Whitstable Town 1-1 Cray Valley PM
Whitstable Town 1-1 Cray Valley PM

For the third time in the last five matches, Cray Valley (PM) snatched a crucial injury time goal when it was needed.

Following Sam Hasler’s dramatic equaliser at Whyteleafe in The Milers last league outing, and Francis Babalola’s Cup clincher at Maidenhead United, Rory Hill’s crisp right footed drive wrested what could be a crucial point from The Oystermen.

But while his side took a share of the spoils at The Belmont Ground, what must be of concern to manager Kevin Watson is his side’s form in the immediate aftermath of Cup success.

With the stunning 5-1 success at Harrow Borough being followed by home defeat to Faversham Town, and the win over Aveley by FA Trophy elimination at Whyteleafe, Valley struggled to create much in the way of scoring opportunities in this game after falling behind in the 2nd minute.

The game’s first attack of note saw the ball played through to Oystermen striker “TJ” Jadama on the right hand edge of the penalty area – his curling shot beating Joe Docherty’s flailing left hand.

In what was never a “dirty” game, referee Graeme Ions bemused players and supporters of both sides by handing out a total of EIGHT yellow cards, although he probably made a rod for his own back with the early caution of Miller man Matt Warren for a “tug” on an opposition shoulder.

As the visitors got into the game, Town wasted no time in running down the clock – delaying tactics starting as early as the 18th minute.

Despite a plethora of long, ranging cross-field passes from the impressive Sam Hasler, what was concerning was a lack of creativity from the visitors – Denzel Gayle’s clever back-flick which was saved by keeper Dan Eason being the only chance of note in the first half.

After Kieron McMahon’s excellent 18 yard drive ricocheted off Eason’s crossbar on the hour, Valley brought on 42 year old veteran Kevin Lisbie in search of a cutting edge.

With Whitstable posing an occasional threat through diminutive wide man Jay Hards, it looked as though the points were remaining in Kent until Hill intervened.

Babalola made a strong run across the Oystermen’s 18 yard line before passing to Hill on his right. The Millers 87th minute substitute’s low shot nestled in the bottom corner of Eason’s net – the returning midfielder’s first goal for the Club since February 2016 following his summer return.

MILLERS’ STAR MAN – Sam Hasler

MATCH RATING – **

OYSTERMEN : Eason, Kabamba, Mills, Girt, Miles (Thomas 75), Brown, Hards (James 82), L.Gillies, Millbank, Jadama, Flack (Aiyelabola 90)

Not Used : R.Gillies, Bryant

MILLERS : Docherty, Dymond, Smith, Tumkaya, Gayle (Hill 87), Babalola, McCann (King-Elliot 82), Hasler, Warren, Ibrahiym (Lisbie 63), Yusuff

Not Used : Farmer, Morath-Gibbs

Referee : Graeme Ions

Attendance: 271

Pic : Rory Hill celebrates his first Millers goal for 4 years

Full match photos by Dave Cumberbatch can be found at :-

https://1drv.ms/u/s!Aj6yke3nA_y2huEuMBu9jyhJ0FI0eg?e=dPjsbA



 
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