HEYBRIDGE SWIFTS vs CRAY WANDERERS
Ryman Football League Division One North – Game 15
Heybridge Swifts 2
Morgan 10, Richmond 29
Cray Wanderers 1
The Wands first ever trip to Heybridge ended in defeat on a very wet and soggy afternoon despite a late rally which almost led to a point.
From the team which started the game against Redbridge on Tuesday night, Jeff Allen came in at left back for his first game for the club instead of Cesc Fakinos, CJ Williams-Agunabor made his first start for Cray in place of Max Fitzgerald. Nick Humphrey returned for Kerry Kedze and Tom O’Connor returned to the midfield in place of Dan Stubbs.
The game started in persistent rain and Heybridge got off to a very quick start adapting to the conditions better. The home side came close to scoring three times in the first three minutes as Neil Richmond saw two shots on goal saved by Darren Behcet and the follow up from Reece Morgan was goal bound but cleared off the line by Nick Humphrey.
Heybridge were not to be denied and took the lead after ten minutes when Ryan McFarlane put in a greatfine cross from the left picked out Morgan who turned the ball home. Morgan first half really ran the show and impressed with his passing and hit two shots which went over the top before the Wands could get a real foothold in the game.
Cray’s best opening in the first half came when Shaun Welford with his back to goal turned and hit a shot which home keeper Danny Sambridge parried away and as Adrian Stone looked to follow up the rebound his shot was blocked and cleared.
Tom O’Connor’s return lasted until the 29th minute and was replaced by Kerry Kedze. Around this time the Swifts went two nil up when a simple ball split the Wands defence and fell to Richmond who hit a cool finish from just outside the area.
Cray looked to come back before half time and Welford had a header off goal and Marlon Patterson hit a shot over the crossbar.
Half Time: 2-0
Cray came out second half much more determined and Welford hit a shot into the side netting straight away and Stone headed wide from Steve Springett’s free kick.
The Wands pulled a goal back on 55 minutes when Kedze sent over a wonderful cross from the left and this time Stone made no mistake with a well placed header wide of the keeper.
From here the game became very scrappy for a while with Heybridge not quite being able to kill of the game while Cray were finding it hard to create that one real opening to turn the game round.
Heybridge should really have scored again when Richmond took advantage of a poor pass to advance on goal but turned his shot wide when well placed. Stone had a shot which was saved comfortably by Sambridge.
The rain eased off and the last ten minutes were played in sunshine. Daniel Lopes waltzed through down the right for Swifts but his cross shot eluded everybody and went wide. For Cray, Springett’s free kick was flicked wide by Nick Humphrey.
Cray though had a wonderful chance to level in the last minute of the game when Michael Phillips fine ball in fell to Stone who hit his shot over the crossbar and the Wands last chance to snatch a draw went by.
Cray: Darren Behcet, Jeff Allen, Steve Springett, Nick Humphrey (Capt.), C.J. Williams-Agunabor, Hussein Isa (Gary Beckett, 78), T. O’Connor (Kerry Kedze, 29), Michael Phillips, Shaun Welford, Adrian Stone, Marlon Patterson:
Subs: Lamin Bah, Nick Taylor, Gary Beckett, Shawn Beveney
Heybridge: Danny Sambridge, Liam Springett (Capt.), Danny Barber, Paul White (Michael Fitzgibbon, 51, Joe Pearman 59), Stephen Good, Nikki Beale, Ryan McFarlane (Charlie Gregory, 71):
Subs: Adam Brotherton, Tom Holdstock
Referee: Thomas Ramsey
Assistants: David Tregaskes, Eugene Robinson