Cray Wanderers vs Tooting & Mitcham United – London Senior Cup 1st Round – 8/11/23 – Match Repor
Cray Wanderers 4
Bamba 13, 67, Lockyer 68, Clunis 88
Tooting & Mitcham United 2
Campbell 55 pen, Loyza 57
Pics to follow.
Cray Wanderers advanced in the London Senior Cup after victory against Tooting & Mitcham United at Hayes Lane. The Wands led at half time but had to come from behind in the second half to set up a home tie with Fisher in the 2nd Round.
An early goal from Yahya Bamba gave Cray the advantage in the first half but Tooting & Mitcham turned the game around before the hour with a Kieran Campbell penalty and a Blake Loyza strike. Cray though showed resolve to level through Bamba’s deft lob then a minute later went ahead when Gary Lockyer scored his fourth goal in five games. Both teams pushed in the last twenty minutes but Cray added a fourth goal two minutes from time with a neat Nyren Clunis goal.
The Wands were looking to advance in the competition as well as giving one or two newer faces along with established names a run out and Neil Smith gave a full debut to centre-half Johnathan Kamara, and the first full starts for Emmanuel Kwartchey and Antonio Dembele. On the bench were midfielders Joshua Tobin and Alfie Murphy.
On a still night under the lights at Hayes Lane, Cray started the game positively and Reggie Rye got in a shot from outside the area that was well held by Tom Theobald who also saved from a Sam Wood strike, all in the first four minutes.
In the 13th minute, Cray went ahead when the ball was worked out to Antonio Dembele down the right whose cross into the six yard box was headed in by Yahya Bamba on his 50th Wands appearance.
Three minutes later it was close to being two nil when Bamba again a threat down the left firing just wide of the right post.
Gradually though after this lively start Tooting & Mitcham United got into the game and in the 22nd minute Nathan Best down the left cut inside and saw a shot held by Shaun Rowley.
Then a cross from Sam Orisokiatt from the left came to Lewis Gonsalves whose close range shot was blocked.
For Cray, Bamba saw a strike from outside the box held by Theobald but as the half went on, Tooting & Mitcham posed more of a threat and Marcus Whittaker set up Kieran Campbell who curled a shot wide of the right post.
Then, three minutes before half time almost equalised when Orisokiatt’s ball in from the left found Blake Loyza who sliced a shot wide of the right post.
The second half started with Cray looking to add a second but Tooting & Mitcham started much the stronger and almost levelled eight minutes after the break when a ball over the top found Kieran Campbell down the right of the area but flashed a shot wide of the right post.
Two minutes later Tooting & Mitcham were back on level terms after Campbell was adjudged to have been caught by Cameron Black down the right of the area and a penalty was awarded. Campbell stroked home from the spot to make it 1-1.
Then in the 57th minute, the visitors turned the game around when hesitancy at the back led to Loyza receiving the ball just inside the area and curled a shot wide of Rowley into the net.
Cray looked to get back on terms quickly and Alfie Evans fired well over from distance and then a cross from the right was headed wide by Dembele.
In the 67th minute Cray got back on level terms when Bamba received the ball and from just outside the box lobbed the ball over Theobald and into the net.
A minute later, Cray went back in front when Gary Lockyer won the ball close to the left edge of the area and found space to fire into the net to keep up his fine scoring run.
The game went from end to end in a gripping second half and Lockyer set up Nyren Clunis who came on at half time to fire over the top.
Then down the left of the area, Lockyer turned and hit a shot which tapped the left post, rolled across the box and Black shot into the side netting. This was followed by a Sam Wood strike which went into the arms of Theobald.
Tooting & Mitcham kept going though and almost levelled when the industrious Marcus Whittaker set up Loyza who shot over when well placed. Then Warren Colman saw a well struck effort held by Rowley
Cray though finally put day light between the teams two minutes from time when down the right, Alfie Evans shot cannoned back of the angle of post and crossbar, and the ball was helped on to Clunis who skilfully placed a shot wide of Theobald and into the net.
Before the end, Alfie Murphy set up Lockyer for a shot down the right which Theobald did well to push out but despite a scare in the second half turned the game around and advanced in the competition.
With a mixture of young and experienced players as well as one or two for management to have a look at this was a very worthwhile evening and it was credit to Tooting & Mitcham United for making it such an enthralling game and making the Wands show their mettle on the night.
The Wands next return to league action at home to Carshalton Athletic on Saturday who are unbeaten away from home in the league looking to build on the recent momentum and it should be another exciting game.
Cray Wanderers: Shaun Rowley, Emmanuel Kwartchey (Anthony Cook, 75), Cameron Black, Johnathan Kamara, Sam Wood (Joshua Tobin, 81), Alfie Evans, Reggie Rye (Jamie Mascoll, 75), Antonio Dembele (Alfie Murphy, 81), Yahya Bamba, George Porter (Nyren Clunis, H/T), Gary Lockyer:
Tooting & Mitcham United: Tom Theobald, Callum Porteous (Sid Dack, 66), Sam Orisokiatt, Jayden Hutchins, Lewis Gonsalves (Justus Agbueri, 61), Dominic Ash (Warren Colman, 66), Marcus Whittaker, Dej Adeosun, Blake Loyza, Kieran Campbell, Nathan Best (Robbie Daye, 86):
Referee: Deryll David
Assistants: Alistair Potter, Oliver Storey