Borough take their chances to inflict first defeat on defending champions
Wanderers 1-3 Greenwich Borough
Saturday 6 December 2003
Go Travel Kent League Premier Division
by Jerry Dowlen
What a difference three months makes!
On Saturday 6 September, top-of-the-table Greenwich Borough crashed 4 - 0 at home to Cray Wanderers, who swept past them to take pole position in the Kent League. Borough's assistant manger Dean Bowey, standing in for the absent Dave Ward, wasn't a happy man that afternoon.
Since then, even though they are good mates, Ward hasn't always picked Bowey in his starting line-up while Borough have kept themselves respectably in the chasing pack behind the Wands.
But at Hayes Lane on Saturday, Bowey played the full 90 minutes and his deadly shooting turned the tables as Borough ran out 3 - 1 winners and inflicted Cray's first defeat in the League.
Bowey controlled the ball on his chest and clipped the ball cleverly over Micky Simmons for a classic "Route One" goal to open the scoring on 33 minutes.
Marcus Perona crashed home the second goal two minutes after the interval, and then Bowey struck again on 58 minutes, firing a rebound past Simmons after the Cray keeper had pushed out his first shot.
Apart from a Keiron Collins header that went just wide on 24 minutes, and a Bowey header that Simmons pushed away on the quarter-hour mark, those three goals were just about the sum total of Borough's chances during the afternoon. In contrast, Cray must have created nearly twenty chances, including the one that did bring them a goal on 62 minutes when Ricky Bennett headed home from Adam Heaslewood's corner-kick.
So, a old lesson was learned: take your chances and you'll win games. Greenwich took theirs but Cray were shut out by a mixture of wayward shooting, determined defending, an efficient offside trap and some inspired goalkeeping by Moriba Parker who denied Phil Turner with three tremendous saves late in the game.
Afterwards, in the bar, Bowey scorned the idea that Borough can go on and win the title. "Nah, you're way too many points in front," he said. But before the Wands can seek further League points they first have to play two important cup games, at home to Ilford (top of the Essex Senior League) on 10 November and at home to Great Yarmouth Town on 14 November. Cray's results - and performances - will be watched with great interest in these respective London Senior Cup and FA Vase 3rd round games.
Cray Wanderers: Simmons, Silk, Rawlings, Gray, Evans (Mayall), Taylor (Lover), Heaslewood, Kempster, Woolf (R Dimmock), Bennett, Turner.