Cray Wanderers 4-2 Tonbridge Angels
Cray Wanderers 4-2 Tonbridge Angels

Cray Wanderers put on an impressive display to win this Kent Derby pre-season game against National League South Tonbridge at Hayes Lane on Saturday lunchtime, with young striker Freddie Parker notching a hat Trick.

Cray started the brighter with two trialists combining before the No 11 on the wing fired wide across the goal. Angels’ Alex Read headed over soon after, but The Wands carried on looking stronger and went in front on 7 minutes  when Barney Williams crossed for Freddie Parker to head home from ten yards out.

From there Joe Taylor had a shot saved by Jon Henly after a quick turn in the box, prior to Cray making it 2-0 on 17 minutes when Parker made a strong run from deep before unleashing an unstoppable shot past Henly to make it 2-0. Tony Russell’s side had the better possession and  had the best spells of pressure with the No11 trialist having an effort saved and Tom Phipp firing just over from distance.

Cray’s Keeper Lewis Carey made a fine stop when faced with Read one on one, with Tom Carlse blocking the rebound to keep Tonbridge out. The Angels created a couple of half chances late on, but right the the break Williams crossed for Carlse, but his header was well saved by Henly.

The second half saw Cray start well again, trialist No.16 headed against the bar, and Carlse had a low drive saved by Henly. Then the very promising trialist at No.11 turned and ran at pace before he was floored in the box to win The Wands a penalty on 58 minutes, which Taylor coolly clipped into the corner of the net to make it 3-0.

Tonbridge rallied from there and pulled a goal back on the hour when Jared Small set up Tom Derry to finish past Carey. Taylor had a goal ruled out for offside after a great passing move and Mitchell Nelson saw a deft flick from a corner saved low down at the foot of the post by Henly.

The visitors found themselves just a goal behind soon after when a bizarre handball decision saw The Angels awarded a penalty, Cray’s trialist centre back appeared to have blocked a cross with his body, but after the appeals Chinedu McKenzie slotted home.

Parker, desperately in search of a hat trick, had a free kick saved before the visitors wasted their best chance to equalise when Josh Stira fired over when well placed.

The No11 for Cray went close again after combing well with Carlse, before McKenzie was denied by Carey at the other end. The final word was left to Parker who scored his third goal in the final minute when he hit a low free kick from distance which skipped past Henly to make it 4-2 on the final whistle.

This was a really entertaining game and a good work out for both sides, with The Wands looking to have picked up picked right up where they left off last season, playing some great attacking football.

Cray: Carey, Williams, Carlse, Leader, Nelson, Phipp, Frederico, Trialist, Taylor, Parker, Trialist. Subs: Trialist, Trialist, Spencer, Lewis, Etumnu.

Tonbridge: Henly, Parter, Theobolds, Miles, Bray, Small, Brewer, Derry, Read, Turner, Da Costa, Smith, McKenzie, Bentley, Overndon, Henry, Harris, Stira.

Goals: Wands – Parker 7, 17, 90mins, Taylor 58pen. Angels – Derry 60mins, McKenzie 68mins.

Ref: Mr Paull Agboola