Cray Wanderers vs Haringey Borough

Isthmian Premier – Sunday 11th December, 2022

Cray Wanderers                                                   5

Bassett 25, Jones 50, Cook 58, 64 pen,

Hibbert 81

Haringey Borough 1

O’Donoghue 44

Cray Wanderers moved up to 6th in the Isthmian Premier League table after the biggest win of the season saw the Wands score four second half goals to overcome Haringey Borough on a cold, frosty and eventually snowy Sunday afternoon.

Neil Smith’s side took control after a first half where Haringey missed a handful of chances after Dan Bassett 25th minute opener from Yahaya Bamba’s cross  put Cray ahead but Michael O’Donoghue tapped in an equaliser on the stroke of half time after Chaynie Fage-Burgin’s effort came back off the crossbar.

In a murky and increasingly cold second half, Cray raised the temperature and retook the lead in the 50th minute when Sam Wood’s free kick down the right was headed in for his maiden Cray Wanderers goal by Jalen Jones.

Cray had the comfort of a third goal in the 58th minute when from a free kick down the right of the area, Anthony Cook’s shot gave Luke Mewitt no chance to make it 3-1.  Six minutes later Cook scored his second from the penalty spot after Bamba was brought down by Scott Mitchell to notch his sixth goal of the season.  There was still time nine minutes from the end for Bassett to set up substitute Omari Hibbert for a tap in and complete the scoring for the Wands.

Cray had quietly gone about their business in the league and began 8th in the table and on a run in the league of one defeat in eleven matches with the last four being all away from home. From the side which drew at Bognor Regis Town on Wednesday night there was one change to the starting lineup with Sam Skeffington in for Tom Derry who picked up a knock that night. On the bench were Omari Hibbert, recently signed on a dual registration deal with Dulwich Hamlet and recently signed midfielder Leevi King-Bassett.  Haringey Borough were 15th coming into the game and from the side which beat Glebe 3-1 in the London Senior Cup on Tuesday with Alphanso Kennedy coming in for William Dupray.

The cold spell of the last few days carried on into Sunday and the game kicked off in murky off white skies above but the pace of the game was pretty unrelenting and the first half seemed to fly by in a flash.

Haringey began the quicker and won a corner in the opening minute and Jorge Djassi-Sambu saw an effort go wide and in the 5th minute, the North Londoners came close when Kaylen Hinds lofted a shot from outside the area on to the roof of the net.

Three minutes later, Yahaya Bamba down the left set up Anthony Cook who fired over the top as the quick start to the game continued.  Then just before the quarter of an hour mark a good Wands move saw Nyren Clunis and Sam Skeffington combined to set up Bamba who fired just over the angle of post and crossbar from the right of the area.

Haringey were quick going forward and Georgios Aresti set up Scott Durojaoye who shot over the crossbar and two minutes later a corner down the left into the area was cleared by Mitch Chapman out to Matthew Young who fired across goal and wide.  Then from a free kick down the left, Young’s cross was inviting and headed over by Kaylen Hinds from inside the area.

Two minutes later Cray went ahead slightly against the run of play when Wood and Skeffington combined to find Bamba down the left who cut into the area and laid the ball across which came to Dan Bassett who fired into the net from 13 yards for his ninth goal of the season.

Haringey were still a threat and had a great chance to score when Kennedy set up Hinds inside the area who turned the ball over the bar.  Then Kennedy shot over from inside the area as Haringey sought to level the scores.

The Wands goal continued to lead a charmed life when from a corner down the right from Young was met by the head of Jorge Djassi-Sambu and back off the left post.  Then Fage-Burgin shot over the top.  Haringey did have to make a change at right back when Samuel Owusu was replaced by Callum Ismail.

A minute before half time Haringey eventually levelled when Fage-Burgin crashed a shot against the crossbar but following up Michael O’Donoghue who scored in this fixture last season was on hand to turn the ball in from a couple of yards out.

HT:  1-1

The second half kicked off with the skies increasingly murky and misty and Cray started on the front foot and Bamba curled a shot over the bar.

Five minutes after half time, Cray went back in front when from a free kick down the right of the area, Sam Wood’s ball into the area found Jalen Jones who headed in for his first Cray Wanderers goal.

Again, Cray couldn’t rest on their laurels after scoring and Haringey perhaps should have levelled when Aresti set up Fage-Burgin who fired over the top.

Cray though finally had clear daylight between the sides in the 58th minute when after a free kick to the right of the penalty area saw Cook drill home a terrific strike which gave Luke Mewitt no chance to make it 3-1.

In the 64th minute it looked like game over as Bamba was tripped by Scott Mitchell inside the area and one of the more obvious penalty awards.  From the spot, Cook scored confidently and scored his sixth goal of the season.

Cray made a couple of changes with Omari Hibbert and David Ijaha coming on and the Wands had more comfort than at any time during the game.

Haringey still to their credit sought a way back into it and Hinds cross found Andronicus Georgiou who fired wide from close range and then Matthew Young saw a shot deflected wide.

The match was just beginning to drift in the later stages but Cray scored a fifth goal to put the icing on the cake nine minutes from the end with Bassett provider down the left and his ball across found Hibbert who made no mistake by scoring from a couple of yards out.

Five minutes from time Friday evening signing Leevi King-Bassett came for Anthony Cook for his Wands first team debut.

Cray Wanderers had shown quality in the second half to turn what was a difficult game in the first half and now have lost one of the last twelve ahead of one more pre Christmas game at home to Billericay Town on Saturday where hopefully it will be considerably warmer.

The Wands move on to 33 points in sixth place just behind Enfield Town on goal difference and just three points shy of last season’s final total of 36.

This was a difficult game in trying conditions and Haringey certainly contributed to an entertaining affair but Cray were looking for a strong home performance to go alongside some positive away displays and after today can build on that for the remainder of the season

Cray Wanderers: Shaun Rowley, Jephte Tanga, Jalen Jones, Mitch Chapman, Harrison Sodje, Sam Wood, Sam Skeffington (David Ijaha, 68), Anthony Cook (Leevi King-Bassett 86), Dan Bassett, Nyren Clunis (Omari Hibbert, 62), Yahaya Bamba: Subs: Cerny Ando, Tyreese Heslop

Booked: Skeffington

Haringey Borough: Luke Mewitt, Samuel Owusu (Callum Ismail, 38), Michael O’Donoghue, Scott Mitchell, Jorge Djassi-Sambu, Georgios Aresti (Stefanos Georgiou, 74), Scott Durojaiye, Matthew Young, Kaylen Hinds, Chayne Fage-Burgin, Alphanso Kennedy (Andronicus Georgiou, 59): Sub: Christos Djamas

Referee: Scott Rudd

Assistants: Ronald Albert, Fabien le Houzec


Att: 166