Cray Wanderers vs Newhaven

FA Cup 1QR – Saturday 2nd September – Match Report

Photos – Ozay Booth

Cray Wanderers                                                    5

David Ijaha 6 mins, Tom Derry 15,

Yahya Bamba 50, 82, Nyren Clunis 80

Newhaven                                                           1

Malila 64

Cray Wanderers put their difficult start to the league season behind them to advance in the FA Cup with a five goal display against Southern Combination Newhaven at Hayes Lane.  

The Wands who had been beaten in the 1st Qualifying Round for the past two seasons had to show their professionalism to advance and two goals in the first fifteen minutes gave them the luxury of a lead for the first time this season.  A sixth minute David Ijaha header was followed by another headed goal by Tom Derry and Cray were fairly comfortable at the break.  Yahya Bamba made it three five minutes after half time before Newhaven staged a spirited rally and Rob Malila pulled a goal back in the 64th minute.

Any hopes of a major turnaround were dashed for the Dockers when Robbie Keith was sent off for hauling down George Porter when through on goal in the 78th minute and was punished when Nyren Clunis crashed home the resulting free kick.  Eight minutes from time Bamba scored his second and the victory was ensured.

The Wands were looking for a confidence boost following five league defeats to start the season but were expecting a tough game against Newhaven who had advanced through the two Preliminary Rounds scoring ten goals in the process and were unbeaten after five Southern Combination league games.

From the side that were beaten at Hastings United on Monday there were three changes with George Porter returning from injury, Nyren Clunis and David Ijaha coming in for Cameron Thompson, Jamie Mascoll and Rio Campbell.  

The Wands in a bright and snazzy new home strip were looking to get off to a good start and Newhaven began confidently and won an early free kick down the right from which Alfie Rogers cross was claimed by the equally colourfully attired Shaun Rowley.

However, with the Wands first real moment of incision went ahead after six minutes when from a free kick down the left, Frankie Raymond ball into the box was met by a free header from David Ijaha which he steered powerfully into the net.

Cray now had their tails up with the lead and Nyren Clunis found Lee Lewis down the right and his ball to the far post was met on the half volley by Yahya Bamba and deflected off Billy Barker for a corner.

In the 15th minute, Cray scored a second which was superbly crafted with Ijaha finding Lewis who played a fine ball through to Clunis down the right of the area and his cross to the back post was met emphatically by the head of Tom Derry for his first goal of the season.

From here, Cray had an element of control of the game.  Bamba won a corner down the left and from the corner the ball was flicked across by Tom Penfold to the far post where Cameron Black’s snap shot was blocked behind for another corner.

Newhaven looked to get a foothold in the match and came close in the 25th minute from a free kick centrally twenty yards from goal and from the free kick Rogers his shot just past the left post.

Cray sought a third goal and Derry and Ijaha combined to set up George Porter whose shot was charged down and came to Ijaha who fired over the bar.

Then Newhaven threatened when down the right Barker’s ball into the box was steered wide of the left post by the diving Luca Page.

Before half time Cray came close to a third goal when Porter set up Clunis who cut into the area down the right and curled a low shot fractionally past the left post.

HT:  2-0

The second half was a very lively affair and Newhaven started the half positively and won a free kick to the left of the area and Rogers curled the ball over the wall but was well claimed by Rowley.

Five minutes into the second half Cray went 3-0 up with a classy goal orchestrated by a terrific pass from Porter which put Bamba away down the right who made no mistake slotting past Jake Buss into the bottom left from 12 yards.

This was followed by Porter putting over a cross into the area for Cameron Black which was blocked and cleared away.

Newhaven though around the hour mark were still not going away quietly and were unlucky when Ezra Roeg was played through down the left but Rowley did superbly to make a smart blocked save.

In the 64th minute, Newhaven pulled a goal back when after another free kick strike from Rogers was pushed out well by Rowley but following up Rob Malila was on hand to crash the ball into the net.

Cray though were able to withstand any Dockers storm and came close to scoring a fourth when Jamie Mascoll down the left put a ball across which missed Tom Derry but eventually came to Porter who shot over.

For Newhaven, Ryan Warwick hit a well struck shot from outside the area which Rowley did well to get down to save.   Then straight up the other end, Mascoll played a fine ball through to Porter who turned inside the area but was denied by a smart stop by Buss.

Cray had the ball in the net in the 76th minute when from a right wing Sam Wood corner into the area, the ball was cleared out to Tom Derry whose header was blocked on the line and although Porter turned the ball in was deemed offside.

Two minutes later Newhaven were reduced to ten men when Porter was hauled down when through down the right of the area by Robbie Keith.  From the free kick ten minutes from time, Clunis curled an absolute beauty over the wall and high into the net to seal the tie.

In the 82nd minute, Bamba scored his second with a carbon copy of his first goal with Porter again earning his spotters badge with a great defence splitting pass which Bamba latched onto and calmly slotted past Buss to make it 5-1.

In the closing stages Newhaven threatened a consolation firstly when Tyler Scrafton found Page down the left and his shot was well struck and blocked.  Then the ball came out to Malila who curled a shot towards the top corner but hit the top of the crossbar.  Finally Scrafton then saw an effort blocked and the game ended with Cray advancing to Monday afternoon’s 2nd Qualifying Round draw and with the confidence now of five goals and a winning performance next head for Chatham Town in the league on Saturday hoping to keep up the momentum.  

There were a number of fine performances, Porter, Ijaha, Lewis, Derry, Rowley all stood out but maybe after being unfortunate to have been sent off at Hastings on Monday, Yahya Bamba was a constant thorn in the Newhaven side all game and deserved his two goals.

Cray Wanderers:

Shaun Rowley, Lee Lewis (Archy Taylor, 69), Cameron Black (Jamie Mascoll, 57), Tom Penfold,

Will Wood, David Ijaha (Sam Wood, 62), Frankie Raymond, Nyren Clunis, Yahya Bamba, Tom Derry, George Porter:   Subs:  Rio Campbell, Cameron Thompson, Mason Saunders-Henry, Reggie Rye 

Booked: Ijaha 24, Black 48, W. Wood 90+4


Jake Buss, Billy Barker (Ezra Roeg, H/T), Bailie Rogers (Conor Sidwell, 72), Rob Malila, Robbie Keith, Owen Muller, Luca Page, Ryan Warwick, Callum Connor (Tyler Scrafton, 61), Alfie Rogers, Ian Robinson:  Subs:  Alex MacLean, Ryan Blunt, Ryan Walton, Lee Robinson

Sent Off: Keith 78

Booked: Warwick 7 mins

Referee: Harrison Blair

Assistants: Jordan Rant, Ericsson Temu

Att: 173