Badshot Lea 0-7 Cray Valley (Paper Mills) - This competition is for them to create a memory as a team, says Cray Valley boss Kevin Watson

Sunday 04th November 2018
Badshot Lea 0 – 7 Cray Valley (Paper Mills)
Location Krooner Park, Wilton Road, Camberley, Surrey GU15 2QW
Kickoff 04/11/2018 15:00

The Buildbase FA Vase Second Round
Sunday 4 November 2018
Stephen McCartney reports from Krooner Park

CRAY VALLEY (PAPER MILLS) manager Kevin Watson says his side cannot get carried away after booking their place in the last 64 of The Buildbase FA Vase for the first time in their history.

The Millers outclassed a poor Badshot Lea side 7-0 in Camberley, which was the Eltham-based club’s biggest win in the competition.

Cray Valley have beaten Sutton Athletic (2-1); Hailsham Town (2-0); St Panteleimon (3-1, after the first game was abandoned in extra-time with the score tied at 1-1) and the club have scooped a total of £3,000 in prize money.

Keith Hills’ side have beaten Shrivenham and Andover Town by the same 4-1 scoreline but they were dominated by Cray Valley for the entire game, without creating a single chance that vocal visiting keeper Andy Walker had to save.

The Millers arrived at Krooner Park sitting in the top-six in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table with 23 points from 10 games, while Badshot Lea were in the bottom four in the Combined Counties League Premier Division table with 15 points from their 13 league outings.

Cray Valley’s ball retention on the deck was off the highest quality and Badshot Lea couldn’t live with them but it took Watson’s men 36 minutes to break the deadlock, courtesy of winger Denzel Gayle’s deflected drive.

Badshot Lea capitulated during the second half as Cray Valley scored six goals inside a clinical final 23 minutes.

During that time, striker Kevin Lisbie, 40, scored a hat-trick in 22 minutes to take his goalscoring tally for the season to 16. Gayle added another to take his tally up to nine for the season, while Callum Willock came off the bench to score his first of the season, while Joe N’Gussan capped an impressive display by scoring the seventh of the game and his sixth goal overall.

Cray Valley were 4-0 up in the 88th minute but Hill’s side capitlated in embarrassing fashion.

Bookmakers have released their odds and have made Cray Valley 66-1 to go all the way and lift The FA Vase at Wembley Stadium in May, which proves how little the bookies know about the Southern Counties East Football League.

Canterbury City (100-1); Erith Town (125-1); Bearsted and Sheppey United (both 150-1) are laughable odds.

Watson – and Chatham Town manager James Collins were in the stand to watch Badshot Lea lose 2-1 at home to Southall in their league on Tuesday night.  Southall defeated Chatham Town 1-0 after extra time yesterday.

“I thought we were very good today,” said Watson.

“We worked hard in the first half to get on the ball.  They worked hard with less poesssion and I think we were patient because we had a couple of chances and didn’t get over frustrated with things and got the opening and got the goal.

“Then in the second half it’s very hard for the opposition to keep a high intensity to press us when we had so much possession and then it opens up and we start to get goals.”

Whoever gets paired with Cray Valley in the Third Round over the first weekend of December will have to be a very good side to send Watson’s high-quality side out.

Watson said:  “We demand high standards, they know the standards are higher.  I think any player that comes into this set-up are used to that now.  We demand high standards.

“I came to watch them on Tuesday. I spoke (to the players) a little bit about them, spoke about what we needed to do and Tommy (Osborne) and Kevin James put their bits in as well but as I said to them in there, this competition is for them to create a memory as a team. It’s not about the management team.”

Cray Valley set the tone straight from the off, out-passing, out-playing and outclassing their hosts for the entire 90 minutes.

Anthony Edgar swept a diagonal pass which wasn’t cut out by Badshot Lea’s right-back Ethan Allen and Gayle played the ball into N’Guessan on the overlap.  Danny Smith got involved and clipped the ball in from the by-line for Lisbie, whose downward header was brilliantly kept out by the palm of diving keeper Jordan Clement at his near post – after two minutes and 23 seconds.

