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Smith: ‘It will be a tough game’
Smith: ‘It will be a tough game’

Cray Wanderers head West this weekend in the Isuzu FA Trophy looking for an upset as the Isthmian Premier side travel to National League South side Weston-Super-Mare with boss Neil Smith calling on his side to continue their unbeaten run in Somerset. 

The Wands travel West with the boss knowing his charges are in for a tough afternoon as he explained to us this week. “After we beat Chesham on the Sunday in the last round, we were all hoping the draw the next day would give us a nice home draw and maybe a local derby! A Dartford or maybe a Welling or someone like that,” Smith hoped, “but we get Weston which could not really be much further away!

“But it is a National League South side and I do not think they are doing too well at the moment. We know it will be a tough game, but we will travel with a little bit of confidence with nothing to lose!” 

“We have said to the players that games like this are good tests for us on how far we have come. It is really the same as when we play the Hornchurch’s – how far away are we from Hornchurch who are a side going for it this season!

“It’s going to be exactly the same on Saturday; they are a team from a division above who have had some really good players in the past! I know when we played against them when I was at Bromley, Ollie Watkins was playing for them and look at him now! They play and produce good young players, but we are hoping we are going to catch them at the right time!” 

Cray go into their long trip on the back of a good run with their latest triumph being a 1-0 win over Carshalton last weekend – a result that really pleased the manager as he told us, “It was a great result and a great performance from the boys,” he admitted.

“We are slowly and hopefully trying to get that little bit of consistency that we have been looking for since the start of the season. We are a new team and a new squad of players and with a few injuries that we have had, people have come in and filled the gaps and are doing great at the moment. We know that we have still got a lot of work to do but Saturday was a great result against a very good Carshalton side!” 

“We won the game from a set play which was good to see as a coach – I think it came off Gary Lockyer in the end, but we will take it however it comes.

“It was very tight, they like to have possession, so we encouraged them to do that and tried to hit them on the break and one stage could have gone two-nil up, they could have come back to one all, but it was a good entertaining game for the neutral.” 

“Truthfully, I do not like those types of games as a manager to be honest, but we knew we were up against a very strong side who are looking to get in the Play Offs this year who are riding on the crest of a wave. So, to get that result after a good result the week before against Wingate & Finchley was brilliant!

“That is back-to-back wins now against Play Off fancied teams now. We’ve lost once now since we were beaten by Hornchurch and that was probably our worst performance of the season (at Kingstonian), we’re working hard, we’re sticking together and whilst we’re enjoying a nice little run, we have to make sure that we have a good month this month and into December to give ourselves a chance to clear the relegation zone which we’re still too close too and the start getting further up the table!” 

“We took a few knocks in the game so not playing midweek will hopefully help us. Weston are a good side and there are some of our supporters coming on the train with us and we will have a nice little following from “The Cray Massive” and hopefully we will give them something to cheer about for making the long journey with us!”