Ryman League Division One North: Game 24
Match Report from by Mark Hunt
Cray Wanderers 2
Larin 21, Welford 83
Harlow Town 2
Appiah 5, Read 19
Cray came back from two goals down to claim a point against Harlow Town. Harlow went two nil up inside the first twenty minutes but ended up with ten men after the dismissal of Billy Jones in the second half. Cray came close to winning the game in stoppage time but were denied by two goal line clearances as the Wands piled on the pressure.
In Gary Abbott’s first game in charge there were several changes to the first team line up from Tuesday’s game against Dereham Town. Frank Griffin made his debut at left back, Steve Springett returned following injury, Dmitri Larin, Hussein Isa, Adrian Stone & Ben Hunt came into the side. These changes were in place of Nathan Simpson, CJ Williams, Michael Phillips, Shaun Welford, Laurent Hamici and Kery Kedze.
Harlow who started the game four points behind leaders Needham Market got off to a confident start and went one up after five minutes. Alex Read showed good pace to work his way to the edge of the box and passed to Junior Appiah who applied a composed finish in the bottom right corner of the net.
Harlow were well on top early on and David Cowley had a shot deflected for a corner and then Read curled a right foot shot wide of the goal.
The visitors went two nil up on 19 minutes when Cowley’ s free kick on the left fell to Read who showed good close control to set up a goal scoring chance and swept home a good finish from inside the box.
However, Cray pulled a goal back two minutes later when Hussein Isa’s corner was met by a fine header by Dmitri Larin which flew into the top corner.
The game became a more even contest after this and before half time Isa’s free kick from the left corner of the area was pushed wide by Edward Thompson. The follow up corner was met by Max Fitzgerald whose header was again turned over by Thompson.
Half time: 1-2
The game became a scrappy affair for the first part of the second half with passes going astray as the pitch became tricky.
For Cray, Adrian Stone had a header on goal which the keeper gathered comfortably. For Harlow, Read again had a chance to score but his shot was blocked by Larin.
Isa shot just wide from outside the area for Cray and Fabian Simms headed over from Cowley’s right wing corner. Isa then took a free kick which Thompson pushed away under pressure for a corner.
The game turned on 73 minutes when Billy Jones was sent off for a challenge on Steve Springett which the Paul Conn deemed worthy of a straight red.
With twelve minutes left Welford and Hamici came on and caused Harlow problems with their movement and looked threatening.
In the 83rd minute Cray levelled when Alex Stavrinou's excellent cross from the left was met by a powerful header from Welford from 10 yards which left Thompson with no chance.
Harlow almost retook the lead in the 90th minute when Read set up Jared Small whose shot was saved by the legs of Darren Behcet and the follow up effort from Cowley was cleared.
Then in the last moments of four minutes added on time Cray came agonisingly close to winning the game when Tyrone Berry set up Welford who flicked on the ball Hamici whose shot was saved by Thompson and then cleared of the line for a corner. From the corner Larin's attempt was cleared off the line again for another corner. This was cleared and the final whistle went and Cray were happy to come out of the game with a well earned draw and showed good character to come back from such a difficult start to the game.
Cray: Darren Behcet, Frank Griffin, Steve Springett, Dmitri Larin, Max Fitzgerald, Alex Stavrinou, Cesc Fakinos, Hussein Isa, Adrian Stone (Laurent Hamici, 78), Ben Hunt (Shaun Welford, 78), Tyrone Berry: Subs: Nathan Simpson, CJ Williams, Kery Kedze
Harlow: Edward Thompson, Ben Glasgow, Layne Eadie, Joshua Urquhart, Sam Holloway, Luke Cuthbert (Fabian Simms, 38), Junior Appiah (James Smith, 76), David Cowley, Alex Read, Billy Jones, Robbie Martin (Jared Small, 84): Subs: Danny Norton
Sent Off: Jones 73
Booked: Cuthbert, Simms
Referee: Paul Conn
Assistants: Olly Fyfe, Ronald Albert