KSN are proud to support:

Smith knows what he wants from Cray
Smith knows what he wants from Cray

Two wins and a draw in their last three games has seen Cray Wanderers move ten points clear of the Isthmian Premier drop zone and with another “six-pointer” against Concord Rangers to come at Hayes Lane on Sunday, manager Neil Smith knows exactly what he wants from his side. 

“Until we get to the “safety-mark” which people are saying could be as many as forty-three points – which for us is four more wins out of the rest of the season – until we get that, I will class it that we are in the fight,” the Cray boss told KSN this week.

“What you don’t do is take your eye off the ball thinking that we’re safe as I’ve seen it happen where all of a sudden, a few games down the line and you haven’t picked up the points that you thought you would and should have picked up and other teams have sending you back in it again!”

“So, we are not out of it, but seven points from the last nine has given us the base to work from!” 

Cray go into this weekend after coming from two down effectively in stoppage time to grab a point at Folkestone. “It was an amazing game.” Smith said.

“I told the boys that we should have been one up after five minutes. It was a scrappy game due to the conditions and the pitch itself and they score, for me, against the run of play from a free kick that we should have defended better!” 

“We came in at half time and we made a couple of changes; ten minutes into the second half and we are looking comfortable, and the keeper makes two great saves to be fair.”

“They then go up the other end and score from a corner. With minutes left, I bring on a sixteen-year-old (George Brooke) who is doing really well in our youth team, and everybody got lifted.”

“We got a goal in the last minute; they get a player sent off and then the official puts up eight minutes of added time! We go for it and score in the last-minute shows resilience, courage, and character from all my players!” 

That comeback came after Wanderers won at Carshalton at the weekend and Smith told us, “Looking back to Tuesday the conditions were awful for both teams and there were things we did really well on Saturday that we did not do on Tuesday until the last twenty minutes.”

“After the result, it is a great one because both teams are trying to get away from the relegation zone, but it did really feel like another win after the game.” 

“The point could end up being valuable to both of us,” Smith continued.

“They will probably be more disappointed than we are after winning 2-0 and you concede in the last minute! We have been there this season, and it is so demoralising, but what they would not have wanted was for us to have won the game, as we did not want them to!” 

Concord provides the opposition on Sunday currently third from bottom of the table and fifteen points behind Smith’s side.

“It’s a massive game for both of us again,” he said. “Both teams are still fighting to get out of it – it is a Sunday game which gives our players an extra day to recover after Tuesday.”

“It is another difficult game – it is a must win game as we are at home, and they are the games that you have to win.”

“You must win your home games – if you draw the away ones then that normally sees you OK. We have got a few boys coming back from injuries and so we should have a bigger squad to pick from.” 

Picture supplied by Jon Hilliger.