Ryman League Division One North: 27/10/15
Cray Wanderers 0
Cray remain six points clear at the top of the Ryman North after Tilbury and Cray played out a goalless draw at Chadfields. As the scoreline would suggest defences were very much on top during the game and there were very few goalscoring chances for either side as the rain came down fairly heavily in the second half.
There were just a couple of changes to the Cray side from the one that drew at Dereham on Saturday. Ben Payne returned in place of Lewis Tozer and making his debut in central defence was experienced John Beales for Uche Ibemere.
Cray started the game well and came close to scoring in the opening minutes when a right wing cross from Ade Osifuwa was headed over by James Duckworth. However, Cray suffered a blow moments later when Lea Dawson suffered an ankle injury and was replaced by Dean Carpenter.
Tilbury who came into the match on the back of a six game winning run in league and cup had a fair amount of possession in the early stages and Emiel Aiken shot over the crossbar with a snap shot and Tony Martin worked an opening but shot wide from twenty yards.
Cray had a lot more of the ball following this and almost took the lead after a fine piece of link up play between Sean Roberts, Osifuwa and Leigh Bremner saw Bremner return an exquisite pass through to Osifuwa running into the area but hit an instant shot wide.
After half an hour Cray came close again when Roberts and Carpenter in midfield set up Bremner for a shot just outside the penalty area which was deflected wide for a corner.
As the half wore on Tilbury were slightly in the ascendancy but only threatened the Cray goal from shots outside the area from Martin and then from Matt Game.
Cray came probably the closest to scoring in the half before the interval when Grant Basey curled a free kick out on the right into the area which was met by the head of Ben Payne who played the ball back across to Omone Sodje but could only direct his header straight at keeper Clarke Bogard and the ball was cleared.
Half Time: 0-0
The match became a very bitty contest after the break with very little good football played as the game became broken up with free kicks.
Cray created their best opportunity of the game when Sodje reacted quickest to Karl Dent’s pass to turn and shoot narrowly wide from outside the area.
Tilbury forced Nick Blue into a rare save when Aiken set up Martin for a snap shot on the edge of the area which Blue got down to save confidently.
Cray continued to press and a free kick from half way from Basey was headed out as far as Duckworth who fired over the crossbar. This would be Cray’s last real goal scoring opportunity as the game started to become very scrappy after this. Tilbury were looking the most threatening in the last half hour but their finishing was rather hurried and wild after some good approach play.
Firstly, Game hit a long range shot well over as did Martin from a free kick twenty yards from goal. Then Blue had to be alert to smother an effort from Kurt Smith’s fine run and shot.
The game’s last opportunity fell to the Dockers when after a decent passing move, Game was played in down the left and his cross shot went across goal with no-one to follow up.
The last ten minutes was played in fairly heavy rain and the match lost its shape completely and became very ragged with no real chances created.
In the end it came as something of a relief when the referee blew the final whistle but Cray can be pleased with the point against an in form side. Tilbury is a very hard place to win and make life difficult for visiting teams and are a very committed side. The Cray Massive did win the raffle prize draw with Les Hain scooping the award to send the Wands fans home happy on a foul evening.
Defensively Cray played very well this evening and looked very solid and this wasn’t really a game for the forwards with two well drilled defences.
Cray are back in Essex on Saturday when the Wands make their first ever visit to Witham Town, kick off at 3pm.
Cray: Nick Blue, Ade Osifuwa, Grant Basey, John Beales, Ben Payne, Lea Dawson (Capt.) (Dean Carpenter, 3 mins), Sean Roberts, Karl Dent,
Onome Sodje (Ray Powell, 82), Leigh Bremner, James Duckworth (Uche Ibemere, 66): Subs: Dane Moore, Sam Faulkner
Booked: Payne, Bremner, Powell
Tilbury: Clarke Bogard, Bradley Webb, Danny Glozier, Danny Smith, Jake Pooley, Matt Game (Capt.), Emiel Aiken, Jack Carlile, Neil Richmond
(Harry Cook, 67), Tony Martin, Jimmy Cook (Kurt Smith, 75): Subs: Ross Elsom, Joe Nightingill, Andy Edmunds
Booked: Glozier, Webb
Referee: D. Bonneywell
Assistant Referees: P. Wilson, R. Battye