“We don’t put in many crosses like that ironically. We’ve done a couple today but Lisbie is good in the air. He’s got in the right position and he’s done well for the header. He’s not done a lot wrong there, the keeper makes an ok save,” said Watson.

The home side then had a spell of possession but they couldn’t get past a solid defensive line of Smith, Liam Hickey, Ashley Sains and Cem Tumkaya.  All that visiting keeper Andy Walker did all day was keep his players on their toes through loud encouragement.

Cray Valley missed another glorious chance in the 15th minute when Sains’ ball over the top released Lisbie through on goal. He outpaced the last defender and skipped past the onrushing keeper but his low shot was blocked by a defender.  Gayle followed up and drilled a low shot into the keeper’s chest and the ball came out to winger Ryan Flack, who lashed his first time shot over the bar from 10-yards.

“He done quite well there Lisbie.  The centre-half was in front of him and he’s shown a little bit of pace and strength to get past him. It was too close to the goalkeeper to go over the keeper so he’s had to go around him and then Denzel’s followed up,” said Watson.

With Cray Valley playing a 4-2-3-1 formation, Badshot Lea started with a 4-4-2 but switched to 4-2-3-1 after the Millers took the lead in a bid to match their opponents but it failed miserably as Cray Valley’s players were on a different planet and put in a perfect performance.

N’Guessan’s diaonal pass saw Lisbie turn left-back Josh Pound inside the box before slipping the ball through for Flack, who drove his cross-come-shot across the face of goal but Gayle dinked his shot over the crossbar from a couple of yards out at the far post, put off by his marker.

“Really good build-up play before that and it’s sent Flack in and it’s a good first time ball in,” added Watson.

“I thought Denzel could’ve made his run across the front of the defender but look, Denzel doesn’t play in that position all the time for us but he had a good game today. He’s got bags of ability and a constant threat.”

Edgar floated in a free-kick from the right, which was cleared out to the outstanding N’Guessan, who drilled a right-footed volley, which deflected just over the crossbar from 25-yards in a central position.

It started to get frustrating to watch the Millers spray the ball over the pitch but the men in green kept patient and celebrated taking the lead with 35 minutes and 8 seconds on the clock.

Gayle moved the ball from the right-wing into Edgar and N’Guessan held the ball up on the edge of the penalty area and teed up Gayle, who drove his deflected left-footed drive past Clement from 16-yards.

“He’s done the right thing from that range, it was going on target wasn’t it.” Watson said of Gayle’s strike.

“There’s a little bit of a slope on this pitch. We’ve gone in at half-time and I don’t think at half-time in your mind you’re not preparing for a 7-0 win necessarily.  You’ve got to prepare in a different mentality.  You always think other teams will have a spell in a game, no matter how the game’s going and it was important that we realised that we defended properly in the first half because we needed to do the right things in the second half.”

Badshot Lea didn’t create anything in the final third. Their only opening came in the 38th minute – but it wouldn’t have counted as assistant referee Christopher Gunnell put his flag up.

Connor Blanchard did all the hard work when in a central position he shrugged past Edgar in the Millers half and instead of going straight down the middle he kept the ball at his feet and headed towards the corner-flag. He reached the by-line through desire and curled in a cross, which sailed out of play before sailing over Walker’s outstretched hand and bouncing off the top of the crossbar.

“I don’t think Walks made a save all game,” said Watson, who revleaed the 37-year-old keeper does not pick up a goal bonus. 

“I remember they had a shot over the bar and that was really important for us defensively because it’s something that I’ve been quite critical off, not having enough clean sheets.  We’ve kept one against Fisher and we’ve kept one today so that’s important.”

Badshot Lea then changed formation towards the end of the first half but strikers Josh Francis and Blanchard were living off scraps.

“What we need to recognise why the first half had gone well and we needed to see if we could do that again, not any more necessarily like. It was about mataining the work-rate to get on the ball,” explained Watson.

