Cray Wanderers and Walton Casuals fought out an entertaining draw at Hayes Lane on Sunday. Here Tony Russell looks back on a dramatic finish to the game and a look ahead to Wednesday’s game with VCD Athletic.
That was a bit of a sucker punch to get caught at the end. What are your thoughts after the match and did you see this as two points dropped.
Anytime you drop points with the last kick of the game you are upset but we spoke with the players after the game as we wasn’t happy with the 2nd half. We then went back in the changing room and said it’s done now so let’s move on to the next. When we win we don’t make a big thing about it and likewise when we don’t win we don’t overreact. So the boys are fine and they are in tonight to do a warm down and watch some clips of the game so we can be better for the next game! Never too high, never too low.
Some of our attacking football especially down the wings was delightful to watch. Brandon switched from right to left with ease and had an excellent game didn’t he? Jerome Federico also did some damage down the right.
In the first half both was very good but 2nd half not so much. Brandon done really well on the left, with Rhuley being out I said I need him to step up and I thought it was he’s best game in a long time for us. Like I keep saying though he needs to add goals to his game? He got in a couple of times and the Keeper has saved it and then he missed an open goal when the Keeper has brought Shaggy down and it’s an empty net for him to roll the ball in & he somehow missed! We had 21 shots yesterday and scored 2? That’s not a good enough conversion for us & when you don’t put teams away you leave yourself open to anything?
I thought Lea Dawson and Karl Dent had great games in midfield. The skipper is starting certainly in the last couple of months to be playing at the high level he was last season when he won player of the year. That was a terrific finish wasn’t it turning inside the area from Denty’s cross.
I have said all season when the pitches are nice & the sun is out he will go unnoticed but come Xmas time on he comes into he’s own. They had just made it 1-1 & like all good leaders do he led from the front & got us a goal with a really smart finish. Denty just needs fitness now, I though he done ok in the game but we demand a lot more off him. I know once he is fit there is a lot more to come from him.
Barney Williams ran them close for man of the match and had a great battle with the Walton no 7, Tyrell Richardson-Brown and he is looking more and more like a quality piece of business in the summer isn’t he?
I don’t think we were good at the back yesterday and that’s not like us. Barney done ok? He wasn’t very well before the game so I had to keep an eye on him. He is your 7 out of 10 every week. Trust me managers love players like that as you know what you are going to get. Having had him at VCD I knew what a good signing he was at the time so I’m glad people are seeing it too.
There was quite a controversial moment early on when Brandon was caught by the goalkeeper outside the area. Did you think we should have been playing ten men early on or would it have been harsh?
I said at the time it was a red card, the Keeper has run out of he’s box Brandon has taken it past him and he brought him down? I don’t see what else it can be! The Ref wasn’t great all game, he has done us a few times & he seems a nice fella but not good enough for me. How he hasn’t given the pen when the Keeper has brought Shaggy down in the box too? Me and Anthony was looking at each other during the game as some of the things he was giving & not giving was madness. Seemed to be a lot of guess work going on but I refuse to blame the Ref as like I said earlier if you have 21 shots then you should be scoring more than 2 but if that Ref could kindly not do anymore Cray games this season that would be great .
Walton Casuals I felt and many around me thought were the best side we have faced certainly at Hayes Lane. Attacking wise they are very quick and the no 9 (Josh Kelly) was as good as any centre-forward we have come up against. Do you see them still being around the promotion places when we meet again on 21st April
They was one of the better teams but I’m not sure if they was the bes. Fair play to them 2nd half they had a real go and never gave up pushing. Kelly did well but I felt at the back we wasn’t great, too far off players and not backing each other up. Anthony Gale their Manager is a decent man so always enjoy sharing the touchline with him and look forward to doing it all again in April.
Finally a big game coming up on Wednesday evening against VCD Athletic, a game which has been re-scheduled a couple of times. What are your thoughts of the sort of challenge they could pose from a club that you and many of the players and staff know very well?
They have pace and will look to get it forward. They like that long ball over the top for the forwards to run on too so we need to make sure we deal with that. They haven’t had the season they had hoped so they will come and have a go I’m sure. I had a great time there & was sad to leave and also sad to see the team struggling over the years so apart from the two games we play them I hope they pick up & get up the right end of the table. Like me we all said it will be great to see everyone from VCD, I’m looking forward to it.