Jordan Clarke, 71), Jerome Federico: Subs: Archie Johnson, Barney Williams
Sevenoaks Town: Ben Bridle-Card, Fraser Walker, Josh Dorling, Dan Parkinson (Michael Azaiya, 83), Jack Miles, Tom Ripley, Kyle De Silva, Osman Proni (Ryan Fowler, 71), Tommy Whitnell (Lauris Chin, 68), Frankie Sawyer, Ainsley Everitt: Subs: Alec Fiddes, Daniel Cumber,
Referee: Zach Jacquart
Assistants: Michael Coen, Philip Jones
MAN OF THE MATCH – KINDLY SPONSORED BY CHRIS BOWDERY – JUNIOR DADSON