Metropolitan Police vs Cray Wanderers – FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round – 8/9/18
Metropolitan Police 3
Wright 1, Mazzone 67, Chislett 73
Cray Wanderers 2
Dadson 6, Power 43
Cray Wanderers’ FA Cup adventure came to an end for another year as Metropolitan Police came from behind at the break to win 3-2 and book their place in the 2nd Qualifying Round draw on Monday.
Cray who advanced through in dramatic fashion on Wednesday evening at Rusthall got off to an awful start at Imber Court as Jonathan Wright scored for Met Police after just 33 seconds. The Wands though fought back five minutes later when Junior Dadson hit over a looping cross-shot which caught out keeper Thomas Williams and sailed into the net.
Two minutes before half time Cray went deservedly in front when Michael Power slotted his third goal of the week and the Wands had a 2-1 at half time.
The second half was more of a bitty affair which suihen ted the home side and they levelled when Jack Mazzone scored from close range in the 67th minute. Six minutes later, the Met Police took the lead when Ethan Chislett struck and held out to claim the win.
Cray had only reached this round on Wednesday night and from the side which got through at Rusthall there were a few changes to the starting lineup. In came Jay Leader for his first appearance of the season along with Archie Johnson, Malik Solebo and Junior Dadson in place of Ben Mundele, Karl Dent, Aaron Rhule and Jerome Federico.
The Wands were rocked on their heels after a dreadful start with the Police taking the lead with their first attack after 33 seconds when a clearance ricocheted off Jay Leader into the path of Jack Mazzone down the left and put a ball across into the path of John Wright who turned the ball in from eight yards.
Cray though are a very resilient side and got back on level terms in the sixth minute when Junior Dadson picking the ball up twenty yards from goal out on the left hoisted a cross-shot towards goal which was well struck and flew into the top right corner of the net giving Thomas Williams no chance.
The Wands continued on the attack and shortly after Tom Phipp chipped a shot just wide before the game settled down for a while. Cray were playing some good football and causing the home side plenty of problems with their movement and forward play.
In the 28th minute Cray after a patient buildup down the left saw Johnson set up Bradley Pritchard who shot wide from just outside the area.
After half an hour Cray had a half chance when Dadson’s cross from the left came to Pritchard who set up the lively Malik Solebo whose effort was deflected off Mekhail McLaughlin to Michael Power who with his back to goal turned and pulled a shot wide of the right post.
Three minutes later Cray came close again when Johnson found Dadson’s who fired in a near post shot which Williams got his hands to push just wide for a corner. From the corner the ball came to Mitchell Nelson whose effort was blocked by Sam Williams.
The home side saw an effort from Jack Beadle fly off target but chances for the Met Police had been few and far between.
Cray took the lead two minutes before half time after Pritchard put a superb ball through which Power latched onto, took on Nesta Guiness-Walker and slipped the past the keeper from nine yards for a deserved lead on the balance of play.
The Wands went in 2-1 up at the break and looking very good value for the lead.
Half Time: 1-2
The second half started with Met Police making a change with Tom Nyama coming on for Beadle and they looked a more settled side than before the break.
The Met Police almost got back into it from a free kick in a central position outside the area and John Gilbert’s effort went over the bar.
Cray though went back on the attack and came close to grabbing a third when from Power’s neat flick on Dadson broke through two defenders into the area down the left and his effort was blocked by Williams and the ball was cleared.
Then from a right wing corner, Pritchard’s deep cross to the far post was volleyed over by Nelson and then Dadson was denied a shooting chance by a good saving tackle from Guiness-Walker.
This was followed on the hour by Solebo puttiing over a right wing cross which was met on the full by Power but his shot went just over the bar.
The Met Police though came closest yet to scoring when from a free kick just outside the box, Gilbert’s shot was pushed brilliantly over the bar for a corner by Nick Blue.
In the 67th minute Met Police drew level from a free kick down the left which Sam Williams floated into the box and as Blue came to claim the ball possibly received a nudge which forced the ball to come loose and following up Jack Mazzone tapped into the net to make it 2-2.
Cray almost restored the lead straight away firstly with Dadson seeing an effort blocked then Sean Roberts broke into the box, took the ball away from Williams but the angle was tight and the ball rolled wide.
In the 73rd minute and out of nothing really, Met Police took the lead for the second time when in midfield Nyama picked up a loose ball and spread the ball across to the highly rated Ethan Chislett who took a touch, advanced on goal and finished impressively to make it 3-2.
Cray kept pushing forward but were starting to look a bit leggy and the last quarter of an hour was very fractured with a few stoppages and a handful of yellow cards between the teams.
The Wands had put so much into the game but the Police were quite clever with their game management and the last scare of the match came deep into injury time with Nelson coming forward to challenge the keeper fairly but clattered into each other and Nelson looked to have been poleaxed by the challenge but that was the last action of the game and the referee blew the whistle.
Cray had put a lot into the game and might be a touch disappointed they couldn’t see the game through but after a tough and exhausting couple of days could be well proud of their performance. However it is the Met Police who go through to Monday’s 2nd Qualifying Round draw but they know they have been in a tough match.
The Wands next match is back in the league on Saturday (15th September) away to Ashford United.
Cray Wanderers: Nick Blue, Barney Williams (Capt.), Archie Johnson, Jay Leader (Zak Henry, 57), Mitchell Nelson, Bradley Pritchard, Sean Roberts (Freddie Parker, 79), Tom Phipp, Michael Power, Malik Solebo, Junior Dadson: Subs: Cain Cruz, Kyrique Garvey-Williams, Joe Vines, Ben Mundele
Booked: Nelson, Henry, Parker
Met Police: Thomas Williams (Capt.), Mekhail McLaughlin, Nesta Guiness-Walker, Samuel Williams, Jeremy Arthur, Louis Birch, Jack Beadle (Tom Nyama, H/T), Ethan Chislett, Jonathan Wright, Jack Mazzone (Antonious Kazakis, 90), John Gilbert: Subs: Oliver Knight, Luke Mitchell, Rylan Myers, Gurkan Gokman, Borja Loeches.
Referee: J. Creswick
Assistants: P. Jones, A. Nayir