Ryman League Division One North: Game 31
Cray Wanderers 1
Thamesmead Town 1
Cray gained a point following a draw with near-neighbours Thamesmead Town after a determined second half display. Cray were unfortunate not to win the game in the closing stages as the Wands looked to continue the momentum following Saturday’s victory over Heybridge Swifts
Cray made a couple of changes from Saturday with Steve Springett and Rory Hill taking the place of Fraser Stevens and Warren Whitely.
The Wands probably just about had the edge early on although Ashley Probets free kick was knocked wide by Rob Carter for the visitors.
Cray forced a couple of corners early on as they continued where they left off on Saturday with some good passing and forward play. The best chance fell to Orlando Smith who shot well wide of goal after Moses Ashikodi's ball across.
Thamesmead then had a good break after Probets excellent pass found Jay Porter who crossed to Carter whose effort was cleared for a corner.
From the resulting corner on 20 minutes Thamesmead took the lead. Probets corner was met firmly by Tyrus Gordon-Young who headed the ball into the net.
Cray looked to respond when Smith’s free kick was met by the head of Max Fitzgerald who just couldn’t get enough power on the header to trouble Vincent Mansanet. Nathan Simpson then put in a cross that was just too far for Ashikodi to get firm contact on the ball and the ball went wide. On the half hour Smith had an attempt that was deflected on it’s way straight to Mansanet.
Thamesmead then had a decent spell for five minutes with Gordon-Young shooting over the crossbar from just outside the area and then Michael Spencer’s free kick fell to Carter who shot wide. The visitors then had a good breakaway when Gordon-Young fed Chris Manangu who shot into the side net from the left of the penalty area.
Cray had a couple of attempts just before half time when first Smith and Simpson combined to set up Chris Piper who shot across goal and wide. Then Ashikodi picked the ball up with his back to goal and turned and pulled his shot just wide of goal.
Half Time: 0-1
The second half was a different game with Cray having much the better of the half with Thamesmead defending rather deep and looking to catch Cray on breakaways.
Ashikodi set up Rory Hill who dragged his cross across goal and wide just after Thamesmead had a goal disallowed for offside. Just after the hour Cray twice came close through skipper Nick Humphrey. First from Piper’s corner from the left Nick’s header was tipped over well by Masanet, From the resultant corner again from Piper, Humphrey got his head to the ball but only straight at the keeper.
Cray got back in the game on 72 minutes when Fitzgerald’s pass went to substitute Elyon Marshall-Katung who set up Adrian Stone inside the area who possibly mishit his shot on goal but was enough to deceive Masanet and the ball nestled in the bottom right corner of the net. This was Adrian’s fourth goal in four games and his fifteenth goal of the season.
The Wands were now looking threatening going forward and had a great chance to take the lead on 77 minutes when Stone flicked the ball on to Marshall- Katung who looked to have taken the ball round the keeper but then pulled his shot wide of the goal.
A short corner from Piper found Stone who layed the ball off to Cesc Fakinos who shot wide and then Smith shot over the crossbar from just outside the area.
Thamesmead then had a rare second half chance four minutes from time when Probet’s corner was headed over by Richard Butler.
Cray had one last chance to win the game in stoppage time when Fakinos and Stone combined to play in Frank Griffin whose fine cross was nodded wide by Fitzgerald.
In the end honours were even in the game and Cray now head to Redbridge on Saturday for a key game near the foot of the table.
Cray: Dean Gardikiotis, Cesc Fakinos, Nathan Simpson, Max Fitzgerald, Steve Springett, Nick Humphrey (Capt.), Orlando Smith, Chris Piper, Adrian Stone, Moses Ashikodi (Elyon Marshall-Katung, 69) Rory Hill (Frank Griffin, 76): Subs: James Pass, Alex Gardikiotis
Thamesmead: Vincent Mansanet, Michael Spencer, Ashley Probets (Capt.), Richard Butler, George Benner, Ben Traore (Bode Anidugbe, 81), Rob Carter, Freddie Cray, Tyrus Gordon-Young, Chris Manangu (Omar El-Mantawy, 84), Jay Porter: Subs: Billy McGarrigle, Luqman Adesina
Booked: Spencer, Porter