Ryman League Division One North: Game 33
Soham Town Rangers 4
Palmer 50 (p), 67,
Akinsanya 85, Stanley 90
Cray Wanderers 2
Piper 6 mins, Stone 65
Cray were undone by two late goals as Soham Town ran out winners after The Wands twice led during the game. This was despite Cray being the better side for large periods of the game.
Cray were looking to bounce back from the disappointment of defeat on Tuesday night while Soham were on the back of four straight defeats. There were two changes to the starting lineup from Tuesday with Rory Hill and Alex Teniola coming in for Orlando Smith and Moses Ashikodi who were on the bench.
The Wands started the game the better and looked lively going forward. After three minutes, Rory Hill shot just wide of the goal from Chris Piper’s pass.
In the sixth minute Cray took the lead following an award of a free kick 20 yards out on the right of the area. From the kick, Piper’s shot flew past Tom Warren for his first goal for the club.
Cray came close again a few moments later when Piper’s corner caused confusion and Wayne Goodard had to clear off the line. The home side looked to get into the game and forced a few corners. From Andy Palmer’s in-swinging corner Dean Gardikiotis had to push the ball over the crossbar. Another Piper corner for Cray resulted in Alex Teniola getting in a header which went straight to Warren.
Soham’s best opportunity of the half came in the 25th minute when another Palmer corner was punched out by Gardikiotis and the ball fell to Kojo Ofori-Gyasi who lashed the ball wide from just inside the penalty area.
Cray came close to making it two when Hill passed the ball through to Piper who ran on into the area and his shot was pushed wide by Warren. From the corner, Piper’s kick came back off the post and eventually fell to Hill who shot wide under pressure from a defender. For Soham, Sam Spencer’s ball in to the box just missed the onrushing Ofori-Gyasi and the ball went wide.
Cray were looking fairly comfortable with half time approaching with only a header from Spencer which was clutched by Gardikiotis being the only threat before the break
Half Time: 0-1
Cray had been the better side up to the interval but were rocked on their heels five minutes into the second half when the home side were awarded a penalty. An exchange of passes between Rob Ruddy and Stanley led to the latter being fouled inside the area by Nathan Simpson. Andy Palmer struck home the penalty although Gardikiotis almost got a hand to the ball.
The Wands recovered well from this and went back on the attack. Cesc Fakinos put in a fine ball from the left touchline which was met by Hill who headed just wide of the goal. A couple of minutes later, Adrian Stone lashed a shot wide from the left hand side of the area.
At this stage Cray were looking the likely winners and duly took the lead on 65 minutes. Warren under pressure from Moses Ashikodi kicked the ball out for a throw in. From Simpson’s throw the ball went to Hill whose telling ball in from the right was met impressively by Stone who fired home from 6 yards.
Unfortunately Cray’s joy was short lived as Soham came straight back two minutes later. Olu Akinsanya worked his way down the right and laid the ball across to Palmer who struck the ball well to level the scores again.
With the game entering the last fifteen minutes Cray still pressed for a winning goal and Hill hit a shot from 25 yards which went over the bar. Then Piper shot from a similar distance which went straight to Warren.
With five minutes to go the home side took the lead when Stanley was the first to react to Goddard’s pass following hesitation at the back and played his way in to the area. He cut the ball back to Akinsanya who turned and smashed the ball into the net from five yards.
Soham didn’t create too many chances second half but what they did create they finished and with the game entering its final minute, Akinsanya’s smart through ball went to Stanley who tucked home a smart finish from just inside the area.
There was still time for Cray substitute, Orlando Smith to curl in a shot that was pushed away by Warren and then the home keeper made a fine save from Piper’s goal bound shot.
In the end Cray were frustrated as with much of the season about chances and points that went begging from winning positions. There was still some positives to come from Cray’s display however and certainly played much better than on Tuesday night.
Cray: Dean Gardikiotis, Cesc Fakinos, Nathan Simpson, Max Fitzgerald, Steve Springett (Frank Griffin, 86), Nick Humphrey (Capt.), Rory Hill, Chris Piper, Adrian Stone, Alex Teniola (Moses Ashikodi, 57), Warren Whitely (Orlando Smithl, 79): Subs: James Pass, Alex Gardikiotis
Soham: Tom Warren, Rob Ruddy (Marcus Hall, 75) Louis Monk. Sam Spencer, Jordan Gent, Martin Bromwich, Ola Akinsanya, Wayne Goodard, Andy Palmer, Luke Stanley (Capt.), Kojo Ofori-Gyasi (Matt Simpson, 77): Subs: Scott Davis, Victor Torres, Ian Hart
Referee: Alexander Guy
Assistants: David Jewell, Daniel Keeble