Margate vs Cray Wanderers – Match Report

Margate                                               2

Bola 23, Thompson 84

Cray Wanderers                               1

Kedwell 8 mins

Cray Wanderers went down to a second defeat over the Bank Holiday weekend but once again played well with some exciting football but in the end were beaten with another quality piece of finishing from Dan Thompson in the 84th minute.

Cray got off to a great start and Danny Kedwell on his Cray Wanderers league debut took just eight minutes to get off the mark with a clever header from an in-swinging corner. However, Margate levelled on 23 minutes after a terrific swerving shot from Vance Bola which dipped and crashed past Jack Turner.  Cray edged the game on chances but it was Margate who won the game late in the day when Jack Richards’s free kick floated to the far post was rifled home by Thompson and Margate held on to win and remain unbeaten after four games.

There were three changes to the Wands starting lineup who were fifth at the start of play from the side which narrowly lost to Worthing on Saturday. Into the side came Freddie Cray, Lee Lewis, Anis Nuur and Danny Kedwell in place of Ejiro Okosieme, Jamie Yila, Cameron Brodie and Fjord Rogers. There were two changes to the Margate starting lineup from Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Cheshunt with Dan Thompson and James Bessey-Saldanha coming in for Jake Embery and Ben Greenhalgh. Jay Saunders’ side had five points from their first three games.

On a grey and a touch blowy afternoon by the seaside, the first half was a lively encounter with Cray playing some fine passing football perhaps the best of the season but it was Margate who had the first shooting chance with Ryan Palmer testing Jack Turner from distance with a low shot.

However, in the 8th minute Cray took the lead when after a terrific cross from Harvey Brand from the right to the far post was put behind by Lewis Knight for a corner and from the corner from the left by Andy Drury, the cross to the far post saw Kedwell get in front of Ben Swift to guide a text book header past Pat Ohman into the net.

Margate had a good ten minute spell after the Wands goal. Firstly from a free kick out on the right, the ball was flicked on by Swift and Sam Blackman’s header drew an excellent one handed save from Turner.  Then five minutes later, Turner had to be alert to block James Bessey-Saldanha shot with his legs down the right of the area.

In the 23rd minute Margate drew level when the lively Vance Bola picked the ball up in space and hit a shot from close to 25 yards which seemed to swerve wickedly in the breeze and flew into the top right corner.

Cray though recovered well from the goal and controlled the remainder of the half.  Firstly Anthony Cook from distance tried his luck with a shot which was deflected behind for a corner.

Then Lee Lewis who had a storming game was unlucky to see his shot which had a similar dip and swerve to Bola’s goal pushed over superbly by Ohman.

Lewis then became provider with a strong run from the right through midfield and set up Kedwell whose shot was only just too high and went over the bar.  The last chance for Cray in the half came when from a free kick down the right, Drury’s ball into the box was headed wide by skipper Dean Beckwith. Margate’s last effort was a shot from Bola which went over the top.

Half Time: 1-1

Cray began the second half once again taking the game to Margate in a more scrappier second period and Anis Nuur was very much to the fore.  Firstly down the left he cut inside and curled a shot wide of the right post.

Cook and Drury then combined to find Nuur down the left of the area and Ohman had to block the winger’s attempted cross-shot.  Then Harvey Brand found Nuur who once again set himself up with space but shot over from 20 yards.

For Margate, Bola down the right did well to send over a cross-shot which Turner had to parry away and the danger was cleared.

Cray came close to restoring the lead when Joey Taylor who once again had an excellent game for Cray down the right flighted over a cross which was cleared out to Cook whose overhead kick just cleared the crossbar.  Then Taylor put over another great cross into the area which Sadik Balarabe just couldn’t get a connection to inside the six yard box.

Margate though possibly had the best chance of the half when Mo Kamara’s cross from the right to the far post was stabbed over the top by Bessey-Saldanha.   Then from a corner from the left into the area the ball was helped towards goal but was cleared off the line by the impeccable Freddie Cray.

The home side were just having their best spell and in the 84th minute went in front.  After the award of a free kick just outside the area down the right, close to the byline, Jack Richards sent over a cross which may have been deflected to the far post and Dan Thompson’s first time shot was hit with venom and into the net for a really good finish.

Cray looked to pressurise in the minutes that remained but despite some possession couldn’t grab a leveller with the nearest opportunity coming from a free kick which aimed to the far post but Beckwith couldn’t connect with a header and the ball fizzed wide of goal.

In the end, Margate won the match and finished the game strongly but Cray had contributed a lot to the game and have shown plenty of positive signs for the season ahead if the team can remain injury free and continue to play their attacking brand of football. Special mentions for Taylor, Brand, Cray, Lewis and Nuur, five young players with exceptional futures who were excellent in this match.

Cray move down to 9th in the table with six points from the four games played. Next it is FA Cup weekend and next Saturday Cray entertain Sutton Common Rovers for the very first time in the 1st Qualifying Round.

Cray Wanderers:              Jack Turner, Harvey Brand, Dean Beckwith, Freddie Cray, Joey Taylor, Charlie Allen (Sadik Balarabe, 53, Andy Drury, Anthony Cook, Anis Nuur, Lee Lewis, Danny Kedwell (Fjord Rogers, 80)

Booked:               Cook

Margate:          Pat  Ohman, Mo Kamara, Joe Anderson, Montel Agyemang, Lewis Knight, Ben Swift (Capt.), Ryan Palmer, Sam Blackman, Dan Thompson, Vance Bola, James Bessey-Saldanha

Booked:            Swift

Referee:              Christopher Hastings

Assistants:          Adam Miller, Jack Luckman

Att: 415