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Cray Wanderers 1-1 Concord Rangers
Cray Wanderers 1-1 Concord Rangers

Two second half goals saw Cray Wanderers and Concord Rangers share the points in this Isthmian League Premier Division game at Hayes Lane on Sunday afternoon that took a while to get going, but then provided some good entertainment.  

The match got off to a cagey start with The Wands creating the first chance when Dabid Ijaha had shot saved by Mason Terry at his near post.

From there Rangers had a couple of efforts on goal, but Shaun Rowley made saves from Amine Sassi & Matas Skarna.

Tom Beere went close for Cray soon after with a 20 yard drive that just went over the bar and Gary Lockey then had a shot from range saved by Terry after a poor clearence.

With The Wands looking the more dangerous Ellis Brown broke done the left and sent a shot across goal that skidded narrowly wide, before Beere played in Alfie Evans who was also denied by Terry in the visitors’ goal.

Simo Mbonkwi headed over for Concord after a quick free kick routine down the left and they nearly took the lead right on the break when an attempted clearance from Emmanuel Kwtchey deflected back off Ijaha, but Rowley made a superb one handed save to claw away the ball to safety.                    

The second half started with Cray looking more positive, Lockyer had a free kick saved by Terry and Evans headed wide from a Frankie Raymond free kick.

Beere was next to be denied by the Concord keeper who then managed to pounce on the rebound under pressure from Rhys Murrell-Williamson.

With The Wands still pressing going into the hour mark, Beere set up Brown who hit the post from the edge of the area. Lockyer and Murrell-Wlliamson had shot blocked in the area as the visitors dug in and Terry then made another save from Lockyer.

Then with their first effort on goal in the second half, Concord Rangers took the lead. A superb deep cross from Max Hudson on the left was headed home at the far post by Ricky Modeste to make it 0-1 and stun the home side.

Cray rallied again from there as the game developed more physical edge with Mbonkwi being booked for what looked like an elbow on Raymond when challenging for a header in midfield.

The Wands pressure finally paid off on 77 minutes when sub Anthony Cook saw a shot handled in the area and Referee Hathway pointed to the spot for a penalty. Cook stepped up and coolly side footed the ball home to make it 1-1 sending Terry the wrong way.

Concord then had a brief spell of pressure, Harrison Day volleying wide, before The Wands finished the game strongly.

Yahya Bamba played in Lockyer who took the ball round Terry, but just too wide and he hit the side netting from a tight angle.

Bamba then did almost exactly the same soon after following a quick passing move and right on the final whistle Cray had a shoot for another penalty when Bamba went down under a heavy challenge in the area, but the appeals were waved away and the points were shared. 

Cray move up to sixteenth with the draw, while Concord and twentieth, but with several games in hand on the teams around them. The Wands now travel to eighteenth place Cheshunt on Saturday with Neil Smith’s men looking to make further moves away from the bottom four.                         

CWFC – Rowley, Kwatchey, Iajah, Bonner, Wood, Evans, Raymond, Brown (Hallard 62), Beere (Cook 64), Murrell-Williamson (Bamba 73), Lockyer.

Subs Not Used: Black, Brooke. 

CRFC – Terry, Halsey, Halsey, Hudson. Mbonkwi, Apat, Allen, Modeste, Bland (Haysman 58), Day, Sasi (Steward 90), Skarna (Lusa Adama 63).

Subs not Used: Burton, Knott. 

Goals: Wands – Cook 77pen. Rangers: Modeste 66mins.  

HT 0-0 FT 1-1 

Att: 239