FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round – Saturday 5th October, 2019
Haringey Borough 1
Froxylias 58 pen
Cray Wanderers 0
Cray Wanderers FA Cup adventure for 2019-20 came to an end at the 3rd Qualifying Round stage after being edged out by Haringey Borough in a tight cup tie at Coles Park.
On a grey and a touch chilly afternoon the stakes were high and the game was decided from the penalty spot in the 58th minute for Haringey Borough when Dimitri Froxylias stroked home the spot kick award after Georgios Aresti was adjudged to have been fouled inside the area by Mitchell Nelson. Cray who had the ball in the net through Joe Taylor in the first half but was disallowed for offside sought a leveller but chances were hard to come by and Haringey advanced to Monday’s FA Cup draw.
The two sides had met in the league as recently as 14th September so knew each other well when the match finished in an exciting 1-1 draw. Both teams had games in the week and Cray who moved up to ninth after their 3-1 win against Bowers & Pitsea made two changes to the starting lineup with Mitchell Nelson returning for Geofrey Okonkwo while Charlie Allen started in place of Lee Lewis. Haringey lost their unbeaten home record on Monday night losing to Kingstonian. Both sides had been free flowing in the FA Cup with Cray scoring twelve in three matches whilst Haringey had scored eight in two games without conceding.
The first half began in rather cagey fashion with both sides looking very solid at the back and although the match was full of attacking ideas defences were on top early on. Tom Carlse was getting some joy down the left early on and took a pass from Andre Coker and his ball across was blocked by a defender.
The first attempt on goal came in the 12th minute when Joe Taylor did well to harry a defender by the right by-line and escape with the ball and cut into the area and his shot was saved by Valery Pajetat.
Two minutes later, Haringey Borough had their first sight of goal when the ball broke in midfield and Anthos Solomou played the ball into Dimitri Froxylias down the right of the area who fired a shot over the bar.
Cray were next to threaten when they won a corner down the right and Karl Dent’s cross to the far post was met by the head of Mitchell Nelson but was safely gathered by Pajetat.
For Haringey, Froxylias was looking their main threat at this stage and received the ball down the right and his driven ball into the area was cleared and out for a corner.
Cray then won a free kick out on the right and Dent’s ball into the area was flicked goalwards by Nelson but was claimed by Pajetat.
The Wands were just looking the better side at this stage and Carlse found Coker who down the left found space to curl a shot over the bar from just outside the area. There was a chance for Haringey though when Froxylias’ ball into the box was volleyed over on the stretch by Solomou.
The big moment of the first half came in the 35th minute when Cray thought they had broken the deadlock when the ball was worked down the right and played across to Dent who fired in a shot which appeared to be spilled by Pajetat and following up Taylor fired into the roof of the net with style but the linesman’s flag was raised and the goal never stood.
The match then went a bit scrappy for the last ten minutes and although Cray perhaps just edging the game on possession and half chances there were no goals in the first half and both defences look very solid with the match outcome on a knife-edge.
Half Time: 0-0
It looked like the game would open up a bit in the second half and Haringey Borough came out with more attacking intent in the opening minutes. They won a corner down the left and Romoluwa Akinola played a short corner, and exchanged passes with Stelios Demetriou and his ball towards Jorge Djassi-Sambu was cleared out to Aresti who lashed a shot over the bar.
Cray made a change in the 52nd minute when Charlie Allen who had a solid game in midfield was replaced by Lee Lewis.
Once again, Haringey looked to threaten down the left and Solomou found Aresti who drove a well struck shot into the side netting. Then Aresti came possibly the closest to scoring when Akinola won the ball and played the ball into Aresti who saw his shot saved by the feet of Lewis Carey.
A good period of Haringey pressure then paid off in the 58th minute when they were awarded a penalty when Aresti broke into the area down the left and was adjudged to have impeded the midfielder inside the box and a spot kick was given. From the kick, Froxylias confidently stroked the home side ahead.
Two more Cray subs were brought on to try and turn the tide with Ben Mundele and Freddie Parker coming on with the Wands having at least half an hour to try to get back on terms.
Mundele and Parker added good energy to the side and Cray were looking to create openings but the centre-half pairing of Rakim Richards and Coby Rowe were looking very hard to break down.
Cray did win a couple of corners and from one, Parker’s right wing cross into the area nicked off the head of Mundele but Pajetat was able to come and claim.
Haringey were looking content to sit on the lead and invited Cray to come forward but chances were hard to come by although a good move saw Carlse, Pritchard and Coker combine down the left and Coker’s ball across was headed out by Demetriou to the right hand side to Barney Williams and his ball into the box was punched clear by Pajetat.
Another Coker cross was diverted towards goal by Mundele but the keeper came out to claim and then Parker’s cross was headed out by Richards.
Cray tried hard to get back on terms and won a corner from which Lewis Carey came up to add to the threat in the box but the ball was cleared. Then from a free kick out on the right, Pritchard’s ball into the area again with Carey in the box was cleared out to half way and with Carey out of goal Aresti attempted a lob from the half way line which just drifted wide of the right post.
In the end Cray couldn’t find an equaliser and in a game of such fine margins and two well matched teams defensively it was probably always going to take a set play or a penalty to decide the game. Haringey Borough have a good home record and are a hard side to score against and certainly here were in a mean and miserly mood.
Tony Russell’s side certainly gave it their all but on this occasion couldn’t make it through another round of the cup and only a second ever appearance in the 4th Qualifying Round. There is of course still the FA Trophy to focus on but now Cray can concentrate on consolidating their solid league form with a cracking sounding game with fourth placed Enfield Town next Saturday and then a trio of away matches at Merstham, Lewes and Horsham as the season starts to take shape.
Cray Wanderers: Lewis Carey, Barney Williams (Capt.), Tom Carlse, Mitchell Nelson, Harry Hudson, Charlie Allen (Lee Lewis, 52), Bradley Pritchard, Karl Dent (Freddie Parker, 61), Andre Coker, Tom Murphy (Ben Mundele, 61), Joe Taylor: Subs: Jay Leader, Jerome Federico, Geofrey Okonkwo, Grant Hall
Booked: Dent, Coker, Nelson, Pritchard, Carey
Haringey Borough: Valery Pajetet, Salvyn Kisitu, Stelio Demetriou, Lionel Stone, Rakim Richards, Coby Rowe, Dimitri Froxylias (Michael Ademiluyi, 77), Georgios Aresti, Anthos Solomou (Chiduben Onokwai, 74), Jorge Djassi-Sambu, Romoluwa Akinola:
Subs: Anthony McDonald, Scott Mitchell, Callum Ismail, Pablo Casillas Carro
Booked: Rowe, Djassi-Sambu
Referee: Tom Ellsmore
Assistants: Andrew Hickman, Andrew Thomson
Attendance – 344