Beckenham Town 1 (Waldren 70)
Cray Wanderers 1 (Drury 51)
Cray Wanderers continued their pre-season campaign on Saturday with a hard fought draw with Beckenham Town at Eden Park Avenue with the two respective no 8’s, Andy Drury and Danny Waldren providing two quality pieces of finishing in the second half.
In a fairly even contest throughout Jack Turner had to make three keys saves in the first half while Jamie Yila three times fired just wide of goal and other headed opportunities for Joey Taylor and Anis Nuur before the break for Cray Wanderers.
The Wands took the lead six minutes into the second half when Andy Drury fired home an exquisite shot from Nuur’s cross. However, Beckenham got themselves back in the game with twenty minutes to go when Danny Waldren headed home from a right wing free kick.
On the immaculate playing surface at Eden Park Avenue and on a day perhaps not as wet as expected, the game flowed quickly in the first half and both teams set out at a cracking pace.
The first half opening came for Cray when Lee Lewis set up Sadik Balarabe but his shot wide of goal. Then for Cray down the right, Jamie Yila who was a constant thorn in the Beckenham side with his pace and trickery worked his way into the area but drove his shot just wide of the left post.
Beckenham though had the best early chance when the no 19 got the end of a ball forward and broke into the area down the left and his shot was saved superbly by Jack Turner who spread himself well to push the ball aside. This was followed by the lively no 7 down the right finding space and hit a cross-shot which was goal bound which Turner had to parry away from goal.
For Cray, Yila created another opportunity when he got on to the end of Turner’s ball forward and this drove wide of the right post. Then Cray were unlucky when a ball was floated in from Anis Nuur towards Joey Taylor who ghosted into the area and headed the ball just over the top.
Beckenham were presented with a free kick chance in a good position outside the area and Danny Waldren’s shot was pushed out well by Turner and following up the no 7 fired over the bar.
Then for Cray from a similarly placed free kick, Lee Lewis’s shot was comfortably gathered at the left post by former Wands keeper Nick Blue.
The last chance of the half fell to Cray when Cameron Brodie found Harvey Brand down the right and the former Beckenham full-back’s cross to the far post was headed wide by Anis Nuur.
Half Time: 0-0
Cray began the second half in lively fashion and again with Brand to the fore played in a cross from the right into the area towards Lewis whose shot was well saved by the legs of Blue.
On 51 minutes, Cray took the lead with a goal again worked down the right and Nuur layed in a cross which found Andy Drury who controlled the ball, found space and placed superbly past Blue into the bottom left a clever, angled shot.
Beckenham looked to come back and the no 22 down the left broke into the box and his cross-shot was blocked inside the area as was the follow up from the Beckenham forward. Then one of three trialists playing for Cray shot wide.
In the 70th minute, Beckenham drew level when from a free kick conceded outside the right of the area, the no 22 played the ball towards the near post where Waldren did well to arch a header into the bottom right corner to tie up the game.
The game just began to look like a draw in the closing stages although Waldren fired a free kick over and the no 7 drove a shot wide. At the other end, another trialist down the left cut inside and shot over.
In the end, a draw was probably about right on the balance of play and Beckenham who entertain Jersey Bulls in the Combined Counties Premier South next Saturday played well while Cray who were without the likes of Ejiro Okosieme, Anthony Cook, Charlie Allen, Fjord Rogers, Jack Hanson and Martin Onoabagbe still managed to play some good football and contributed to a really decent contest full of zip and good ideas.
Cray’s next scheduled game is on Saturday 31st July at Herne Bay as the 2021-22 season countdown clock continues to tick forward.
Cray Wanderers: Jack Turner, Harvey Brand, Dean Beckwith, Triaiist 1, Joey Taylor, Jamie Yila, Cameron Brodie, Lee Lewis, Andy Drury, Anis Nuur, Sadik Balarabe: Subs: Danny Kedwell, Abdul Saccoh, Trialist 2, Trialist 3