Cray Wanderers return to league action after a weekend off with back to back home games versus Brightlingsea Regent on Saturday followed by a Wednesday night match with Wingate & Finchley. With Cray Wanderers looking to get back to winning ways after five defeats here Manager Danny Kedwell looks back to the last couple of league games, the difficulties with fielding a settled team through injuries and a look ahead to Saturday’s game.

BROMLEY, ENGLAND – August 14: Cray Wanderers’s Manager, Danny Kedwell watches on from the sidelines during the Isthmian Premier League match between Cray Wanderers and Lewes at Hayes Lane on August 14, 2021 in Bromley, England . (Photo: © Jon Hilliger / HilligerPix)


Let’s begin with a look back to the last couple of league games, starting with the Potters Bar Town match on 12th September. After a quick start from the visitors was this a game where we just didn’t get the rub of the green and despite our best endeavours came up just short?

BROMLEY, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 12: Cray Wanderers’s Anthony Cook sees his shot blocked by Potters Bar Town’s Kieron Cathline and the balls goes wide during the The Pitching In Isthmian Premier League match between Cray Wanderers and Potters Bar Town at Hayes Lane on September 12, 2021 in Bromley, England . (Photo: © Jon Hilliger / HilligerPix)

For this game we did our homework and watched Potters Bar the previous week but when the team sheet arrived the team that played us was completely different to their previous three games. So that threw us a bit as we had a game plan and for the first ten-fifteen minutes we had to adjust to what they were about and after that I thought we dominated the game especially the second half.  There was the penalty miss, the Adam Coombes disallowed goal, we’ve looked back at the video and was about four yards onside so the wrong decision, we’ve hit the crossbar, the post and just wasn’t happening for us.  I think if we were still out there now we wouldn’t have scored.

You mentioned the penalty miss and I know in hindsight easy to say but I think if that goal goes in we would have gone on and won. I can’t imagine after the game there was much you could have said that we could have done differently.

BROMLEY, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 12: Cray Wanderers’s Archie Burnett takes a shot from the edge of the area during the The Pitching In Isthmian Premier League match between Cray Wanderers and Potters Bar Town at Hayes Lane on September 12, 2021 in Bromley, England . (Photo: © Jon Hilliger / HilligerPix)

No, I felt we definitely didn’t deserve to lose and at the minute nothing is going our way.  If you look back to the Margate game we dominated yet didn’t win. I don’t think we deserved to lose the Worthing game and had chances in that game. The FA Cup defeat was disappointing but when you are missing four or five really big, influential players that is huge when you are in this league unfortunately.

 From there, two nights later we go to Corinthian Casuals who had just beaten Worthing and Haringey Borough and although we ended up losing 4-0, it was quite a tight game to begin with and I think they scored with their first shot on goal but took over in the second half.

Yes and that is the thing that is happening with us at the minute. Things are falling to people in and around our box and that is us not happening at the other end.  I thought Martin Onoabagbe was unlucky as he did well to get down and stop the ball going to the forward and it just fell to Warren Mfula who just hit it and it went in. If that was us it probably would have gone past the forward or the ball would be cleared.

I wasn’t too happy about that night as the boys who came in with a chance to perform didn’t. It was hard as there were a lot of new faces looking to scrape through the game, we had Cook and Coombes playing with injuries so it was a tough night but I thought we started well to be honest. In the end though it was disappointing as we dug in there and I felt their second goal was offside but then I thought we went to pot after that which I was fuming about as you still have to fight and show desire and I let them know about that after the game in uncertain terms.

That is an honest assessment of the game. We did have a little break with no match at the weekend. You’ve alluded to injuries and with Cook and Coombes during the game and since the first two games which we won against Lewes and Hornchurch, we’ve had injuries to Andy Drury, Charlie Allen, Ejiro Okosieme, Jack Hanson hasn’t played this season. With new faces having to come in it must be hard to get the team to gel so quickly.


To be fair, the weekend break was perfect for us. Jack Hanson was back training on Saturday which was a real buzz for us and we had a run out against Bromley U23s on Wednesday which gave him a chance to get a few minutes and he scored. Also a chance for Cooky, Coombesy and Jukesy a week to get back and I will have a bit of a headache for Saturday as I think almost everyone but Joey Taylor who is out for the season will be back or in contention.  When we have our full strength team back we won’t be where we are now and wouldn’t be now but for the injuries. You can only go by 16 players and when five of them are very experienced and not playing we are going to struggle and when you look back to Tuesday we had a very young team out there but that was all I could put out on the night.

We now come to a couple of home games over the next four days starting with Brightlingsea Regent on Saturday. It’s important for us isn’t it to get back on track quickly.

BROMLEY, ENGLAND – AUGUST 28: Cray Wanderers’s Fjord Rogers heads at goal during the Isthmian Premier League match between Cray Wanderers and Worthing at Hayes Lane on August 28, 2021 in Bromley, England . (Photo: © Jon Hilliger / HilligerPix)

 It’s down to the boys now and I’ve told them that. I went to watch Brightlingsea on Saturday at home to Lewes and did my homework on them so I am well prepared for the game. It’s time for the boys to roll their sleeves up and give it a go and just work hard. That is all I ask for, work hard and our qualities will show through. It won’t be easy, they’ve lost a couple of games back to back so they will be fighting. Sometimes when you have been losing like we have it is good to get back to playing but I think the ten days off was a godsend to us to get players fit. We had a bit of a hard run in training on Saturday to keep the boys fitness ticking over and they are ready to give it a go.

People need to remember you are still a young manager starting out in the game. When you have little runs like this how important is it for a manager to keep believing in themselves and their methods and that it will all come right at the end.

Bromley | England | 03 August 2021 | Hayes Lane
Cray Wanderers v Welling United
Pre-Season Friendly
(Photo: © Jon Hilliger / HilligerPix)

We’ve just got to keep going, we have a very good team when we are all fit and I know it is hard but it is a good thing this is happening now and not towards the end of the season. I always look back to when I played and I feel you wait until 15-20 games into a season to really see where you are at. It is a brand new squad and we showed what we can do in the first couple of games of the season and beat two very good sides including Lewes and that is the only league game they have lost. So the boys have to realise the qualities they have got and unfortunately injuries have been a massive factor. However, I do believe in these players, they are very good and we just need to go back to where we were with all of them back and show what we are really about and the injuries can hopefully stop.