Cray Wanderers vs Bedfont Sports The Pre-Match Thoughts of Tony Russell
Cray Wanderers returned to league action last Saturday with a hard earned point at Potters Bar Town with Joe Taylor’s last gasp leveller. Here Tony looks back at the game and plans for the FA Cup tie with Bedfont Sports.
We came back from Potters Bar on a Saturday with a point with Joe Taylor’s last minute goal. It was a bit of a tough battle. Was that the sort of game you were expecting and what were your thoughts after the game?
I’d been to watch them in the game at home to Folkestone Invicta, the Saturday before the Hythe game. It was a tight pitch, a nice pitch but quite narrow so always going to get shutdown and have to move the ball. For us it was missed chances again which has cost us the three points. You are always grateful when you score with the last kick of the game. Sometimes when you do that to get a draw it can feel like a win but this game we felt a bit flat as out of five games we’ve drawn three of them. Every one of them with the exception of Kingstonian we’ve come away frustrated and we can’t keep doing it and there may be a time when we have to do something about it.
We showed good character to come back didn’t we so late in the game after falling behind with five minutes to go and Potters Bar’s tails were up at that time?
I thought first half we had more of the ball and perhaps slightly the better of the game. The second half I thought it was all us and they scored with their first shot on goal after the break, but when they did score their tails were up, we were starting to feel sorry for ourselves but we have great team spirit and that will never be in doubt. We’ve got characters in the team and we put Rhuley more narrow at the end to put him up front and push Carlsey on and he crept round the back and set up JT who to be fair earlier missed a sitter but it takes courage sometimes to keep putting yourself in there and he was the one who got in front of his man to score. It looked a simple finish but it wasn’t and credit to JT for keeping on going.
You must have been pleased with the football played in the buildup to the goal. No thought of lumping it long or getting desperate in order to get back on terms.
The funny thing is I’m on the line telling up to hit if forward quicker but it is so imbedded in them what I want them to do and we worked it. To be fair it was a great goal, pass, pass, pass, pass and Tom Murphy has picked out Carlesy who got round the back, the full back didn’t see him, and set up JT for the goal. It was a passing team’s goal. I’ve seen it down the years from the likes of Arsenal and Barcelona they score those type of goals, narrow, narrow, narrow and then switch it to great effect.
You weren’t too concerned about the game getting a bit fractious as there were 10 bookings in the second half and you weren’t worried about us having someone sent off?
At the end of the day the referee wasn’t the best for both sides. Potters Bar are a proud team, they were very committed but not a dirty side, we were committed too and we were two honest sides going at it. The game was just lacking a bit of quality but for whatever reason we didn’t have that on the day and the game had become a bit of a stalemate. Denty came on and produced a bit of magic to set up JT for his chance that was saved but I felt if we scored that then we would have gone on to score two or three. At the moment we are not doing that. We’ve played five and drawn three although we can look it that we’ve only lost one.
It’s good we’ve got the young lads in the side but you’re going to get inconsistences. I don’t think Lee Lewis was at his best against Potters Bar but has been fantastic up to that point. We are asking a lot of him to play two games a week, the same with Freddie Parker who was on the cusp of the game and didn’t get too much involved but we understand that and know he is a special player. Geofrey Okonkwo had a really good game too at the back. We just need to be a bit more creative in the final third and need someone to come in to give us that creative spark. There’s no-one in mind now but when I’m out on my travels and if I’ve got my eye on someone it would be for a player with creativity with an eye for a goal.
Finally, we look ahead to a first ever FA Cup meeting or match of any kind against Bedfont Sports on Sunday. What are your expectations for this game?
I will be going to watch them at Ashford Town (Middlesex) on Tuesday so will be on my travels. I can’t say too much about them as not seen them but for preparations we are going to watch the FA Youth Cup game on Wednesday, we will train on Thursday as it is an important game. It is vital to keep putting money back into the club especially as it’s all hands to the pump at the moment and resources are a little stretched and progress will help perhaps bring a couple of players in further down the line. I am well overdue a good FA Cup run and I’m putting everything in as much I can to get us going as far as we can.