Watson proud of Cray Valley players
Watson proud of Cray Valley players

At the end of a wonderful campaign, Cray Valley PM rounded off their one hundredth season with a show-piece Wembley appearance.

Although defeat was hard to accept in the F.A. Vase Final with Chertsey Town, the Millers team put in a great shift and came so close to winning. Manager Kevin Watson said “Fine margins, isn’t it. We hit the crossbar with the last kick of the ninety minutes, as such, but there were two good teams out there.

They did a job but I thought that our boys did O.K. considering the occasion. We got four subs on as well as the eleven who started.

Yes, the objective was to win the game and the F.A. Vase and right now it’s tough to take but I think that in time to come they’ll realise what they’ve achieved.”

In the early stages the experienced Dale Binns and Lubomir Guentchev caused the Millers some problems but then they grew into the game. Watson explained “We started the game slowly and then we started to get information onto the pitch how we could be more threatening to them then we scored the goal.”

Unfortunately, they only held their lead for three minutes. Watson said “They say that your vulnerable when you score a goal and that was the case today.”

After the interval the Millers probably shaded the second period and were unfortunate when Anthony Edgars hit the bar with seconds remaining but Chertsey scored two in extra time to claim the spoils. Watson said “Over the course of the one hundred and twenty minutes they probably deserved to win.

What they do, they are very good at. I love my boys and my team and I wouldn’t prefer to be in their dressing room over mine. That’s no disrespect to them but it’s the connection I’ve got with them. I like them and I love working with them.”

Despite the defeat the experience has been invaluable. “It’s been great.” said Watson. “The lead up has been tough for people outside of the playing community. For the players it’s been O.K. It’s been relatively normal. They’ve been training.

In the hotel last night and coming in today, it’s been brilliant. We had a D.J. in the changing room, all the players names etc. It’s an absolutely phenomenal experience. There’s many professionals in the game that never get the experience of a day out at Wembley.”

Watson is aware that other clubs have been preparing for next season and that he and his management team are behind. “Now my work starts for next season. We’ve been promoted. We’re three weeks behind. Myself, Tommy Osborne and Kevin James, we need to get back to the drawing board.

We need to talk to the players about next season because we haven’t done that yet, then we’ll talk to the players that we may want to bring in. We have to move on quite quickly. It doesn’t stop. We’ll sit down and have a chat once the dust has settled.”

Picture supplied by Dave Budden.