Badshot Lea were kicking down the slope during the second half but all they created with this advantage was two off-target opportunities.

Badshot Lea centre-half Ashley Lloyd hooked a clearance out of his penalty area and the ball was worked to Edgar, who cut inside and drove a 30-yarder towards the bottom left-hand corner, which was superbly tipped around the post by Badshot Lea keeper Clement, diving to his right, with two minutes and 36 seconds on the clock.

Watson said:  “It was good play from midfield. We passed the ball well, lots of the aspects of play was good.  What was important was people didn’t do too much today and that was the general thing. They passed and they moved.”

Smith and Gayle linked up down the left and set up another opportunity for N’Guessan, who struck a right-footed drive sailing over the crossbar, as the keeper dived to his right.

Cray Valley were in a comfortable position on the hour-mark, although they only had one goal to show for their complete dominance.

Edgar, who plays as a holding midfielder alongside Paul Semakula, slipped the ball into Lisbie’s feet and his right-footed drive from 20-yards flashed just past the foot of the left-hand post.

The floodgates started to open as Cray Valley finally doubled their lead with 21 minutes and 9 seconds on the clock.

N’Guessan released Lisbie through on goal and he sweept his low shot into the bottom right-hand corner, although a diving Clement did get his left-hand to the ball.

“Honestly, it was about being patient,” explained Watson.

“You are concerned like there’s an element of vulnerabioity but we were controlling the ball.  That much possession, that much control, it’s hard for semi-pro teams, they aren’t going to be fit enough to keep being able to press and then things open up so it’s about carrying on and trying to do the right things.”

Halfway through the half, Badshot Lea created a great chance to pull a goal back but Blanchard fluffed his lines.

He was released in behind Smith down the right but dragged his shot across Walker and past the far post when he only had the keeper to beat.

It proved to be a big miss for the home side as Cray Valley scored their third goal of the game, timed at 23 minutes and 56 seconds.

Semakula won the ball off Stacey Thripp inside the Badshot Lea half and released Gayle down the right with a rolling diagonal ball.  Gayle raced down the line and whipped in a great cross which was headed in to the near corner by Lisbie, just four-yards out at the near post.

“Paul played on the front foot. Denzel ends up out wide in a more natural position for him, good ball in, good run and a good finish. The pace that it’s gone in at, bravery,” added Watson.

Cray Valley were clinical during a dominant second half and notched their fourth goal, timed at 27 minutes and 2 seconds.

It came from another mistake by Allen, whose ball inside was intercepted by N’Guessan, who put Gayle through on goal, in between the two centre-halves and he slotted his right-footed shot into the bottom right-hand corner from 16-yards.

Watson said:  “Good finish by Denzel. That’s something that he needed to work on that sort of finishing, so really pleasing for him.  He had composure, a bit of confidence, greay play by Joe there.”

Badshot Lea created their second chance of the game in the 77th minute when Hickey cleared the ball out of his penalty area and Darren Blake took a touch before drilling his right-footed 30-yard drive just over Walker’s crossbar.

Lisbie knocked the ball down for N’Guessan, who dragged his right-footed angled drive across the keeper and past the far post from the right-hand side of the penalty area.

Cray Valley scored their fifth-goal, timed at 43 minutes and 48 seconds on the clock, as Badshot Lea’s players lost their heart and desire and finished the game in embarrassing fashion.

Watson made three substitions in as many minutes as Tommy Osborne slotted in at left-wing-back, Willock replaced Gayle, while Jack White replaced Edgar in midfield.

Osborne played the ball down the left-channel along the deck to release N’Guessan, who cut into the box, twisted and turned Blake to reach the by-line, before lofting the ball into the centre for Lisbie to guide his header in off the left-hand post from 10-yards.

“Great play by Joe there. He stopped it over the guys head quite intricate and Lisbie was in the right place,” added Watson.

Cray Valley scored their sixth goal, one minute and 5 seconds into stoppage time.

