What better way to get into a romantic mood the day before Valentine’s Day than to take your loved one to Cray Wanderers v Dereham Town this Saturday, 13th February. Kick off at the Lane is 3.00pm.
The Wands got back to winning ways last weekend at Redbridge who after a difficult first half in severely windy conditions showed signs in the second half of clicking back into top form. Ben Hunt and James Duckworth each scored two at Redbridge and looked to have the basis of a good understanding together. Duckworth in particular has been outstanding in the last couple of matches and three goals in two games all of which have been excellent strikes show a player with renewed confidence. There were also signs of genuine promise from Jamie Mascoll, who came on in the second half. If there has been concern in recent weeks is that the team are conceding perhaps too many goals but it is hoped that now a full strength Cray side that has overcome injuries over this season can now have a settled look over this critical time of the season. Certainly the form of Karl Dent and Aryan Tajbakhsh has also been good and the return of Lea Dawson was welcome in the midfield area.
Cray currently lie fifth in the Ryman North table on 64 points and are five points behind in form Harlow Town in second place. The Wands probably have way too much to do to catch league leaders AFC Sudbury and certainly the playoff picture has become crowded in recent weeks but a good run of form over the next few games could see the situation change. All the teams in the top 5 have roughly played the same amount of games now having played catch up over the last couple of months. The Wands are three points clear of the sixth and seventh placed teams, Cheshunt and Brightlingea Regent.
Cray welcome Dereham Town to Hayes Lane who make the long trip down from Norfolk. Matt Henman’s side are 11th in the Ryman North table with 51 points from 33 games played. They are looking to build on last season’s 7th place finish and have had a solid rather than spectacular season so far. In their last two games, they won 4-2 at home to playoff contenders Tilbury last Saturday but were beaten 2-1 at Waltham Abbey on Tuesday night. They do possess one of the leading goalscorers in the division in Luke Tuttle who has seventeen goals to his credit this season.
In our corresponding game back on 24th October the teams drew 2-2 at Dereham with Omone Sodje scoring early for Cray. The Wands dominated until the home side were reduced to ten men but were suddenly inspired to come back and goals from Dan Morphew and a Tuttle penalty in stoppage time seemed to have given the Magpies the points. However, Sodje struck his second in the fifth minute of injury point to snatch a draw. Our overall record against Dereham Town is P3 W1 D1 L1 F6 A4.
There is still so much to play for this season and after last weekend’s result hope to build on that momentum on Saturday.