Cray Wanderers started life back in the Isthmian Premier with a goalless draw at Kingstonian which was followed on Wednesday night by a gutwrenching loss to Folkestone Invicta with the visitors’ winner coming in the 90th minute. Here manager Tony Russell looks back on a dramatic evening and to Saturday’s game with Corinthian Casuals.
A bit of a kick in the teeth for the boys on Wednesday night. A harsh lesson of life in this division or do we have to give Folkestone credit for what was a strong comeback in the last ten minutes?
A case of all of the above really. Credit to Folkestone, they were very dangerous on the counterattack and we were a bit naïve at times and left ourselves open. Yet second half we should really have won the game and we hit the woodwork three times in the match.
Not the best of starts for us as Folkestone came out of the traps really quick and Jerson Dos Santos did well to finish in the 3rd minute. Shortly after Bradley was unlucky not to score with his effort off the bar.
I thought 1st half we were sloppy as a whole and wasn’t really sure what was up with us, Joe Taylor has laid the ball back too heavy and Dos Santos finished well at the end. For me, the Bradley Pritchard chance and Charlie Allen’s in the second half where he’s hit the bar from four yards were both misses and should really have both scored.
There were other chances, Andre got put clean through on goal and his touch is too heavy so we did open them up at will.
For those supporters that perhaps hadn’t seen him before, Andre looks like a genuine matchwinner!
Andre is Andre and he is class, some of the things he did lit the game up. Jerome Federico I thought was fantastic too. That’s the annoying thing we did some really good things but at the moment we have a centre midfielder playing centre back and we miss having Tom Phipp in midfield with the discipline he gives us and we miss Jay Leader back in defence. We’ve shown we have the firepower to score goals at this level but what we can’t do is be as open as we were.
Their third goal it’s injury time and we’ve got a man down injured and we’ve played a short free kick rather than wait for Ally to come on and they score from that. We’ve taken it short and they’ve broken down the other end and the cross has come over and we haven’t dealt with it and suddenly it is 3-2.
Now we look forward to a game with Corinthian Casuals, a team we know well from recent battles in the Isthmian South. What can we expect from James Bracken’s team on Saturday?
They are a very lively side who play on the front foot and we welcome James and his team today. If our shape is the same as it was on Wednesday we could be in for another helter-skelter game.
I said to the players that Wednesday night wasn’t good enough, I know that and it’s not even the young players, it’s the senior players that are not being disciplined enough. Perhaps it’s a case of taking liberties and that we can brush teams aside like last season. To be honest. I thought last season though we were never like that and were always very disciplined and hopefully it was just a freak game but if not we will have to change it and we will not accept that. Yes we should have won and we made the chances but we can’t be that easy to break down. In the first half it was too easy on the counter attack for Folkestone and they had two 5’11 forwards who were winning headers against our centre-halves. We did much better in the second coping with it but the first half set the tone. I thought we had the game and control in the second half and hit the bar twice at 2-1. If one of those goes in I’m sure we would have gone on to win but that didn’t happen, they switched formation which we didn’t react to quick enough and gave two really cheap goals away.