Cray Wanderers vs Kings Langley – The Pre-game thoughts of Danny Kedwell

BROMLEY, ENGLAND – August 14: Cray Wanderers’s Manager, Danny Kedwell 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)

Cray Wanderers mini October revival came to an end at Cheshunt on Saturday. After a bright first half display, the home side took their chances in the second half. Here Danny Kedwell looks back on the game and the latest arrivals to the club, Chris Dickson, Daniel Uchechi and Richie Danquah. Also a look ahead to the FA Trophy and the first ever visit of Kings Langley FC.

 Let’s look back to the Cheshunt game last Saturday. The game went against us in the end but I thought we were the better side for the first hour and created the better openings and I didn’t see the final score coming.  Cheshunt though played very well the last ten minutes and converted their chances well.

It’s been a bit like that all season to be fair. We’ve had spells in nearly every game where we’ve been the better side, created some very good chances and when we’ve come in at half time I told the boys that four or five weeks ago this wasn’t happening and we’ve got to try and keep it tight and make sure we don’t give away any stupid goals and give the opposition a leg up through silly mistakes. That is what happened unfortunately.

For the last ten minutes we were losing the match so we had to change the formation to three at the back as we needed to get something out of the game so we were always going to give them chances. It was a tough one in the end for us. It was two weeks on from our last game and it was so hard to get our shape as two of our starters came down with COVID and had to change the team around. It was just a difficult day and that has been our problem this season with injuries and now non-football related problems which has cost us so much.

Also our flow has been interrupted by the stop-start season. Obviously we played Carshalton and Haringey Borough and we were doing well but then there was a break and it affects your momentum which is frustrating. When you are doing well you just want to keep playing like Cheshunt who have played regularly and are winning games and a winning mentality.

Before the game we added two new players to the squad, Chris Dickson and Daniel Uchechi and since signed defender Richie Danquah. What can you tell the fans about these signings!

 Chris Dickson is a player I’ve played against many times in the past. Obviously I’m a bit older than him but he’s a proven goalscorer and has something that perhaps we have lacked this season and has a bit of pace in behind and we’ve not had that. We’ve played a few games this season without a great deal of pace up front which you don’t always need but you do have to have that mixture. He is a good leader and good for the young lads to have around especially in the changing room. As we have quite a young team we just need that bit of experience. Chris has always kept himself incredibly fit and not too many his age are fit as him, looks after himself and good for us to have him on board. He has that something we’ve been looking for, for a long time. He became available and I snapped him up straight away.

Daniel has played with Chris before and I’ve played against him and is a very clever player. We need to utilise him and give him the ball as he can hurt you and I just think on Saturday we didn’t do that enough. A couple of times we did and he put Chris through with a neat flick giving Dicko a one on one with the keeper and then a lovely ball through to Cooky so he has that ability and we have just got to find a way of getting the ball to him as often as possible.

Richie is a good signing for us as he gives us that balance as left sided and a left footer and I don’t think we had that balance at centre-half. Tom Hanfrey is naturally a left back and can play left in a three but perhaps not comfortable in a four. So it will be great to have a left-sided centre-half like Richie and with his presence as well as he is a big lad, good in the air, has pace and he can play. So it looks like we may finally have the balance right.

Let’s look ahead to Sunday and the FA Trophy tie with Kings Langley. Like us they have perhaps not made the start to the season they wanted and have struggled in the league but they may see a cup tie as a chance to change their fortunes.

That’s right, a change of scenery. They may see it as an opportunity so that is why it is so important we are on our game on Sunday. I arranged the midweek friendly with Charlton Athletic U23s to keep the boys going and moving and it will be a good game on Sunday. As you say results haven’t gone their way this season but are only losing games by the odd goal and not getting beaten easily. I’ve been able to watch some clips of them and they are a good team.  We just need to do what we have to do, stick to the game plan and hopefully we will be in the draw for the next round.

I knew this year was going to be tough because of the transition of having two players from last season and having to get a squad together over two months of pre-season. There are always going to be players coming in and out but I feel we are very close to the team I want and where we want to be and to push on.