CHATHAM TOWN vs CRAY WANDERERS
Ryman League Division One North: Game 25
Chatham Town 1
Cray Wanderers 0
A late goal sent the Wands down to defeat in a Kent Derby on a cold afternoon at Chatham Town. The match was extremely scrappy at times but Chatham created the better chances and could possibly have won by more goals but for better finishing.
The Wands made one change to the starting line up to the side that played well to draw with Harlow last Sunday with Shaun Welford starting the game for Adrian Stone.
The first half was a rather dull affair with only a handful of chances created. The first real chance came in the 22nd minute when after some poor defending from the Wands Greg Benbow was through on goal but his shot was on target but well saved by Darren Behcet. A few moments later Laurence Collins’ free kick from the left of the area just a needed a touch from the onrushing Junior Kaffu but just couldn’t get to the ball.
Cray showed for the first time in attack with a good passing move which led to Frank Griffin’s ball in being hit wide on the half-volley by Tyrone Berry.
The best chance of the half came on 32 minutes when Joe Loft cleverly played in Benbow who hit an excellent shot from just outside the area which was matched with a great save from Behcet who got a good hand to the ball to palm it wide for a corner. The resulting corner caused consternation at the back but the ball was cleared. Behcet also did well moments later when Kaffu’s shot was parried away and then cleared.
For Cray there were mostly half chances. Hussein Isa’s free kick from the right was turned wide by Welford who was slightly off balance as he looked to shoot. Before the break Berry tested Chatham keeper Tom Wellham with a shot on target which the keeper did well to hold and just before the break Cesc Fakinos shot well wide.
Half Time: 0-0
The second half was a better game and Cray started the second half well and within a couple a minutes Ben Hunt found his way inside the box down the right and his shot was pushed wide by Wellham for a corner. From the corner Alex Stavrinou lashed a shot over the crossbar.
From here though Chatham started to take more of a grip of the game and Jamie Taylor had a shot cleared away and then Lewis Knight flicked the ball wide from a throw in.
The home side came close to scoring when the Cray defence couldn’t clear their lines and Loft played the ball across the goal via a deflection to Benbow whose shot was blocked heroically by Dmitri Larin on the line.
Cray had a brief respite in the game and from Stavrinou’s corner Max Fitzgerald headed over the crossbar.
Then substitute Laurent Hamici did well down the left side his cross shot just evaded a touch in the penalty area.
Chatham then had two great chances on 75 minutes to score. First Collins’s cross was somehow headed wide in front of goal by Richard Davies. Then almost straight away a cross from Matt Solly was shot over the cross bar inside the six yard box by substitute Anthony Carlton.
Chatham continued to look the more likely winners in the last ten minutes and a long range shot from Benbow was deflected for a corner. From the corner in the 82nd minute Chatham took the lead when Solly’s kick was played onto Carlton whose header from just inside the area was heading for the bottom left corner and although the ball was cleared by Stavrinou the ball had clearly crossed the line and the goal was correctly given.
From here Chatham comfortably saw out the remainder of the match and Cray couldn’t really complain about the final result.
Cray: Darren Behcet, Frank Griffin, Steve Springett, Dmitri Larin, Max Fitzgerald, Alex Stavrinou (Capt.), Cesc Fakinos, Hussein Isa (Laurent Hamici, 64), Shaun Welford (Kery Kedze, 64), Ben Hunt (Adrian Stone, 87), Tyrone Berry: Subs: Nathan Simpson, CJ Williams
Chatham: Tom Wellham, Richard Davies, Laurence Collins, Jamie Taylor, Liam Hickey, Lewis Hickey, Joe Loft (Austin Edwards, 90+2), Corey Holder, Junior Kaffu (Anthony Carlton, 66), Matt Solly, Greg Benbow: Subs: Veejay Miller, Lee Kidman, Kane Phillip
Booked: Hickey, Knight
Referee: Ollie Jackson
Assistants: Ricky Adams, Alex Clark