Faversham Town v Cray Wanderers – Bostik League South-East – Saturday 26th January, 2019
Faversham Town 1
Walder 16 pen
Cray Wanderers 1
Cray Wanderers continued their unbeaten start to 2019 as the Bostik South-East league leaders picked up a hard fought point at Faversham Town. The point puts Cray Wanderers 11 points clear at the top and the Wands had to come back from a goal down after Danny Walder had given Faversham the lead in the 16th minute from the penalty spot. Cray through deserved to draw level and did so twenty minutes later when Mitchell Nelson headed in his first goal of the season from a Karl Dent corner.
The second half saw Cray continue to dominate and Bradley Pritchard saw a close range effort come back off the crossbar, then Tom Phipp tested keeper Will Godmon with a low drive. Freddie Parker was unlucky to see his shot from a tight angle come back off the post and then in the closing stages was denied a goal by a fine save from the legs of Godmon.
From the side which beat VCD Athletic last Saturday there was one change to the starting lineup with Barney Williams replaced by Joe Taylor. Junior Dadson returned to the bench for the first time since picking up an injury in the Sittingbourne game before Christmas.
Faversham Town came into the game on the back of a win at Whitstable Town last Saturday and were strong and resolute throughout the game and Cray were never going to be able to coast to victory in this match.
On a grey, murky and soggy afternoon, Tony Russell’s side began well with Karl Dent to the fore and saw an early effort down the left blocked. Then from a free kick out on the left, Dent’s ball into the box was pushed out by Will Godmon and led to a spell of pressure which saw Dent’s return cross flicked out to Mitchell Nelson whose ball across from the right was helped on by Jay Leader and Freddie Parker to Jerome Federico who fired over from just inside the area. This was followed by Tom Phipp setting up Joe Taylor for an effort that was blocked for a corner.
Faversham though battled hard and were awarded a penalty when a ball in from the right into the area by Ashley Miller was adjudged to have been handled by Leader although seemed somewhat harsh. From the spot, Danny Walder stroked home his 4th goal of the season into the bottom right corner in the 16th minute.
Cray almost got back into it straight away when Federico’s ball across found Tom Phipp whose shot lacked a bit of power and was deflected towards Godmon.
Then another patient piece of play from Cray saw Bradley Pritchard find Federico down the right whose attempted shot was deflected towards Taylor who found Parker who seemed certain to score but was denied by a fine block by Danny Divine on the line,
For Faversham, Ben Chapman shot well from 25 yards but Cray were still playing well and Parker set up Pritchard for a shot which was held by Godmon.
Cray were unlucky in the 33rd minute when from a free kick fairly centrally, Dent’s effort was dropped by Godmon and Ryan Huckle almost turned the ball into his own net under pressure from Taylor and Godmon had to scoop the ball away for a corner with the ball not adjudged to have gone over the line.
The Wands had deserved to be on level terms and on 36 minutes a right wing corner kick from Dent was played to the far post where Nelson with a free header powered into the bottom right corner for his first goal of the season.
Cray had their tails up from here and Dent set up Nelson again who this time fired well over from 25 yards. Then right on half time from another Dent corner, this time down the left, the ball into the six yard box found Nelson again but this time his header was cleared off the line by Matt Bourne.
Half Time: 1-1
The second half began in lively fashion for the home side and a good ball forward found Dave Cook whose first time shot from just inside the area was held by Nick Blue. This was followed by George Monger setting up Miller who lashed a shot off target.
Cray though came close to going in front when Taylor was played in down the right and he set up Federico for a cross to the near post was deflected off Huckle to Pritchard who from six yard fired against the crossbar. Faversham couldn’t clear their lines and down the left, Archie Johnson set Phipp whose well struck shot from 20 yards was pushed out by Godmon.
Then a cross from Johnson just couldn’t get a firm touch from the onrushing Pritchard and the ball was glanced wide of the right post.
Another quality corner kick from Dent into the heart of the area found Leader whose header was blocked by Walder and came to Phipp whose shot was gathered by Godmon.
Faversham Town were defending very well and had the occasional break out themselves and were awarded a free kick just outside the left of the area and Walder’s shot was held by Blue.
With ten minutes to go Cray almost went in front when Sean Roberts ball into the area found Parker down the right and as Godmon came out for the ball, took the ball round the keeper but from a tight angle squeezed the ball towards goal and came back off the left post and out to Daniel Uchechi whose effort was blocked.
Then Parker was unlucky again when a fine ball across from Uchechi down the left found Parker who from eight yards saw his shot which was arrowing into the bottom left corner was saved well by the legs of Godmon and the ball was cleared.
Cray have won many games and points late on in matches so far this season and there was still plenty of time to find a winner here but Faversham were battling hard and possibly could have won it themselves in injury time when Donvieve Jones’s run forward saw him set up Cook who shot over the top.
In the end the game ended in a 1-1 draw which wasn’t a bad result for both sides at the end of the day. Faversham who are 16th in the table earned a valuable point in their bid to move up the table under the co-management of Phil Miles and ex-Wand Danny Chapman while for Cray , with Hastings United losing at Herne Bay, the Wands move on to 55 points and an 11 point lead at the top. Cray are unbeaten in six and are playing well but on this occasion Faversham denied Cray a tenth win away from home this season and the first draw on their travels. As January comes to end there are fourteen games left and proof today that none of them are going to be straightforward and plenty of twists and turns to come.
Cray Wanderers: Nick Blue, Ben Mundele, Archie Johnson, Jay Leader, Mitchell Nelson, Bradley Pritchard, Tom Phipp, Karl Dent (Sean Roberts, 74), Joe Taylor (Daniel Uchechi, 74), Jerome Federico (Junior Dadson, 60): Subs: Marcus Evans, Tiwa Fujimade
Booked: Mundele, Parker
Faversham Town: Will Godmon, Danny Divine, Jamie Maxted, Danny Walder (Dan Carrington, 66), Matt Bourne (Capt.), Ryan Huckle, Liam King (Donvieve Jones, 78), Ben Chapman, Dave Cook, George Monger, Ashley Miller: Subs: Luke Griffiths, Charlie Owen, Harry Day
Booked: Miller, Walder, Bourne, Carrington, Divine
Referee: Mr. C. Pullen
Assistants: Mr. J Dann-Pye, Mr. J. Owen