Ryman League Division One South – 22/4/17
Faversham Town 2
King 52, Monger 82 pen
Cray Wanderers 2
Haynes 17, Dent 76
The curtain was brought down on another league season as Cray Wanderers picked up a point from a lively encounter at Faversham Town.
In many ways it was a game that summed up much of the season, with Cray totally dominating the first half, leading 1-0 and missed a penalty before a second half revival saw Faversham twice draw level against a ten man Cray side.
Cray took the lead with a clinical piece of finishing from Danny Haynes after 17 minutes and six minutes later had a chance to extend their lead when they were awarded a penalty for a trip on Lee Prescott. This time Haynes saw his spot kick saved by Will Godmon but was unlucky not to be awarded another penalty from the rebound when Godman appeared to catch him but was instead booked for supposed simulation. Faversham levelled seven minutes after half time when Liam King prodded home from close range before Haynes was sent off in the 62nd minute for a second booking for dissent.
Despite being a man down Cray went back in front through Karl Dent’s superb finish in the 76th minute but Faversham got back into it again eight minutes from time when Kyron Lightfoot was brought down inside the area and George Monger tucked home the spot kick. Cray were indebted to a tremendous save late in the game from Nick Blue from Lightfoot’s curling free kick.
It was less than 48 hours since Cray’s last game, a 4-0 win against Three Bridges and from that side there were three changes. Paul Lorraine returned in place of Jai McKinlay, Karl Dent started in place of Anthony Adesite whilst Danny Haynes came in for Luke Medley.
After a murky, grey and damp start to the day by kick off time the ground was bathed in sunshine and a battle between the sides in ninth and eleventh places looked to be a good one.
Faversham almost scored in the opening minute when they won a corner down the right. From the corner the ball came to Matt Bourne who steered a header wide.
That was possibly the nearest they came to scoring first half as Cray started to take control and won three corners in the opening exchanges. From the second of these, Cray came close to scoring when Lee Prescott’s cross from the right was met forcibly by Antonio Lazzari who placed a header just over the top.
Cray were playing some very tidy football and good combination play from Lea Dawson and Dent set up Haynes down the right of the area but drove a ball across goal with no one following up.
In the sixteenth minute Cray came closest yet when good work by Timi Osidobu saw him cut across from left to right of the area and he played the ball back out to Prescott who from twenty five yards hit a sweet strike which the impressive Faversham keeper Will Godmon pushed out but did very well to get down to block with his legs from Haynes following up the rebound.
That was temporary reprieve as thirty seconds later, the Wands went ahead with an excellent goal. Brandon Scott found Dent out on the right by the touchline who put over a tremendous cross which was latched onto by Haynes who expertly with one touch brought the ball under control and lashed home an emphatic finish from nine yards.
The Wands tails were now well and truly up and in the 22nd minute were awarded a penalty when Scott’s cross went across goal to Haynes who turned and seemingly going away from goal set up Prescott who was checked inside the area by George Monger and the referee pointed to the spot.
Up stepped Haynes to take the kick which was well hit but down the middle of the goal and Godmon made a fine stop but as Haynes followed appeared to be tripped again by the keepers outstretched leg but the referee deemed this to be a dive and booked the Wands striker which was terribly harsh.
Cray played very well for the remainder of the half but perhaps the nearest they came to adding to their lead came when from a free kick out on the left, Prescott’s ball to the far post was met by Lazzari but directed his header at Godmon.
As the half wound down, Faversham slowly got into the game with Charley Robertson presented with a chance inside the box but his effort was cleared by Lazzari.
Then finally, Renford Tenyue perhaps with more time than realised lashed a cross shot wide of goal and the Wands went in at the break in front.
Half Time: 0-1
Faversham made a couple of changes at half time and one of those changes, Kyron Lightfoot seemed to add some extra life to the home side and had a very good second half.
Instantly they looked more zippy and Robertson hit a shot at the near post safely gathered by Nick Blue.
However, in the 52nd minute, Faversham levelled after a good strong run down the left by Lightfoot and he cut to the by line and played the ball into Liam King who steered the ball into the net from six yards.
The Lilywhites looked more dangerous and Tenyue set up King for a close range shot which was blocked by Dawson.
Cray though appeared to have weathered the storm when in the 62nd minute the Wands task was made harder when Haynes was sent off for what appeared to be dissent aimed at the referee after the award of a free kick for Faversham. This showed how important the harsh booking in the first half now seemed.
The Wands seemed to be inspired by this and got a second wind and with Luke Medley being introduced it didn’t look as if Cray were a man short.
Cray had a half opening when Dawson saw an effort inside the area blocked. Then from a Prescott corner from the right, again Lazzari got his head to the ball but powered the ball wide of goal.
For Faversham, a clearance from Blue came out to Tenyue but fired a shot wide and then set up David Blaikie who also fired wide of goal.
In the 76th minute, Cray went back in front with another excellent goal. Good work down the right by Medley saw him charge to the edge of the area and lay the ball into Dent who turned and found space to place a fine shot wide of Godmon and into the bottom left corner.
Faversham looked to get back into it again and from a free kick, a cross from Lightfoot was headed over by Ryan Cooper with ten minutes to go.
Two minutes later, Faversham were awarded a penalty of their own when the ball was worked down the right and the ball was played into Lightfoot who inside the area was adjudged to have been brought down by Paul Lorraine and a spot kick was given. The penalty was despatched confidently by Monger to make it 2-2.
This left a little while for Cray to hang on for the point and Faversham came closest to winning the game when they were awarded a free kick in a central position just outside the area. From the free kick, Lightfoot curled the ball over the wall and seemingly into the top left corner but Blue with an excellent one handed save pushed the ball over the bar.
From here it would have been perhaps harsh for there to be a winner and after four minutes of injury time a very watchable game ended all square.
Faversham finished the season in tenth place with Cray one place behind them and both teams will hope next season to kick on and challenge the top teams.
So another season has come to an end and we wish the management team, players and supporters a very good summer and we look forward to seeing you again for pre-season or back for the start of the season on 12th August.
Cray: Nick Blue, Ben Mundele, Timi Osidobu, Antonio Lazzari, Paul Lorraine, Lea Dawson (Capt.), Sean Roberts, Lee Prescott, Danny Haynes, Karl Dent (Anthony Adesite, 85), Brandon Scott (Luke Medley, 66): Subs: Tyrone Guthrie, Sean Law, Jai McKinlay
Sent Off: Haynes 62
Booked: Haynes, Lazzari
Faversham: Will Godmon, Ryan Cooper (Capt.), Jamie Maxted, Dan Carrington, Matt Bourne, Ryan Cheek (David Blaikie, H/T), Charley Robertson (Luke Griffiths, 70), George Monger, Liam King, Carl Rook (Kyron Lightfoot, H/T), Renford Tenyue: Subs: Sam Bewick, Josh Stanford
Referee: Mr. S. Farrer
Assistants: Mr. L. Chapman, Mr. O. Fyfe