Ryman League Division One North: 14/12/14
Cray Wanderers 1
Cray gained a point following an entertaining clash with Ware but would ultimately be disappointed not to pick up all three following a penalty miss deep into stoppage time. Ware would also finish the game with ten men.
The Wands made three changes to the side which drew against Barkingside with Shaun Welford returning as well recently re-signed Alex Stavrinou and Nathan Simpson. They replaced Marlon Patterson, Tyrone Berry and Ian Daly.
Ware who started the game in sixth place were the better side for the opening half hour before Cray began to control the game before the break.
Ware showed their intent early on when Albert Adu hit a decent shot from 20 yards which was well held by Darren Behcet. Ware then had a great chance on ten minutes when Kieran Bishop in front of goal backheeled the ball towards goal and was saved by Behcet.
Ware also looked a threat from corners with Ajet Shehu and Adu both sending glancing headers wide. Behcet also had to be alert to parry a shot form Khale Dacosta as it seemed only a matter of time before the visitors would score.
Around the half hour mark Cray started to play their way into the game with the combination up front of Welford and Laurent Hamici coming to the fore. A kick from Behcet was flicked on by Welford to Hamici who looked to clip the ball over the keeper but the ball went just wide of the goal. A great searching ball from Stavrinou found Hamici just inside the box but he couldn’t quite control the attempt on goal and went over the crossbar.
On 39 minutes Cray took the lead when Behcet’s kick up field was latched on by Hamici who used great pace and power to play his way into the area and tucked a lovely neat finish into the bottom corner of the net.
Cray almost scored again a minute later when Welford went through but a combination of good defending and goalkeeping from Rhys Madden denied the Wands a second goal.
Half Time: 1-0
Ware came out the second half much like the first on top of the game and Finnbar Robins sent a shot narrowly wide.
The visitors levelled the scores on 54 minutes when Murat Karugal played the ball down the left to Alaa Oudiji who cut the ball back to Adu whose shot from just outside the area was deflected into the net.
Ware had seemed the more likely winners at this stage but Cray kept plugging away and Hamici hit a first time shot from 20 yards which tested Madden in the Ware goal.
The game changed dramatically twenty minutes from time when Ware were reduced to ten men when Robins was sent off for a very late tackle on Cesc Fakinos around the halfway line.
With the man advantage Cray looked to get the winner but Ware came close when hesitation at the back led to Bishop going through but a bad bobble off the pitch in the penalty area and good defending from Max Fitzgerald led to the chance coming to nothing.
Towards the end, Stavrinou’s free kick was nodded on by Welford and Tyrone Berry sent a shot just wide from the right side of the area.
With the game entering the third minute of stoppage time Cray were presented with a fantastic opportunity to win the game when Welford played the ball through to Kery Kedze who just inside the area was hauled to the ground by Gareth Madden and the referee pointed to the spot.
Hamici stepped up to take the penalty but his shot was saved by the legs of Madden and the follow up was shot over the top by Fakinos and the game finished in a draw.
Cray: Darren Behcet, Cesc Fakinos, Nathan Simpson, CJ Williams, Max Fitzgerald, Alex Stavrinou, Michael Phillips, Adrian Stone (Kery Kedze, 63), Shaun Welford, Laurent Hamici, Hussein Isa (Tyrone Berry, 63): Subs: Dmitri Larin, Ben Hunt, Gary Beckett
Ware: Rhys Madden, Charlie Yexley (Ryan Wade, 87), Alaa Oudji (Samir Bihoutine, 82), Albert Adu, Ajet Shehu, Gareth Madden, Murat Karagul, Ryan Hervel (Ayodeji Olukoga, 57), Kieran Bishop, Finnbar Robins, Khale DaCosta: Subs: Jack Fowler, Jermaine Osei
Sent Off: Robins 70
Booked: Bishop, Oudji, Yexley
Referee: Elliott Kaye
Assistants: Paul Greenfield, Sikiru Idris