Cray Wanderers 8-0 Horsham
Cray Wanderers 8-0 Horsham

Cray Wanderers breezed into the 1st Qualifying Round of the FA Trophy with a crushing victory against Horsham at Hayes Lane.

The two sides had met last Saturday in the Bostik South with the Wands winning 3-0 and they carried on where they left off with a stunning first half display which gave Cray a 5-0 lead at the break.  A sixth minute curler from Aaron Rhule gave Cray a tremendous start and went two up in the 22nd minute with Jerome Federico’s first goal for the club.

Marcus Evans who today signed for the club on contract made it 3-0 in the 28th minute, his third goal for the club before a Michael Power brace in the 32nd and 39th minutes put Cray well in command.

The second half saw a fine display from substitute Freddie Parker who grabbed a hat-trick, first scoring on the hour with a penalty and then added two more classy finishes in the 73rd and 78th minutes to give Cray their biggest ever victory in the FA Trophy.

Cray came into the game on the back of a four game winning run in league and cups and beat Phoenix Sports 3-1 on Wednesday night to move up to 7th in the league table whilst visitors Horsham won 2-1 at Shoreham on Tuesday evening to put them in good heart.

Tony Russell was able to name an unchanged side from the one which beat Phoenix and in fairness to Horsham they were never really able to get going and Cray got off to a fast start.

They almost took the lead in the 3rd minute when Aaron Rhule’s left wing cross to the far post was fired wide by Jerome Federico.

Cray though took the lead in the 6th minute when Fedrico won a corner down the right.  Karl Dent played a short corner to Rhule who from the right of the penalty area curled a superb shot past Michael Hunter.

Horsham had to come out and play and had a bit more of the play after that but the nearest they came to scoring was when Scott Kirkwood’s cross came to Josh Street but his effort was blocked by Lea Dawson.

A second Cray goal was coming though and it arrived in the 22nd minute.  From another right wing corner from Dent his cross to the far post was nodded back by Jay Leader into the area and Dawson nudged the ball out to Federico on the edge of the box who hit a first time shot which beat Hunter’s dive and into the bottom right corner of the net.

Horsham threatened from a free kick from Darren Budd floated in and Charlie Farmer headed wide.

Cray were deadly in everything they did in attack and in the 28th minute were awarded a free kick 20 yards from goal out on the right.   Dent whipped in a cross to the far post where Evans got in front of Stephen Metcalf to steer the ball into the net for his third goal this season against Horsham.

Incredibly after 32 minutes, Cray scored again when the ever impressive Dean Carpenter found Dent who played a pass out to Rhule down the left who whipped in a cross which Michael Power got to before Hunter to fire in his eighth goal in just four and a half games

Horsham tried to get back into it but from a free kick the ball was played to Kirkwood who shot over the bar but they were starting to look a well beaten side.

It was 5-0 in the 39th minute with another well worked goal, this time Dent who was involved in all five goals found Federico out on the right with a tremendous pass who made a strong run to the edge of the area and his shot was pushed out by Hunter but only as far as Power who stabbed home his second of the game.

Before half time Cray almost scored a sixth and Dent a goal he would have deserved but down the left clipped a cross shot just wide of goal.   Cray though would go into the break with the comfort of a five goal lead and after a quite exceptional display of football showing qualities at both ends of the pitch.

Half Time:  5-0

Cray were able to rest Michael Power for the second half with Freddie Parker getting a full 45 minute run out.  The Wands did suffer a blow five minutes into the half when Dent was crudely fouled by Kirkwood and had to come off and was replaced by Michael Frieter.

The game as a contest was done and dusted and much of the intensity of the game had gone but on the hour Cray were awarded a penalty when Federico down the right used his great pace to go past Farmer and his ball across hit the outstretched hand of Kirkwood inside the area.  Up stepped Parker who coolly slotted home to make it 6-0 with still half an hour to go.

Cray kept going forward and from a free kick on the left of the penalty area, Frieter curled a shot wide.  Then from another free kick out on the right, Frieter’s ball into the box found Evans but just couldn’t steer the ball towards goal.

Nick Blue who had little to do all afternoon saves wise finally was called into action when from a free kick, Kirkwood’s 30 yard free kick was well gathered by the Cray keeper.

The seventh goal came in the 73rd minute when Carpenter played the ball down the line to Federico who once again proved too quick for the Horsham defence, and burst past Farmer to square the ball to Parker who turned the ball in from four yards.

Five minutes later, Cray scored their eighth and Parker’s third when the ball was played to the edge of the area and Parker with great assurance and confidence placed the ball wide of Hunter.

The last few minutes saw a flurry of activity with for Horsham, Michael Waller got down the left and played the ball across to Joe Shelley whose effort was blocked by Leader.  Then Frieter fired over the top for Cray whilst Waller tested Blue with a half volley.

The final action came for Cray with Fedrico’s cross finding Rhule who shot wide but Cray had already done what they had to do and looked a very confident side and played some of the finest football from a Cray side ever at Hayes Lane.  Although Horsham didn’t really do themselves or their excellent supporters justice, Cray still had to do what they had to do and did so brilliantly.

Cray now can prepare for four league matches before the next round of the competition with a trip to Faversham Town on Tuesday night before returning to Hayes Lane next Saturday for the visit of Corinthian Casuals.

Many of those Cray supporters present today would have gone home very well satisfied by what  they had seen and this team seems to be getting better and better.

Cray Wanderers: Nick Blue, Barney Williams, Dean Carpenter, Jay Leader, Marcus Evans, Lea Dawson (Capt,) (Mitchell Nelson, 63), Zak Henry, Karl Dent (Michael Frieter, 50), Michael Power (Freddie Parker, HT), Aaron Rhule, Jerome Federico:  Subs:  Kyron Lightfoot, Ken Charles

Booked:  Dawson

Horsham: Michael Hunter, Jack Hartley, Steve Metcalf (Capt.), James Thurgar (Alex Duncan,  Darren Budd (Capt.), Charlie Farmer, Joe Shelley, Scott Harris (Michael Waller, 57), Josh Street, Scott Kirkwood, Tom Lawley

 Booked:  Harris, Budd, Kirkwood, Duncan               

 Referee: David Harrison

Assistant Referees:   Joseph Gray, Christopher Cooper


Att: 124