The Snow and the Rain must have scared the crowds away, which was a shame because it was set up to be an interesting scrappy game due to the condition of the pitch. It wasn't exactly waterlogged but it was definitely boggy in the middle which slowed the game.
It showed as well, all the action for the first 10 mins or so was in the middle of the park. I thought though, that we were just coming out on top for the first half with the combination of Elbi, Ola and Pedulu all looking dangerous up front with the returning Alex Stavrinou making his very welcome presence felt in midfield.
Crays main threat was their number 9 who had strength and pace and looked dangerous when put through.
But we took the lead late in the half as the ball moved into Pedulu's path via Stavrinou, and struck home with power. 1-0 up at half time.
We should run away with this in the second half.
8 mins into the second half a nice exchange of passes between Stevenson and Stavrinou resulted in a penalty after it hit a Cray's man on the arm. Stavrinou stepped up and marked his return with a goal, footage of which done the rounds on twitter thanks to a well placed spectator.
That's it, cruise control. we've gotta get 4 or 5 now. right?
Cray however, got back into it after a mistake at the back. Stone got behind and beat Marrable to the ball and tapped it in. All respect to Junior Baker who openly took the blame for that one and apologised to all there, at the time and again at the end of the match.
Literally a minute later it was 2-2. Unbelievable Jeff!! Ahikodi had levelled it. How did this happen? We seemed to be running the show.
To be fair though, this sparked an exciting end to the game, and we attacked the Cray goal repeatedly with efforts from Elbi and Stevenson amongst the ongoing attack which kept Cray's keeper busy.
And then, in the last minute, the ball dropped to Sammy Knott, on for injured Matty Bakare, he whipped in a peach of a cross, and sliding in at the back post was Man of the Match Elbi to volley home.
Aveley 3 Cray 2.
3 points won. But we made hard work of it..
Hopefully we can build on this win. and try and get some consistency on the pitch.
Looking forward now to the next game away to them up the road...Thurrock