Moneyfields                                                2

Hutchings 45+1, 71

Cray Wanderers                                         6

Taylor 8, 13, 90, Parker 32, Leader 35, Allen 56

All pics:  Jon Hilliger –                  

Cray Wanderers advanced to the 3rd Qualifying Round of the FA Cup for the second straight season after a powerful attacking display saw the Wands score six to win at Moneyfields with Joe Taylor scoring a hat-trick.

Joe Taylor, 8 goals this season and 53 Wands goals in total

Cray who are unbeaten in 2020 and without defeat in 17 games got off to a flyer against their Southern League Division One South opponents with Taylor sweeping Cray in front after 8 minutes converting Jerome Federico’s cross.  Five minutes later, Taylor notched his second with an expert lob over keeper Jake Hallett.

Any hopes of a Moneyfields fightback were dashed with two quick fire goals after the half hour. Firstly, Freddie Parker scored his fourth of the season with a deadeye finish converting Taylor’s pass in the 32nd minute.  Three minutes later, it was 4-0 when Jay Leader powered home a header from a corner.

Moneyfields pulled a goal back on the stroke of half time with a Steve Hutchings striker.  However, in the 56th minute, Charlie Allen made it two in two games with a fine hooked volley to make it 5-1.  Hutchings scored again when he headed in from a corner in the 71st minute but with the last attack of the game, Taylor completed his hat-trick following up Allen’s saved shot with a header into the net.

Cray came to Portsmouth looking to maintain their 2020 record and also set about a good FA Cup run but knew that Moneyfields who advanced past Camberley and Aylesbury to reach the 2nd Qualifying Round would provide tough opponents and one not to be treated lightly.

The Wands had won at Folkestone on Tuesday night and from the side that started that game, Ben Mundele came in for Barney Williams with Lee Lewis returning to the bench with new signing Herson Rodrigues Alves.

Despite the steady rain of Friday there was never any doubt that the game would take place and the match started in bright sunshine with the only rain being that of Cray goals in the first half. Cray were looking very confident in the early stages but the first shooting chance came to Moneyfields with George Barker firing wide.

After eight minutes though, Cray opened the scoring with a fast paced goal with Tom Phipp playing the ball through to Jerome Federico down the left who outpaced the full back and cut to the byline and put over an inviting cross to Joe Taylor who crashed the ball into the net from nine yards.

Joe Taylor opens the scoring from Jerome Federico’s cross

Moneyfields looked to come back into it and Joe Briggs down the right fired a shot just past the right post.

However straight after that, Cray scored a second in the 13th minute when the ball was worked from the back to Charlie Allen who hoisted a great ball over the top to Taylor down the right and from just outside the area coolly lifted the ball over Jake Hallett and into the net.

Joe Taylor lobs keeper Jack Hallett to make it 2-0

Cray were then threatening to run away with it and Federico fired a shot just past the left post and then a fine pass from skipper, Mitchell Nelson found Taylor down the right and from a tight angle lifted the ball just over the bar and then Federico saw a shot held by Hallett.

The Wands at this stage were very much on top and in the 32nd minute put clear daylight between the teams with a third goal when Phipp found Taylor who interchanged passes superbly with Freddie Parker and played a defence splitting ball through to Parker who was on onside and rolled the ball confidently into the net from the edge of the area.

Freddie Parker scored his fourth goal of the season to put Cray 3-0 up

Parker almost scored again shortly after but was unlucky to see his fierce strike pushed behind well by Hallett for a corner.  From that corner, Cray scored their fourth goal when Rhys Murrell-Williamson’s cross from the right to the far post was met imperiously by Jay Leader who rose highest to divert his header into the net with Hallett unable to save.

Jay Leader gets above bodies to head Cray into a 4-0 lead

Moneyfields looked to score and Briggs down the right saw an effort blocked by Carey while at other end, Allen found Ben Mundele who tried a shot from distance but was off target.  Then Taylor exchanged quick passes with Parker and fired over from 20 yards.

To Moneyfields credit they scored a well worked goal in first half stoppage time.  Conor Bailey and Alex Lefleur combined well down the left and Ed Sanders whipped over a cross which was turned into the net from 10 yards by Steve Hutchings.

The second half began a little more quieter but Moneyfields almost grabbed a second goal with a piece of quick thinking from Hutchings from a free kick which he took quickly with Cray not quite ready and his shot was allowed to be hit and Carey had to push his shot over the bar for a corner.

Cray though just upped the gears in the 56th minute to score a classy fifth goal. From Carey out to Nelson, the ball came to Murrell-Williamson who slipped a pass through to Charlie Allen inside the area who controlled the ball and with a clever hooked volley swept his shot past Hallett with power for his second goal in two games.

Charlie Allen sweeps home his second goal of the week to make it 5-1

The Wands kept searching for more goals and Murrell-Williamson saw a shot blocked and the follow up was held by Hallett.  Then Taylor looked to have won a penalty after going down under a challenge from Curtis DaCosta but the referee overruled himself after speaking to his assistant and gave a corner instead.

However, Moneyfields looked to score again and Lefleur down the left saw a near post cross-shot blocked and put behind by Carey. From the corner in the 71st minute the ball from Kieran Roberts was played into the heart of the penalty area and Hutchings did well to divert his header into the net to make it 5-2.

Shortly after they almost scored again when Marley Ridge made a good run forward and played the ball to the right to Briggs who fired across goal and wide.

Cray though were to finish the game well and looked to score a sixth goal when Murrell-Williamson found Parker down the left of the area who volleyed wide.

Herson Rodrigues Alves came on for the last nine minutes for his debut.  Then from a free kick in a good position 20 yards from goal, Parker curled his shot just wide of the right post.

Finally into the last minute and a great way to end for Cray with a sixth goal worked down the left and Tom Carlse found Rodrigues Alves who played a short pass to Parker who in turn found Allen in the box and his shot was pushed out by Hallett but ever the predator Taylor was on hand to head the ball into the net for his hat-trick, the second season in a row in the 2nd Qualifying Round he has done so.

Joe Taylor celebrates scoring his first hat-trick of the season for Cray’s sixth goal

Cray had been very ruthless in their play today and although Moneyfields had worked hard during the game, some of the play from the Wands attacking players was mesmerising and Taylor now has eight for the season, Parker four and even Charlie Allen, a central midfielder has weighed in with two goals. This is without Bradley Pritchard, Jason Banton, Kyron Richards and Karl Dent in the side.

The Wands now head into Monday’s 3rd Qualifying Round draw full of confidence but before that travel to Potters Bar Town on Tuesday night in the Isthmian Premier, 7.45pm looking to extend the unbeaten run.        

Moneyfields:           Jake Hallett, Curtis Da Costa, Ed Sanders, Sam Pearce (Capt.), Conor Bailey, Marley Ridge, Alex Lefleur, Jake Raine, George Barker (Kieran Roberts, 15), Steve Hutchings, Joe Briggs.    Subs: Tom Dinsmore, Danny Burroughs, Rhys Lloyd, Lamin Jatta, Ethan Fox, Keith Kinyata    

Cray Wanderers: Lewis Carey, Ben Mundele (Barney Williams, 76), Jay Leader (Martin Onoabaghbe, 67), Mitchell Nelson, Tom Carlse, Jerome Federico, Tom Phipp, Charlie Allen, Rhys Murrell-Williamson (Herson Rodriguez Alves, 81), Freddie Parker, Joe Taylor: Subs:  Lee Lewis, Emanuel Oduguwa, Roman Hall

Att:     194