Ryman League Division One South – 26/11/16
Nwoko 37, Pratley-Jones 59
Cray Wanderers 2
Haynes 17 pen, Dawson 75
Cray Wanderers kept their unbeaten run going to four league matches but had to be content with a point from their third 2-2 draw in four games at lowly Molesey. A draw was probably a fair result at the end of the day as both sides had spells of dominance in the game with Molesey having the better of the first half whilst Cray played a lot better in the second.
On a fine late November afternoon for football The Wands went in front against the run of play in the 17th minute when Danny Haynes struck his seventeenth goal of the season from the penalty spot before Joe Nwoko deservedly put Molesey level in the 37th minute. Cray fell behind to a crackerjack shot from Joe Pratley-Jones before the hour but Lea Dawson brought Cray back in to the game with his fifth goal of the season from Jey Siva’s free kick.
There were a couple of changes to the side which drew with Horsham on Wednesday with Lee Prescott starting in place of Karl Dent whilst Brandon Scott returned following his trial game with Fleetwood in for Sherwin Stanley.
Cray have started the vast majority of games this season well but they started sluggishly against a Molesey side one place above the relegation places who were beaten 2-8 by Tooting and Mitcham United in their last game and in the first fifteen minutes it was Molesey who threatened to score first.
The first half chance came when Cray gave the ball away and Charlie Samuel set up Nwoko whose shot was blocked for a corner. From the right wing kick from Craig Lewington, Ryan David headed well wide.
Then, Jake Rose fired over for the home side and then Josh Andrew set up Nwoko for a snap shot which curled just wide. This was followed in the fourteenth minute by Rose putting the ball through to Samuel down the left of the area but hurriedly shot into the side net.
Cray, though who hadn’t really got anything going in attack save two close offside calls, went in front in the seventeenth minute when Sol Taiwo played a fine ball forward from his own half towards Haynes who charged into the area and enticed Molesey keeper Liam Allen to bring him down for a penalty kick. Haynes confidently stroked home the kick to give Cray the lead.
Cray enjoyed a little more possession after that but didn’t create too many openings with Jey Siva’s pass finding Haynes who turned and fired wide the clearest shooting chance.
Molesey to their credit kept on going and Cray had a huge let off in the 34th minute when Samuel was played through down the right of the area but his shot seemed to take an eternity to reach goal and thudded back off the post. The loose ball ended up coming to Nwoko whose shot forced Sam Roach, to make a good diving stop and the ball was cleared.
Cray did not heed this warning and in the 37th minute Molesey drew level when Cray gave the ball away and Nwoko strode through and tucked a home a tidy finish past Roach.
Before half time, Cray started to up their game and had claims for another penalty turned down when Haynes ball into the box appeared to hit the hand of Nathan Gordon. Then the Wands came close to scoring in the 42nd minute. A corner down the right from Siva to the centre of the penalty area was nudged by Jay Leader towards Haynes who turned and found some space to get a shot at the near post which Allen did well to push behind for a corner.
In the dying moments of the half Dawson set up Haynes for a shot from the edge of the area which went whistling just past the left post of Allen.
Half Time: 1-1
Cray started the second half much better and looked a different side as they had more going forward whilst Molesey looked a little dispirited. A patient build up saw Dawson’s effort blocked and the play was switched to Dane Luchford down the right who laid the ball across to Sean Roberts whose effort from close range was blocked by Joe Pratley-Jones.
Then down the left, Leader found Scott down the left who for the first time this afternoon found some space to fire in a cross-shot which Allen did well to push round the right post for a corner. From the corner, Siva’s cross was headed over by Leader.
Molesey though came back into the game and in the 58th minute were very unlucky not to take the lead when a free kick out on the left hand side was floated into the box by Lewington and Ashley Lodge rose to head against the crossbar. The loose ball came to Samuel whose strike was blocked by Leader and was cleared.
This was only a temporary reprieve as seconds later Cray couldn’t really clear their lines from a throw in and the ball came to Pratley-Jones who from twenty five yards crashed in a shot which swerved and flew past the despairing hand of Roach to make it 2-1 to Molesey.
Cray looked to get back into it and Siva’s corner was met by Leader who headed the ball towards goal but was knocked wide for another corner by Gordon. Then from another set play the ball came to Leader who flicked the ball towards Dawson who with his back to goal looked to pull the ball back towards goal which saw Allen scrambling to the right post. This was followed by a free kick on the right edge of the penalty area driven wide by Taiwo.
With fifteen minutes to go, Cray were awarded a free kick down the left side of the penalty area following a foul on Haynes. From the kick, Siva floated a cross to the back post and Dawson rose above Lewington to head into the bottom corner of the net for his fifth goal of the season.
Both sides went for it in the last ten minutes with Cray unlucky when Dawson played the ball into the box and Osifuwa’s cushioned header found Stanley who blazed the ball over the bar. Stanley then dragged a shot wide.
It was Molesey though who came closest to claiming the three points in the last minute when Gordon combined with Ashley Charles to set up Marcel Henry-Francis who looked destined to score but was denied by a brave block by Leader.
In the end the game ran out of steam and finished in probably the right result. Despite the point, the Wands dropped down to ninth in the Ryman South league table and next head off to Hythe Town on Tuesday night looking to avenge a 0-1 home defeat back in September.
Cray: Sam Roach, Ade Osifuwa, Jey Siva, Jay Leader, Sol Taiwo, Lea Dawson (Capt.), Lee Prescott (Sherwin Stanley, 67), Sean Roberts, Danny Haynes, Brandon Scott, Dane Luchford (Karl Dent, 63): Subs: Timi Osidobu, Jai McKinlay, Grant Basey
Booked: Luchford, Haynes
Molesey: Liam Allen, Josh Andrew, Nathan Gordon, Craig Lewington (Capt.), Joe Pratley-Jones, Ryan David, Tom Windsor, Jake Rose (Ashley Charles, 82), Charlie Samuel, Joe Nwoko (Marcel Henry-Francis, 71), Ashley Lodge: Subs: Ore Gobler, James Rogers-Oben, Jordan Johnson-Palmer
Referee: Gill Bhupinder
Assistants: Lee Suggett, Charlie Bullock