Cray Wanderers vs. Welling United – Pre-Season Friendly – Tuesday 8th September, 2020 

Cray Wanderers                                               3

Carlse 15, Taylor 38, Parker 88

Welling United                                                 1

Photos credit – Jon Hilliger

Cray Wanderers continued their pre-season campaign with a hugely impressive performance to defeat National South Welling United at Hayes Lane in the second home friendly in 3 days.

An excellent first half display saw Cray two nil up at the break with a quality piece of finishing from Tom Carlse after 15 minutes and then Joe Taylor made it two nil in the 38th minute when he connected to a through ball from Lewis Carey to roll the ball into the net.

Welling though to their credit looked a different side just after the break and could have scored three times in the first couple of minutes of the second half but did manage to pull a goal back nine minutes from time when the no 19 crashed in a shot in off a post. Cray though set the seal on the win with two minutes remaining when Freddie Parker from close to 30 yards flashed a superb free kick high into the top left hand corner to end the evening on a high.

Cray were looking to build on the positive performance against Bromley on Saturday where Cray came close to overturning a 3-0 deficit to lost 4-3 and from that side, back came Kyron Richards and a trialist who played second half on Saturday and both played well in a first half which saw Cray at their very best.

Cray began well and had the first opening of the game from a corner down the right the ball came to Bradley Pritchard who curled a shot wide.

This was followed by good work from Freddie Parker who made a run to the edge of the area and laid a pass to Rhys Murrell-Williamson down the right who was unlucky to see his curling shot from the edge of the area drift just wide of the left post.  Then the ball was worked down the left and Trialist fired just over the bar.

A goal for Cray was looking on the cards and arrived on 15 minutes when again down the left Tom Carlse played a return pass with Pritchard and broke into the area and with the aplomb of centre-forward lifted a shot high into the top right hand corner of the net for a breathtaking piece of finishing.

Cray continued to threaten and from a free kick 20 yards out, Murrell-Williamson fired just wide and then down the right, Barney Williams sent over a great cross towards the far post which was left by trialist and glanced off the head of Joe Taylor and went just past the post.

At the other end, Welling thought they had got behind the Wands defence and the no 2 was denied by a flying save from Lewis Carey but the flag had been raised for offside.

Cray still went forward and Murrell-Williamson who was having an excellent first half, again worked an opening for himself and his shot went just past the right post while for Welling the no 9 fired over from 30 yards.

In the 38th minute, Cray went two nil up when a ball forward from Lewis Carey down the middle sought out Taylor who held off the challenge of a defender to bear down on goal and as the keeper came to meet him simply rolled the ball past him into the net.

Before half time, the no 19 saw a shot from distance held by Carey and also Carlse looking to score again saw a 25 yard shot go straight to the keeper.

Perhaps Welling’s best chance came with the last sortie of the first half when a cross from the right by the no 9 to the far post was headed just across goal by the no 19 and no one could apply a touch and went past the right post.

One of the main features of the half was the performance in central midfield of Kyron Richards who continues to look versatile and with mature displays and certainly in the first half gave an eye catching display alongside Bradley Pritchard.

The second half saw an early sea change as Welling surely by their own admission were second best first half but straight away the Wings almost scored three times in the opening minutes.  Firstly the no 19 hit a shot from 20 yards which was deflected wide of the right post for a corner.

Then the no 10 who was lively during the game  was played through into the area down the right, went past Carey but looking to score from a tight angle, the Wands keeper did well to push out the near post shot and scoop the ball away.

Then a right wing cross from the no 3 was headed over at the far post by the no 18.  Shortly after from a free kick down the right, the no 10 curled a shot over.

Cray almost scored a third when a cross from the trialist down the left to the far post was scuttled behind by a defender for a corner and close to an own goal.  Then the trialist cut inside to shot from distance which was held.

Welling certainly weren’t out of the game and the no 19 was again involved setting up the no 3 who smashed over a half volley at the near post down the right.

Cray though were still looking good going forward and Carey was almost provider again for Taylor with a ball forward which split the defence and as Taylor looked to shoot put the ball wide but did appear to be impeded when about to shoot so perhaps should have been a penalty.

The game was going end to end for a while and the no 10 curled a shot over down the right and for Cray, Murrell-Williamson hit a shot from 25 yards which was held by the keeper.

For Cray, good combination play between Pritchard and Taylor ended with Pritchard denied by a block from a Welling defender while at the other end the no 19 saw an effort blocked inside the area.

After a brief scrappy period the game re-ignited when down the right, Jerome Federico set up Freddie Parker whose shot just scraped the outside of the left post and went behind.

Then a minute later, a ball forward from the back saw Taylor show great balance and control to break into the area and was unfortunate to see his placed shot thud back off the right post and away.

There did seem to be another goal in the game and came in the 81st minute for Welling United when the no 19 who was a threat during the game found space just inside the area and his well struck shot came back of the right post and into the net to set up a grandstand finish.

Cray were looking to restore the two goal advantage and seal the game and with the match going into the 88th minute were awarded a free kick out on the right hand side between 25-30 yards from goal.  Freddie Parker shaped up to shoot and with perhaps the expectation of a cross, instead the ball was aimed towards the top left hand corner and flashed past the keeper into the net and if the net wasn’t there would surely have continued travelling into the night sky.  An astonishing piece of skill and continues the superb form Freddie has displayed during pre-season.

That was basically, the last kick of the game as Cray see the remaining seconds and no doubt this was the best performance of pre-season against a good, strong Welling side who never give anything away cheaply so a tremendous result.  All the players deserve credit and praise but Taylor once again was majestic up front, Kyron Richards looks a major talent in midfield, Parker continues to prosper and Tom Carlse and Barney Williams were outstanding as attacking wing backs.

Cray now have one more pre-season game at Hayes and Yeading United on Saturday before the new season starts against Kingstonian at Hayes Lane on 19th September.


Team:   Lewis Carey, Barney Williams, Jay Leader, Mitchell Nelson, Tom Carlse, Kyron Richards, Bradley Pritchard, Trialist, Rhys Murrell-Williamson, Freddie Parker, Joe Taylor: Subs:  Jerome Federico, Martin Onoabaghbe, Emmanuel Oduguwa, Roman Hall