Ryman League Division One North: Game 34
Cray Wanderers 1
Piper 86 pen
A late Chris Piper penalty earned Cray a point against Cheshunt but may again feel this was another two points lost in a game the Wands largely controlled. On a sunny day in Hertfordshire the game only really came to life in the last half hour after a poor first hour of the contest.
There were two changes to the team the started the game at Soham Town last Saturday with Frank Griffin and Orlando Smith starting in place of Steve Springett and Alex Teniola.
As at Soham Cray started the game in lively fashion with Chris Piper going close with a shot that went wide after a couple of minutes. A few minutes later Warren Whitely hit a well struck shot which was held by keeper Richard Heywood.
Cray looked to fashion openings and forced a couple of corners but were quite often lacking that bit of killer instinct to shoot when well placed and opportunities went away.
The home side created their first opening on fifteen minutes when Josh Fagbohun set up Adam Bolle who from just outside the area shot over the top. Shortly after Dean Gardikioitis pushed away a cross shot from Fagbohun from the right of the area.
Smith and Simpson then combined to set up Adrian Stone who connected with a half hit volley which went straight to Heywood.
The game then went through a period when both teams struggled to keep the ball and was given away regularly. The last attempt before half time came from the Wands when Smith hit a shot which went well over the crossbar. The Wands had one or two corners and free kicks which came to nothing as that little bit of quality with the final ball was all that Cray were lacking in a half the Wands slightly had the better of.
Half Time: 0-0
The second half opened up a bit more but Cray still looked the better side and were unlucky not to score when Smith worked his way down the right and laid the ball across to Rory Hill who hit a fine shot which went just over the top.
As the game approached the hour completely out of the blue the home side took the lead. Cray had a free kick close to goal but the ball was cleared up field and substitute Ben Andreos ran on and as Gardikiotis advanced clipped the ball neatly into the net.
Cray were very unfortunate not to level with a bit a skill out of keeping with the game. Piper and Smith combined to set up Whitely who fired in a shot which cannoned back off the crossbar 20 yards from goal.
With Cray looking to get back into the game naturally more opportunities started to come Cheshunt’s way and Ted Llewellyn’s free kick was flicked wide by Dave Kendall. They then had a great chance to seal the game when Andreos set up Bolle who dragged a shot wide when well placed. The same player also shot wide from Marcus Milner’s lay off.
Just when it seemed time was running out for the Wands, they got back into the game when Smith showed great strength and pace to force his way through the Cheshunt centre halves to advance on goal. As he looked to go round Heywood he was sent sprawling in the area and the referee had no alternative than to give a penalty. The keeper could possibly consider himself extremely fortunate not to be sent off but was only shown a yellow card.
After what was quite a lengthy delay Chris Piper showed great composure to tuck his spot kick into the bottom right to level the scores in the 86th Minute.
The game then went through a bad tempered little phase before the home side pushed
forward in the last few minutes and put the Wands under some pressure with Andreos coming closest with a shot that was blocked.
In the end the game finished in a 1-1 draw which remains to be seen if this was a valuable point gained or an opportunity for three points lost. Cray now have two difficult games to come with a visit to Wroxham on Tuesday evening before we entertain leaders Needham Market next Saturday. There are still twelve games to go and plenty of points available so there is still a lot to play for.
Cray: Dean Gardikiotis, Frank Griffin (Moses Ashikodi, 67), Nathan Simpson, Cesc Fakinos, Nick Humphrey (Capt.), Max Fitzgerald, Warren Whitely, Chris Piper, Adrian Stone (Alex Teniola, 74), Orlando Smith, Rory Hill: Subs: Steve Springett, Alex Gardikiotis, Connor Ives
Booked: Hill, Ashikodi
Cheshunt: Richard Heywood, Joe Clemo, Ted Llewellyn (Capt.), Lewis Payne (Jamie Smith, H/T), Matt Toms, Dave Kendall, Luke Illsley, Mitch Hann, Adam Bolle, Josh Fagbohun (Ben Andreos, 53), Marcus Milner: Subs: James Edgerley, Allen Bossman, Andrew Folan
Booked: Payne, Heywood
Referee: Craig Pullen
Assistants: Richard Carter, Kennedy Kikulwe