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Cray Valley PM 2-0 Hythe Town
Cray Valley PM 2-0 Hythe Town

After a goal-less first half Cray Valley (PM) claimed the three points against Hythe Town.

In the first forty-five minutes, the visitors created a host of chances that they failed to convert. They paid for that when the Millers scored two second half goals to move up to third place in the Isthmian League South East division.

They should feel indebted to the work undertaken by groundsman Lee Higgins for making the pitch playable when virtually every other game in the area fell foul of the freezing weather conditions.

Jason Fregene had the first chance for Hythe with a close range shot that was saved brilliantly by Chris Lewington who pushed it onto the outside of the post and out. Fregene had another chance from the corner when meeting Jack Steventon’s header back, but he nodded it straight to Lewington.

Adam Coombes headed well wide for Cray Valley from Tom Chambers’ cross before Chambers and Ade Adeyemo stretched the Hythe defence only for Dan Bennett’s shot to be deflected wide.

Barney Williams showed great technique with a side on volley that flew into the side netting then Denzel Gayle looked to have a one-on-one, but Marcus Goldsmith got back to make a brilliant tackle.

Having got through that spell with their defence not breached Hythe created a string of opportunities. The first fell to captain Liam Smith but he drilled it wide when in a great position. Johan Caney-Bryan then headed wide from Frannie Collin’s dinked in free kick. Caney-Bryan was then sent through by Liam Smith, but he shot straight at Lewington.

Lewington made a block save as Caney-Bryan burst through again but none of his teammates had followed up to tuck home the rebound. Gayle drew a double save out of Steve Phillips at the other end before Carney-Bryan again went clear but his shot clipped the bar on its way over. 

Fregene’s low volley flew wide of the near post from Marvin Hamilton’s cross, Shad Ngandu shot well over from twenty five yards, and an under-hit back pass gave Caney-Bryan another chance that Lewington did well to save. 

As the first half came to a close Adeyemo’s shot was well wide before he had the last effort of the half but was thwarted by the legs of Phillips.

Hamilton drew a great save out of Lewington with a downward header at the start of the second half before the Millers had a great chance when Bennett rolled it past Phillips but not with enough power and Steventon got back to hook it off the line.

Midway through the second period, Cray Valley broke the deadlock, and this time Bennett made no mistake. Although his shot was central, it had too much power and Phillips was unable to keep it out.

James Jeffrey fired over for the visitors after a corner was not cleared before the Millers scored again. Coombes cruised forward before timing and weighting his pass perfectly to send Gayle clear of Marcus Goldsmith and he made no mistake with an excellent finish.

Collin hit a free kick over and Smith headed wide, but the visitors didn’t really threaten again.

Steve Watt will be looking for a quick rebound when Hythe visit East Grinstead on Tuesday night while the Millers remain unbeaten under Tommy Osborn and will be looking to extend the run at Littlehampton Town on Saturday.

Cray Valley (PM): Lewington, Black, Williams, Chambers, Nelson, Tumkaya, Gayle, Bennett (Ibrahiym 76), Adeyemo (Anau 83), Coombes, Samuels (Dymond 70).

Unused subs: Majek, Medhurst.

Goalscorers: Bennett (67), Gayle (77)

Yellow cards: Nelson

Hythe Town: S. Phillips, L. Smith, Goldsmith (Itauma 90+2), Steventon, Fregene, Allen, E. Smith (Jeffery 59), Hamilton, Caney-Bryan, Collin, Ngandu (Trespaderne 59).

Subs not used: Bancroft, M. Phiilips. 

Goal scorers: None

Yellow cards: Goldsmith, Trespaderne

Referee: Billy Woods

Assistants: Joseph Gray and Gary Baker

Attendance: 130 

Pictures supplied by Dave Budden.