Hollands & Blair 3-2 Cray Valley PM
Hollands & Blair 3-2 Cray Valley PM

Hollands & Blair turned the form book upside down with this for them important victory over title favourites Cray Valley, their first defeat in thirteen games this afternoon.

The game started with Cray on the front foot when in the 4th minute a corner to the back post saw Ashley Sains head over the bar then 3 minutes later a free kick into the area found Kevin Lisbie but from 10 yards his header went over the bar. In the 10th minute Blair took the lead against the run of play when Steve Ratcliffe’s free kick from 25 yards curled into the net.

This shook Cray, for the rest of the half they dominated possession. Ryan Nicholls was to be Blair’s hero as single handily kept the scoreline down. In the 21st minute Chris Edwards running forward slipped the ball forward for Anthony Edgar to run on to & from 10 yards his shot was saved by Nicholls legs, nine minutes later the ball ended up at Kevin Lisbie’s feet & from 10 yards again Nicholls legs saved the day but the ball came back & Lisbie got to the by-line & his low cross was side footed in by Francis Babalola from 3 yards.

In the 36th minute Edgar was put through, once in the area he tried to lob Nicholls but Nicholls just about got to it. Cray were now showing glimpse of why they are title favourites & going to Wembley, two minutes later Edwards free kick from 20 yards went just over the bar & then in the 40th minute Nicholls came to the rescue again when firstly Edgar on the edge of the area saw his shot come back off the cross bar, the ball came down for Babalola who headed goal wards from 3 yards but Nicholls pushed it around the post.

In the first minute off added on time Cray took a deserved lead when Daniel Gayle bamboozled Jason Fregene on the right & his low cross to the near post was flicked in by Babalola from 3 yards.

The second half started with a bang when in the 48th minute Ratcliffe received the ball on the left wing, his cross was handled by the defender and a penalty was given, up stepped Rob Denness, his low shot came back off the post and arrived at Harrison Pont’s feet, he shot into the area where Denness was and from 5 yards he shot home.

Cray were in shock after controlling the game but again they went forward looking for the winner, they had a few chances to take the lead, in the 56th minute Edwards on the left cut in & his shot from 20 yards was deflected for a corner. In the 74th minute a free kick to the back post saw Lea Dawson’s header saved by Nicholls.

Two minutes later Cray nearly did score when a ball on the edge of the area was knocked to the back post where Ryan Flack was but from 2 yards his shot was saved by Nicholls, what a game he was having.

The sting in the tail came in the 79th minute when Denness on halfway passed out wide for Harry Dawes who ran forward & then his low cross to the back post found Jack Simon who from 5 yards smashed home. The rest of the game saw Cray pour forward trying to get an equaliser but Blair held on for a famous victory.


Hollands & Blair:

  1. Nicholls 2. E.Morant   3. J.Fregene   4. R.Ibbertson (81)  5. C.Sedenu  6. S.Dampier  7. H.Pont
  2. J.Simon 9. H.Dawes  10. R.Denness  11. S.Ratcliffe (88)

Subs Used:  12. K.Sharp (81)  17. J.Mensah (88)

Subs Not Used:   14. J.Ascheri  15. J.Gallagher  16. T.Ajayi

Bookings:  11. S.Ratcliffe (82)  7. H.Pont (89)

Cray Valley Paper Mills:

  1. Blendall       2. B.Potter   3. C.Edwards  4. L.Hickey  5. A.Sains  6. L.Dawson  7. A.Edgar (79)
  2. P.Semakula 9. F.Bablola (73)   10. K.Lisbie  11. D.Gayle (73)

Subs Used:  12. G.Tomlin (73)  15. R.Flack (73)  14. C.Willock (79)

Subs Not Used:  16. J.James  17. T.Myers

Bookings: None

Referee:  Mr V.Aknene

Assistants: Mr W.Horsfall    &   Mr B.Baker