Cray Wanderers vs Faversham Town – Bostik League South-East – 6/10/18
Cray Wanderers 7
Williams 2, Dadson 19, 42, Parker 34, 52, 67,
Faversham Town 2
Jenner 45, Miller 59
Photos – Jon Hilliger
Cray Wanderers continued their unbeaten start to the Bostik South-East season with their eighth win out of nine games with the biggest margin of victory of the season so far as the Wands racked up seven goals against Faversham Town at Hayes Lane. Freddie Parker continued to show the massive potential he has with the second hat-trick of his Wands career, exactly a year after his first.
Now the best start to an Isthmian League season for Cray they got off to the perfect start on a gloomy and wet afternoon when captain Barney Williams blasted the Wands in front after two minutes and then Junior Dadson notched the first of a brace on 19 minutes. Both sides had opportunities to score but Parker scored his first goal on 34 minutes with Dadson turning in Jerome Federico’s cross three minutes before half time. The only blip on the first half was a tremendous goal for Faversham on half time from Michael Jenner.
The second half carried on in the same vein and Parker made it 5-1 seven minutes after the restart before Ashley Miller scored for Faversham just before the hour. Any thoughts of an unlikely comeback were ended with two goals in three minutes first from Ben Mundele on 64 minutes and then Parker completed his hat-trick with a fine run and shot.
There were a couple of changes from the side which won at VCD Athletic last Saturday with Mitchell Nelson suspended and Archie Johnson not quite recovered from the knock picked up at VCD. In to the side came Malik Solebo in midfield with Tom Phipp switching to centre-half and Ben Mundele at right back.
Faversham had lost their last two games but are a talented side and Cray would have to be at their very best in the sloshy conditions to pick up another three points.
Cray almost scored within the first forty seconds when Solebo found Federico down the right and in one of the many occasions the winger caused havoc put over a cross to the near post which Parker stabbed wide.
Moments later Cray took the lead with a goal of high quality with Jay Leader ball out from the back finding Barney Williams who made a run 35 yards from goal and from 20 yards out buried a low shot which gave Simon Overland no chance in the Town goal.
Mundele then saw a shot held by Overland and then Federico’s pinpoint cross to the far post was put behind by Ryan Cooper for a corner. Then another superb ball from a Federico cross was glanced wide by Parker of the left post.
Faversham though offered a threat and a good run from Ashley Miller ended in a free kick 20 yards from goal from which Danny Walder curled the ball round the wall but wide of the right post.
On 19 minutes it was 2-0 and another tremendous piece of finishing as Parker received the ball just on the halfway line and charged forward, then switched the ball to the left to Junior Dadson who cut inside the penalty area and from 15 yards blasted a shot into the top right corner of the net.
The Wands came close again shortly after when from a free kick just to the right of the penalty area, Tom Phipp’s shot was pushed over the bar by Overland.
Faversham though had their best chance to reduce the arrears when the lively Miller played a ball through to Dean Grant who was presented with a one on one chance but his shot was met by a terrific one handed save from Nick Blue.
Cray though and in particular Federico was a constant threat first half with another fine cross from the right falling to Parker who placed a header wide of goal.
Another Cray goal was looking likely and came on 34 minutes when from a throw in down the right the ball came to Bradley Pritchard on the edge of the area who found Dadson who played the ball to Parker who turned two defenders and slotted a shot under Overland from eight yards to give Cray clear daylight.
There was the briefest of lulls until the 42nd minute when Cray scored a fourth with Federico again heavily involved with a run down the right an pull back to Dadson who tucked home a tidy finish from five yards to make it 4-0.
Just on half time though Faversham gave themselves some hope of a revival with an excellent goal of their own when George Monger’s pass found Michael Jenner who from twenty five yards out lofted a shot over Blue and into the net to finish off the excitement of the first half and give the fans a much needed breather.
Half Time: 4-1
It might have been expecting too much for the second half to match the first but straight away Federico saw a cross shot held and the lively Solebo seeing a low shot saved by Overland. For Faversham, Grant set up Jenner again but his shot was comfortably saved by Blue.
On 52 minutes Cray scored a fifth when Overland’s clearance was intercepted by Fedrico and he played in Parker who drilled a shot wide of the keeper to make it 5-1.
Faversham certainly didn’t throw the towel in and from a free kick 20 yards from goal in a central position, Ben Wilson’s shot went over the wall and tipped over by Blue.
Cray looked for more goals and Federico fired over from Pritchard’s pass and then Solebo made a great run forward and poked a shot just wide of the left post.
Faversham though to their credit kept going and scored another classy goal when from a breakaway the ball came to Miller down the left who cut into the area and lashed a shot into the top right corner giving Blue no chance.
The quality of the football throughout the game was superb and Ben Mundele was one of the star performers of the day and thoroughly deserved to get on the scoresheet on 64 minutes when he burst into the box down the right and showed the composure of a centre-forward to calmly slot the ball into the net.
Three minutes later Cray scored a seventh goal and Parker completed his hat-trick with a fine individual goal when he made a run from midfield and into the area and fired wide of Overland for the second hat-trick for Cray a year to the day since getting his first against Horsham in the FA Trophy last season.
The last quarter of the game with the match won was enjoyable to watch but there were no more goals which was just as well as social media was difficult to update with all what was going on and meant a bit of catching up.
There were opportunities with Solebo unlucky with another run at a tiring Faversham back line and his low drive was saved by the legs of Overland and hit a shot which the keeper saved.
Dadson was also looking for a hat-trick and his curling shot was deflected behind for a corner from which Marcus Evans nodded wide.
The game was long won and there was much to admire about Cray’s performance against a very decent side who will pick up points against some of the top sides this season.
Cray’s previous best started to an Isthmian League season was in their first in 2004-05 when Cray were unbeaten in their first eight before losing at Fleet in September in Division One. Tony Russell would have played in that side so have now surpassed that with nine undefeated.
Cray go nine points clear at the top from Hythe and Phoenix Sports but no-one is getting too carried away and looking at games one at a time and keeping their feet firmly on the ground.
League action takes a break next weekend with the FA Trophy Preliminary Round taking centre stage and Cray travel to Canvey Island in what will be a tough test. In the meantime though Wands fans present today and can look back on a wonderful afternoon and the realisation of a bright future.
Cray Wanderers: Nick Blue, Ben Mundele, Barney Williams (Capt), Jay Leader, Tom Phipp (Marcus Evans, 69), Bradley Pritchard (Zak Henry, 86), Sean Roberts, Malik Solebo, Freddie Parker (Iffy Onwuachu, 69), Junior Dadson, Jerome Federico
Faversham Town: Simon Overland, Ryan Cooper, Ben Wilson, Michael Jenner, Matthew Bourne, Danny Walder, Daniel Carrington, George Monger (David Cook, 71), Dean Grant (Jack Harris, 63), Ashley Miller, Luke Giffiths: Subs: Renford Tenyue, Thomas Benham
Booked: Cooper, Griffiths
Referee: Simon Finnigan
Assistants: F. Le Houezec, Notis Liappis