Cray Wanderers 4-2 VCD Athletic
Cray Wanderers 4-2 VCD Athletic

Cray moved to one point behind the leaders Lewes by winning a six goal thriller of a local derby at Hayes Lane on Wednesday night against a VCD side who will be disappointed not to have taken something from the game.

The Wands started the match looking to attack with Brandon Scott setting up debutant Charlie MacDonald who shot wide.

Karl Dent went close soon after before Jerome Frederico crossed for Scott whose close range volley was brilliantly saved by Joe Mant.

From there the game flowed from end to end with VCD’s Kemo Darboe putting a chance inches wide connecting with a cross on the volley.

Lea Dawson set up Frederico who saw his shot saved by Mant down at the near post and Jay Leader put a header wide from a corner.

Going into the break Dent and Scott both went close for Cray, while Jeffrey Imudia drove the ball narrowly wide from the edge of the box for the visitors.

The second half saw Cray come out attacking again, Scott went on a powerful run before setting up Frederico who was again denied by Mant.

The opening goal finally came on 47 minutes when Dent received the ball on the edge of the area and hit a low drive into the far corner for 1-0 to The Wands.

Ben Mundele put a curling effort just off target, before VCD equalised on 52 minutes when Siao Blackwood ended a great run through midfield with a powerful finish to make it 1-1.

Cray’s all round team effort was typified by Frederico who ran all of 20 yards to close down Mant and managed to divert the keeper’s clearance off for a throw on.

On the hour mark Athletic took the lead when Leader was judged to have fouled Aymin El-Moyhalbel and Referee Goldsmith awarded the visitors a penalty.

Warren Mfula converted the spot kick and it looked like Cray’s unbeaten run of 20 league games could be coming to an end especially when Blackwood hit a powerful low drive which looked to be going in before Nick Blue brilliantly tipped the ball round his near post.

Dawson hit the post for Cray soon after and Cray manager Tony Russell then brought on Dean Carpenter to strengthen the midfield as they looked to control the game more.

Leader had a header saved from a corner, Blackwood went close for VCD before the final fifteen minutes saw The Wands take the initiative.

Mundele forced a double save from Mant and MacDonald had his effort from the rebound cleared off the line before the home side finally drew level on 78 minutes.

Mundele put in a dipping cross from out wide, which caught out the VCD defence and was turned over the line by MacDonald from six yards out.

With VCD looking rattled Frederico crossed for MacDonald who headed over and as The Wands piled on the pressure they eventually went ahead on 82 minutes when right back Mundele hit a superb 30 yard curling effort that dipped over Mant and dropped just inside the far post to make it 3-2 in spectacular fashion.

Cray sealed the win on 88 minutes when sub Ralique Lawrence cut in from the left, ran along the by-line and pulled the ball back for MacDonald to poke the ball home from close range with his second goal in his first game.

In injury time Blackwood ran clear of the home defence, but he slid the ball just the wrong side of the post and for Cray the game was won.

This was a superb game of football, VCD certainly didn’t look like a team near the bottom of the table and Cray showed all the character, talent and hard work that has put then second in the table and pushing for promotion.


Cray: Blue, Mundele, Williams, Leader, Mitchell, Frederico, Dent (Freiter 84), Dawson, Henry (Carpenter 63), Scott (Lawrence 84), MacDonald.

Subs Not Used: Power, Evans.

VCD: Mant, Imudia, Awoi, Baker, Smith, Blackwood, Adebayo, Gordon, Darboe (Martin 75), Mfula, El-Moyhalbel (Kamara 83).

Subs Not Used: Gorbell, Brown, Ajeon.

Att:  130

HT 0-0 FT 4-2

Ref: Mr M Goldsmith