Thursday 01st September 2005

Champions power on

Lordswood 1-5 Cray Wanderers
Saturday 25 October 2003
Go Travel Kent League Premier Division
by Jerry Dowlen

It's a well-known adage in football that the wheel of fortune deals out good luck to teams that are in a good run of form, but when you're down at the bottom end of the table you get no favours.

Top-of-the-table Cray Wanderers scored three goals at North Dane Way with the assistance of the woodwork. But when fourth-from-bottom Lordswood were pressing the Wands during a critical period of the game, the ball rebounded back off the post and denied them an equalising goal.

In fairness, Cray's total domination of the first half should have seen them change ends with a bigger lead than the two goals scored by Ricky Bennett - a low shot in-off the post - and Adam Heaslewood after 6 and 19 minutes.

But the home side, looking short of confidence in the first half, took advantage of a lack-lustre restart by the Wands and struck back after 61 minutes when Michael Dodsworth's right-wing cross picked out James Short for a well-taken headed goal.

Suddenly it was the Wands under siege but a cracking shot from Dodsworth struck the post and was pushed clear by 'keeper Dean Mann, who moments earlier had rushed out to kick clear from Short after he eluded the visitors' offside trap.

To add insult to injury for Lords, a goal for Cray arrived in the 70th minute when Heaslewood's cleverly-flighted free-kick struck the angle of the near post and the crossbar, and the ball fell into the net to restore their two-goal lead.

After that the Wands won in a canter, carving out several openings against a tiring  home defence. Even so, Jamie Wood saw his 83rd minute penalty-kick smack against the post on its way into the net. Then came the best goal of the game. With a minute remaining on the clock, John Mayall's long throw-in was forced on at the near post and Jamie Kempster's bicycle-kick sent the ball flying past Paul Piggot's right hand as it crashed into the net. Another power-play by the Wands - but Lords will pray for better luck next time.

Lordswood:  Piggott,  Johnson, Thorburn (Peck 60), Clements, Crust (Hettley 69), Colyer, Freeman (Allen 78), Cunningham, Short, Gissing, Dodsworth

Cray Wanderers: Mann, Silk, Rawlings, Mayall, Evans, Taylor (Whelan), Heaslewood, Kempster, J Wood, Bennett, Lover (Jenkins). Subs not used: Allwright, Francis.