Badshot Lea swiftly lost possession from the kick-off and Sains clipped a long ball over the top of a back four (that by this stage had given up) to release Lisbie down the left-channel. He rode Lloyd’s challenge in the box and put it on a plate for Willock, who lashed his right-footed drive into the top right-hand corner.

“I felt Lisbie should’ve had a shot himself. Look, he’s done that for the team. He could’ve shot, he passed it and could’ve scored himself.”

When asked about Willock notching his first goal of the season, Watson replied: “It’s a good thing for any player, any forward to get on the scoresheet so the more players we can have scoring goals the better.”

The outstasnding Millers were in seventh-heaven with 47:58 on the clock.

Allen couldn’t live with Lisbie’s class and the former Premier League star was released down the left again and he put it on a plate for N’Guessan, who capped an outstanding performance to find the bottom left-hand corner from 10-yards.

“Lisbie could’ve scored himself.  It’s pleasing for Joe to get his goal because people will look at things and look at goalscorers and don’t realise how good he was today because he set up the majority of the goals so it was nice for him to get his reward of a goal.”

The bookies should make Cray Valley one of the favourites of getting to Wembley, especially going by this outstanding performance - but Watson is keeping his feet on the ground.

“So this is the furthest round the club have got – and the highest win they’ve had in The Vase? Which is what I said we needed to get to, good.  Let’s see who we get in the draw,” said Watson.

“It’s alright, yes. It’s still early on.  You can’t get carried away. We’re a couple of games behind in the league. We’ve dropped two points against K Sports so we have to go and win those games.

“It’s hard to perform consistently as a player, at any level. People don’t realise it’s hard to do it consistently. It’s important that we use the versatility of the squad and get people minutes and keep people apart of it.”

When asked about his Wembley chances, Watson is keeping expectations low.

“It’s unrealistic to think like that because there’s two teams in the country (who will get there).  If they do then that will be magnificent for them as players. It’s irrelevant for me, it’s not my job, the league is my job.”

Watson, meanwhile, takes his side to second-from-bottom side Rusthall on Wednesday night before hosting third-placed Corinthian next Sunday.

Rusthall, who have lost their last eight games in all competitions, have picked up only four points from their 13 games, while Corinthian – who threw away a two-goal lead to lose 4-2 at home to ten-man Canterbury City in The FA Vase yesterday – are five points behind leaders Beckenham Town but with a couple of games in hand.

“We’ve got an important game on Wednesday at Rusthall and then Corinthian on Sunday so there’s some important games,” said Watson.

“We can’t worry about The Vase for a little while until we get to play the game. No doubt I’ll have to go somewhere to watch a team again, clocking up the milage.

“We have to apply ourselves to try to win those games. People assume it’s a given for us. It’s not at all. I’ve actually more concerned about those games than I am against the perceived teams that are doing better in the league.”

Badshot Lea: Jordan Clement, Ethan Allen, Josh Pound, Stacey Thripp (Craig Wright 84), Ashley Lloyd, Liam Finnighan, Darren Blake, Mcauley Ford, Josh Francis (Luke Haskell 70), Connor Blanchard, Liam Roberts (Cameron Blackie 60).
Subs: Gavin Brainch, Connor Close

Booked: Liam Roberts 54

Cray Valley (Paper Mills): Andy Walker, Cem Tumkaya, Danny Smith (Tommy Osborne 77), Paul Semakula, Ashley Sains, Liam Hickey, Denzel Gayle (Callum Willock 76), Anthony Edgar (Jack White 75), Kevin Lisbie, Joe N’Guessan, Ryan Flack.
Subs: Josh James, Francis Babalola

Goals: Denzel Gayle 36, 73, Kevin Lisbie 67, 69, 89, Callum Willock 90, Joe N’Guessan 90

Attendance: 68
Referee: Mr Ross Murphy (Reading, Berkshire)
Assistants: Mr Christopher Gunnell (Tadley, Hampshire) & Mr David Bowley-Booth (Tadley, Hampshire)