Worthing v Cray Wanderers

Isthmian Premier – Saturday 4th December, 2021 – Match Report

Worthing                                            2

Pearce 32 , Barker 43

Cray Wanderers                                0

Cray Wanderers final away league game of 2021 ended in defeat as Isthmian Premier League leaders Worthing completed a league double over the Wands for the season with two goals in the latter stages of the first half.

 On a chilly afternoon, after a fairly cagey start to the game Worthing showed their qualities to take the lead in the 32nd minute when Ollie Pearce tapped in from a Reece Myles-Meekums cross.   Cray came close to scoring through Chris Dickson shortly after but two minutes before half time Worthing scored what proved to be a vital second when Jesse Starkey’s fine cross to the far post was headed in by Daniel Barker as Worthing extended their lead at the top to five points while Cray move down one place to 21st.

Danny Kedwell’s side came into the game unbeaten in three and from the side which drew with Bowers & Pitsea on Tuesday night into the side came Dean Beckwith, Kasim Aidoo & Andy Drury for Tom Hanfrey, Cameron Brodie and Jamie Yila.  

The first half began with plenty of early sparring but an intriguing game with plenty of solid commitment. Jack Turner had to be alert as twice Aarran Racine threatened from set pieces and claimed the ball each time.  There was a moment of class in the 6th minute as the ground broke into a minutes applause in memory of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes whose young life was so tragically taken away from him at the hands of those supposedly caring for him as parents/step-parents.

There was an early blow for Cray when Fjord Rogers picked up an early knock and was replaced by Adam Coombes.

 Cray had half openings when firstly, a free kick from Andy Drury out on the right floated into the box was glanced off target by Coombes.  Then Chris Dickson found Freddy Barton down the right and his ball across was knocked behind by Joel Colbran as Coombes looked to get on the end of the cross.  Then Reason set up Dickson whose shot from distance was deflected through to Harrison Male.

Worthing created their best early opening in the 24th minute when Reece Myles-Meekums set up Dayshonne Golding who scored the winner the last time the two sides met in August and his shot flew over the top.

Then Oliver Starkey down the right put a fine cross into the box from close to the right byline which deflected off Barton and was claimed on the line by Turner.

Worthing were just starting to turn up the heat and in the 32nd minute went ahead with a well worked goal when Jesse Starkey played a great ball through to Myles-Meekums down the left and as Turner came to narrow the angle played a fine ball into the six yard box where Ollie Pearce scored his 16th goal of the season from five yards.

In the 38th minute Cray almost levelled with their best opening of the half when Anthony Cook in midfield played a ball through to Dickson and from just outside the right of the area fired over the top.

Worthing almost scored a second straight after but Turner did superbly to block Golding’s close range shot from another Myles-Meekums cross.  At the other end Reason saw a shot blocked.

With two minutes to go to the interval, Worthing scored a second goal which came from a short corner down the right and Jesse Starkey did well to hoist over a great cross from the right of the area towards the far post and Danny Barker was on hand to head in from a couple of yards out.

HT:      2-0

The chill of the game got much stronger in the second half and there weren’t too many chances to speak of as Worthing perhaps with a grip on the game with the second goal seemed to perhaps drop a couple of gears.  They did have an early snap shot from Myles-Meekums which went wide.

It wasn’t through a lack of trying for Cray and once again the youngsters in the side especially Barton, Aidoo and Sam Skeffington who had a fine game kept on going but just ouldn’t create that one big chance to trouble Harrison Male.

Worthing almost scored a third in the 65th minute with another well-worked move as Jesse Starkey found Myles-Meekums down the left and his ball to the far post found Pearce but Turner did brilliantly once more to push the ball behind for a corner.

Cray won a couple of corners and had one or two free kicks in dangerous positions they couldn’t make anything of and Jamie Yila and Daniel Uchechi both came on during the last twenty minutes.


For Worthing, Marvin Armstrong down the left made a run into the area and Turner came to smother the ball while at the other end, Aidoo put over a great cross which Yila just couldn’t get on the end of.

 Yila’s introduction added a touch of extra pace to the Wands side and gave the Worthing defence more to think about.  Cray’s best chance of the half came five minutes from time when from a Cook corner down the right the ball into the box was glanced wide by Yila.

 Cray had kept on going and worked hard but couldn’t find a goal in the minutes that remained and Worthing who had been beaten in their last league game two weeks ago extended their lead at the top to five points after Enfield Town were beaten at home by Folkestone.  After the unfortunate circumstances of the last couple of seasons I’m not sure anyone would begrudge Worthing promotion this season and Adam Hinshelwood’s have found a way of winning over the last three seasons which is a great habit to have.

Cray, now need to move on to another crucial game at home to another side in good form Horsham on Wednesday night in 21st place and looking to climb away from the bottom as we come close to the end of 2021.

Worthing:       Harrison Male, Joel Colbran, Cameron Tutt (Will Seager, 77), Luca Cocorrachio, Aarran Racine, Danny Barker, Reece Myles-Meekums, Oliver Starkey (Marvin Armstrong, 67), Dayshonne Golding (Callum Kealey, 67), Oliver Pearce, Jesse Starkey: Subs: Thomas Chalaye, Patrick Webber   

Scorers:         Pearce 32, Barker 43

Booked:         Colbran

Cray Wanderers:       Jack Turner, Freddy Barton, Dean Beckwith, Richie Danquah, Kasim Aidoo, Andy Drury (Daniel Uchechi, 75), Jai Reason, Sam Skeffington, Anthony Cook, Fjord Rogers (Adam Coombes, 13), Chris Dickson (Jamie Yila, 70): Subs: Marvin McCoy, Tom Hanfrey

Booked:         Coombes      

Referee:         Robert Ablitt

Assistants:    Nicholas Mason, Thomas Copping           

Att:      879