Match Report: Pre-season friendly: 8/7/21

Chatham Town 1 (Brown 8)

Cray Wanderers 2 (Hanson 6. Nuur 32)

Cray Wanderers got their pre-season schedule underway with a hard fought victory at Chatham Town. In Danny Kedwell’s first game as Cray Wanderers manager, both teams served up a very good, competitive friendly game with Cray just coming out on top.

The scene was set at the very impressive facilities of the Bauvill Stadium for a quick game right from the off and Cray got off to a great start taking the lead in the 6th minute with the excellent Jack Hanson picking up the ball in midfield and strode to just inside the right edge of the area and crashed a shot past the Chatham keeper Newcombe high into the top right corner.

Chatham though had started quick themselves and drew level within two minutes when the ball was worked down the right and the ball found Brown who found space to drill a low shot past Jack Turner to make it 1-1 after only eight minutes.

For Chatham, Bodkin who had a fine game fired over and at the other end a cross from the left by Anis Nuur was met by the head of Fjord Rogers and the ball just clipped the top of the crossbar and over.

At the other end, Bodkin hit a sweet strike which was pushed out superbly by Jack Turner and the game continued its end to end theme. There was a lovely ebb and flow to the game and for Cray, Andy Drury was having a fine half and Cameron Brodie looks a terrific prospect in midfield and a fine tackler. For Cray, Nuur was looking very dangerous down the left and broke into the area and his goalbound shot was met by a strong one handed save by Newcombe.

Cray though re-gained the lead in the 32nd minute when Jamie Yila’s pass out from the right to left to Nuur saw the winger find space just inside the area to lash the ball past Newcombe into the top left corner for a really superb piece of finishing.

Before the break Nuur, who could have had a hat-trick came close again but again Newcombe made a fine save while at the other end, Bodkin down the right of the area jinked into the box but Turner did well to block his near post shot.

Half Time: 1-2

The second half as expected saw some changes for Cray with Anthony Cook one of those coming on and he had a fine half, switching from the left wing into midfield with great affect pulling the strings. Also Lee Lewis down the right had an exceptional second half and Sadik Balarabe also was a handful.

Chances were at more of a premium second half but still some good football was played by both teams. Chatham should really have drawn level five minutes after the break when Bodkin down the right did well to lay the ball across to Brown who fired over from 12 yards.

Cray had a good spell following that and Cook hit a free kick wide of goal and then Trialist B who was lively down the right set up Balarabe for a shot on the turn which went just wide.

Then Trialist B shot wide of goal from Lewis’s pass and then Emmanuel Oduguwa and Hanson combined to set up Cook who from 25 yards hit a fizzing shot which by a whisker went just over the bar.

The best chance of the entire half though fell to Chatham when down the left, Bradshaw broke into the area close to the byline and pulled the ball across to the no 12 who seemed certain to score but an excellent sprawling save from Turner kept the ball out. The former Slough Town keeper had a great game and gave a quality display of keeping throughout.

Chatham pushed for a leveller and did exert some pressure on a young defence in the second half but they weathered the storm from the Medway team and Cray held on to win and get pre-season off to a very decent start.

There were some very good performances, Turner, Nuur, Okosieme, Drury, Hanson, Brodie, Cook, Lewis and Oduguwa amongst others who shone during the match.

Cray will next meet Hashtag United at Hayes Lane on Saturday for what should be a great occasion for a first time meeting with the Isthmian North newcomers.

Cray Wanderers: Jack Turner, Harvey Brand, Abdul Saccoh, Dean Beckwith, Ejiro Okosieme, Jack Hanson, Cameron Brodie, Andy Drury, Jamie Yila, Anis Nuur, Fjord Rogers: Second half subs: Sadik Balarabe, Anthony Cook , Lee Lewis, Martin Onoabaghbe, Max Gayle, Emmanuel Oduguwa, Trialist A, Trialist B.

Chatham Town: Newcombe, Lawal, Dickens, Friend, Hayes , Palmby, Robins, Bodkin, Brown, Evans, Bradshaw. Subs: Mills, Cray, Weston, Butler, Orji, Maher, Pilbeam, Martin, Rooney, Strouts, McIlheron