Ryman League Division One North: Game 28
Cray Wanderers 2
Stone 21, Ashikodi 29
Brentwood Town 3
Richardson 42, 82, Stanley 87
Cray were defeated as high flying Brentwood Town fought back from two goals down to claim the three points in an entertaining match at Hayes Lane. This was the Wands first game since 10th January and the starting lineup included four new signings and two on the bench as manager Tommy Warrilow has looked to revive the side since then.
The players that came in were goalkeeper Lewis Moore from Maldon & Tiptree, Midfielder Chris Piper, centre forward Moses Ashikodi and midfield-winger Warren Whitely. On the bench were James Pass and Elyon Marshall-Katung.
The first half was an eventful one as both teams looked to play good, inventive football despite what was at times a difficult playing surface. First to show in an attacking sense were Brentwood when Thomas Richardson got in a shot from just outside the area which was parried away by Moore. For Cray a good piece of play led to Whiteley getting in a shot which was blocked by a defender and a few moments later Ashikodi also saw a shot blocked as the Wands showed positive attacking intent.
On 21 minutes Cray took the lead with a well worked goal. A good run from Chris Piper took him to the edge of the area and set up Whitely for a shot whose shot was blocked. The ball then fell to Adrian Stone who turned and hit a well struck shot past Ollie Bowles.
Brentwood almost levelled straight after Sherwin Stanley got the ball following a free kick and his shot came back of the post and away to safety. Cray though at this stage were looking very confident with Cesc Fakinos having a great game in midfield.
On 29 minutes Cray went two ahead when Nathan Simpson ball into the box from the Cray right caused confusion in the penalty area and Ashikodi just got to the ball ahead of a defender to turn the ball into the net.
From here Brentwood showed a lot of character to come back into the game and basically laid siege to the Wands goal for the rest of the half winning several corners. Sam Bantick curled a shot wildly over the top after a free kick was played to him as the Wands couldn’t really get any control of the ball.
Three minutes from half time Brentwood pulled a goal back when Robbie Rees down the left put in a ball across which came to Richardson who hit a fine shot from just inside the area which flew past Moore into the net.
In the few minutes before half time Brentwood could have scored four goals. Another shot from Richardson was well gathered by Moore as Stanley looked to follow any rebound. Then Rees hit a shot which went wide and then he put in a cross which Richardson headed wide from just inside the six yard box. Finally a free kick from Bantick outside the penalty area on the left was well struck and Moore did well to turn the ball wide for a corner.
Half Time: 2-1
Brentwood continued in the second half the way they ended the first with plenty of possession and Richardson again came close when his run into the box and attempted shot led to a fine block from CJ Williams.
Bantick and Stanley both came close with Bantick putting a shot wide while Stanley’s effort took a deflection for a corner.
The Wands had a great chance against the run of play to go further ahead when Ashikodi showed pace to burst through and he took the ball past a hesitant keeper but from just inside the area he dragged a shot across the goal and out of play for a goal kick.
Bantick then put in a corner which Moore punched away out to James Love who shot the ball over the top. Then Bantick ran through down the right into the area and his shot was blocked by Moore.
The Wands kept at it and a good exchange between Ashikodi and Marshall-Katung led to Ashikodi firing in a shot which was comfortably saved by Bowles.
However with eight minutes left the visitors scored the goal they had been threatening when a ball was played to the right to Stanley and his ball to Richardson was well controlled and he hit home a sweetly struck shot to score.
Brentwood continued to press for a winner which came on 87 minutes when Bantick’s neat pass fell to Stanley down the right who ran on and planted the ball home confidently past an advancing Moore.
There was still time for Cray to push forward and a couple of corners led to some late panic for the away side but in the end the Wands came away from the game beaten despite a very spirited display.
Cray: Lewis Moore, Frank Griffin, Nathan Simpson, Cesc Fakinos, CJ Williams, Fraser Stephens (Steve Springett, 84), Chris Piper, Alex Stavrinou (Elyon Marshall-Katung, 65), Moses Ashikodi (Capt.), Adrian Stone, Warren Whitely
Subs: Hussein Isa, James Pass, Kery Kedze:
Brentwood: Ollie Bowles, Jack Gardner (Christian Mbulu, 89), Lewis Baucutt, Martyn Stokes (Capt.), Ryan O’Rawe, Robbie Rees, James Love, Daryl Robson (Marcus Milner, 74), Sherwin Stanley, Thomas Richardson, Sam Bantick
Booked: Stokes, Rees, Robson
Referee: Alex Neil
Assistants: Aaron Goodwin, Mark Edwards