Cray Wanderers vs Hashtag United


CRAY WANDERERS          4              (Drury 20, Brand 51, Nuur 61, Rogers 80)

HASHTAG UNITED            1              (Waller-Lassen 50)

Cray Wanderers continued their encouraging start to pre-season with a classy performance and victory in a first ever meeting with Hashtag United at Hayes Lane.

This was the Wands first game at Hayes Lane since late October and the ground has certainly seen some changes in the stands and around the ground but with the Cray Wanderers U9s & U10s in attendance as guests of the day there was a positive feelgood factor about the afternoon in keeping with the mood generated by the national team.

Hashtag are newcomers to the Isthmian North this season and certainly came to show their potential and it was an enjoyable encounter which Cray won after taking the lead through a deft Andy Drury header. The second half started lively with Hashtag levelling five minutes after the break with a decent strike fro Jesse Waller-Lassen.  Cray though within a minute had regained the lead with Harvey Brand finishing well then ten minutes later Anis Nuur scored his second of pre-season. Ten minutes from time Fjord Rogers completed the scoring firing in after Nuur’s cross to secure the win for Danny Kedwell’s team.

The game started at a quick pace from Cray and within a couple of minutes could have taken the lead when Jamie Yila down the right showed pace and put over a cross which found Andy Drury and his shot from just inside the area was pushed over the bar by Anthony Page. Then Anthony Cook fired wide.

Aside from an early Hashtag corner, Cray dominated the early exchanges and were unlucky not to score when Lee Lewis hit a fine shot from out on the left which thudded back off the right post and too fast for either Yila or Sadik Balarabe to follow up.

A goal was coming and arrived in the 20th minute when Harvey Brand down the right combined  with Charlie Allen to put over a cross into the area where Drury reacted quickest with a stooping header which went past Page and into the net.

Cray created other chances in the half, notably when the impressive Cameron Brodie swept a ball out to Yila who cut in from the right  and fired over the top.

Then another good ball forward by Dean Beckwith found Balarabe down the right and his cross shot was blocked by the keeper’s legs.  This was followed by Balarabe and Cook combining to set up Drury who fired just over.

Before half time, Yila set up Balarabe with a chance which was fired over the top and then on half time Hashtag threatened with Jesse Waller-Lassen shooting from outside the area and Jack Turner did well to push the ball out.

The second half as expected saw substitutions but there was still a lovely ebb and flow to the game. Cray looked to score from the off and Cook who had an exceptional second half set up Anis Nuur but he fired off target and behind.

Hashtag drew level in the 50th minute when from a corner down the right, Joni Vukaj’s ball found Waller-Lassen who hit a shot from just inside the right edge of the area and his strike was left by Sam Bantick and crept into the bottom left corner.

A minute later though Cray regained the lead after good play between Nuur and Cook saw the ball fall invitingly in the area to Harvey Brand who tucked home a very tidy finish.

Hashtag almost scored straight after but Bantick who looked to be away to score was denied  by a tremendous tackle from Ejiro Okosieme inside the area.

On 61 minutes it was 3-1 to Cray and another fine passing move with Cook down the right playing a fine ball into the box which was left by Fjord Rogers towards the back post for Nuur who fired in at the keeper’s near post.

Hashtag had a chance to reduce the arrears when George Smith set up Carlos Flood who shot wide of the right post.

Ten minutes from time, Cray scored a fourth goal and again Cook was involved with a great ball out to Nuur down the left and his ball across fell into the path of Rogers who fired home from six yards.

Towards the end there were chances with Hashtag looking for a consolation and Smith went through on goal but was thwarted by a great stop from Turner.

The final chance of the game fell to Cray with Abdul Saccoh and Nuur down the left linking well and his cross found Rogers who stabbed the ball wide from 10 yards.

An enjoyable contest ended with a deserved victory for Cray and once again many positives to take from the game, the chances created, the clinically taken goals and the performances of some promising young players, especially Brodie and Emanuel Oduguwa in the second half.

Cray’s next pre-season game takes them to Hollands & Blair on Tuesday night for a 7.45pm ko.

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

Hashtag United:  Anthony Page, Matthew Woolbridge, Rowan Dorling, Ryan O’Rawe, Bradley Marriott, Ross Gleed, Jake Lindsey, Joni Vukaj, Sam Bantick, Jesse Waller-Lassen, Harry Honesty: Second half subs: Carlos Flood, Jamie Jackson,¸Liam Mulligan, Kojo Apenteng, Joe Debell, Lee Hursit, Byron Humbles, Kieran Southgate

Referee:  Ian Bentley