Cray Wanderers continued their unbeaten start to the league season with their fourth win on the road at VCD last Saturday. Here Tony Russell looks back on that game, a busy September and thoughts on the Faversham Town match.
Another good win for Cray on the road at VCD Athletic on Saturday and the first time in the league we have been behind for a considerable period of time. What were your thoughts on the game at VCD and how we impressively turned a half time deficit into a lead within five minutes?
In the end I was very happy. It wasn’t like we were bad in the first half; as we controlled it for the most part however, we were a little sloppy, We were allowing them to break on us far too easily. We had a lot of ball but was moving it without a purpose and with no tempo. I was disappointed in a few of the boys at half time & we let them know it. The reaction off that was brilliant. 2ND half we had just as much ball as the first half but looked a different side as we wanted to make something happen. We upped the tempo & took full control of the game, We scored 2, hit the bar, missed a Pen and was making their keeper and back 4 have to work just to stay in the game in that 2nd half. We kept the ball well to manage the game at the end. They have been doing well so to go there and do that was really pleasing. Credit to VCD – they made us work for the 3 points and showed if you are slightly off it in this league we will get turned over!
It was certainly a very busy September and we managed get through it with our unbeaten league record intact. We had two cracking home games against Hythe Town and Whyteleafe, one high scoring, one low scoring but both exciting. Many of our fans and committee feel Whyteleafe have been the best side we have played so far. What are your thoughts on the month just past and the games against leading sides?
Whyteleafe are good, don’t get me wrong, they are Young with some good players. The way we play suits them so I will be interested to see how they do vs Hythe, Ramsgate or Faversham away etc. I know they already lost to Sittingbourne away so I will hold judgment for now. I’m a little disappointed in their manager, if I’m honest. After we played them he said “Jerome Federico is on more money than his whole team”. It’s so poor from him! Funny thing is Feds took a pay cut to come back to us. He travels from Watford so the money we give him just about covers his petrol! I suppose there is a compliment in there that he thinks he is that good he must be on whatever silly figure comes into his small head? Maybe if he put a £1 in a pot every time he shouts “Ref!!” during the game he too can go and get his very own Federico – in fact he could probably afford Messi! In non-league a club can’t do well unless they have a massive wage bill, A Player can’t be just a “good” player. “ I’ve heard he is on £500” “ They are doing well but if you gave me 5k a week, so would I?” are just some of the rubbish you will hear in non-league bars after most games. For the most part, Non-league football has some of the best people you can meet but the flip side is that you also have to deal with the odd wally.
As for the best side we played in September, I wasn’t at the Hythe game as my sister was losing her fight with Cancer so me & my family was at her bedside for her final days with us. I heard it was a great game played by two good sides. Ashford away – I would say was the hardest I have seen, that 2nd half we really had to dig in. I know they are not winning at the moment but Gaz will get them going that’s for sure & when they do they will be a handful so I’m happy to have gone there and won.
We go into October with at this stage a lighter schedule starting with Faversham Town on Saturday. Teams in this league can raise their game and Faversham are a very capable team. What sort of game are you expecting from Ray Turner’s side on Saturday.
I like Ray, the manager, he is a good man so it’s always nice to come up against him. It will be a hard game that’s for sure. They will get it up to the big men up top and work off that. We need to deal with that and also make sure we turn the game into the game we want to play. We spoke at training last night and have come up with a couple of ideas that I believe, if we execute, then we will be hard to beat but like we saw at VCD Last week, if we are not at it then this game will be hard work.