Cray Wanderers 3-0 Carshalton Athletic - I've spoken to one Premier League team who want to know about Brandon Scott's character, reveals Tony Russell

Wednesday 26th October 2016
Cray Wanderers 3 – 0 Carshalton Athletic
Location Hayes Lane, Bromley, Kent BR2 9EF
Kickoff 26/10/2016 19:45

The Buildbase FA Trophy Preliminary Round Replay
Wednesday 26th October 2016
Stephen McCartney reports from Hayes Lane

CRAY WANDERERS manager Tony Russell says he’s speaking to an unnamed Premier League club who are keen to sign former Southend United winger Brandon Scott, 19.

Russell celebrated his first managerial victory in The FA Trophy when his side comfortably defeated their Ryman League Division One South rivals Carshalton Athletic in front of only 91 fans at Hayes Lane.

The two sides met here on 9 October and both played carpet football during an thrilling 3-3 draw, but The Football Association learnt that the paperwork for on-loan Mekhail McLaughlin was not received in time by post.

Carshalton Athletic were not thrown out of the competition and The FA ordered that they would lose home advantage for the replay, but Cray Wanderers signed, sealed and delivered the victory courtesy of second half goals from Lee Prescott and two from striker Danny Haynes, 28, who has now scored 12 goals in 12 games for the Kent club.

“Pop the corks! I’ve won one! That’s my first ever win in this competition so I’m delighted, yes, it was a relief,” said Russell at the start of the 20 minute press conference.

“We done a bit of work on their shape and they changed it up and went 3-5-2, but the good thing we talk about in training is all the formations we play against and the game plan will be on that.

“Before we go out on the pitch, we’ve got a classroom area (at our training ground) and I’ll go up on the board and I’ll talk to them and plant some seeds.  There’s no point me understanding what’s going on, I want them to understand.”

Cray Wanderers went into the game in sixth-place in the Ryman League Division One South table on 27 points form 14 games but they suffered a 5-2 defeat at Lewes at the weekend and picked up two red-cards.

Carshalton Athletic arrived at Hayes Lane for the third time in 17 days (they lost the league game 4-1) sitting in eighth-place in the table on 24 points form 13 league outings.

Cray Wanderers created the first opening after only 89 seconds.  Jeysiva Sivapathasundaram chipped in a free-kick from the right and Jay Leader came up from the back to loop his free header over.

A lung-bursting run down the right from Scott saw him cut the ball back for Haynes to sweep his first time shot at the near post which was saved at the second attempt by Alexandros Kozakis.

But Carshalton Athletic – who deployed three central defenders, two wing backs, two holding midfielders and three men up front, should have taken an eighth minute lead.

Sivapathasundaram gave the ball away to Sekou Kaba, who fed Ricky Korboa, who fed Mickel Miller, who skipped past goalkeeper Nick Blue and steered his shot towards goal, only for Paul Lorraine to stab the ball off the line with his left-foot.

Academy product Miller, 21, was Carshalton Athletic’s most impressive player on the night as he lined up on the right-hand side of a front three.

“The games we’ve played against Carshalton, there’s been a lot of scouts here. Mark (Simpson, club secretary) tells me because you have to leave them tickets,” said Russell.

“I know their two wide players are attracting a lot of interest from pro clubs and Miller’s a very good player, both of them.  Listen, they’re a very, very good side and if you’re slightly off it and you’re slightly not marking they’ll rip you to shreds. 

“They will always give you a chance because when you get the ball I don’t think they’re particularly great without the ball and it always gives you a chance. With the way we play it’s very open. Someone’s going to get a chance. It was never going to be a boring 0-0.  We’re going to go at them and they’re going to have a go at us. The players they’ve got are very good footballers and I think we’re a team of footballers.”

Russell was full of praise for Lorraine, who has dropped down a couple of leagues to play for the club.

“Paul’s been very good for us since he’s come back. His performance today, it just wasn’t that clearance, some of the tackles, he was unbelievable today. He looked like he was a player that’s dropped down a lot of league’s a little bit too early if I’m honest. It looked that way, it isn’t always like that. He looked a class above the rest today.”

Cray Wanderers linked up well down the right with Ben Mundele, 17, and Scott on the same wavelength, as they troubled wing-back Jonathan Tadafe and Paris Hamilton-Downes with unbelievable pace.

“Two real good young players. Ben came through a friend of mine (former Erith Town joint-manager Joe Ford) who recommended him. We had a look at him (against Dartford in pre-season) and I was very impressed with him. 

“Adetayo Osifuwa is a top drawer tight back but Ben’s kept him out of the side.  He’s just got the freedom, he just comes forward and he’s got quality.”

Russell revealed that lightening quick Scott is attracting interest from an unnamed Premier League club.

He said: “It came really through Nathan Fox. He went two year pro (from us to Brentford last season) and we didn’t ask for no fee.  Gary Hillman (chairman) doesn’t believe in holding players back to pro clubs so we’ll ask for no money whatsoever and they really appreciated it and sort of got the deal over the line.

“So what his agent said if he gets any good youngsters, I’ll be the first person he’d call.  He called me in the summer and he said he’s got a young lad who’s just been released by Southend and I saw the feedback from him from (Southend manager) Phil Brown about what he said about him and it was all about without the ball.

“We’ve just done loads of work on him and coached him. Brandon’s top drawer. There’s no doubt about that. I’ve worked with him. We’ve put him on contract to stop people offering him £50 more or one level up. There aren’t many teams that coach. The managers expect them to be ready when they get them. We do a lot with them and I think for a good young player we’re a good place to be.

“There’s no doubt in my mind he will go but one of the scouts who was here today was from a Premier League team so it tells you everything you need to know.

“I think there was about four or five here but I’ve personally spoken to one from the Premier League team who wants to know about his character and things like that and we just said to them if you want to take him you can take him.

“We’re not here to make money but what I said is if it’s a Premier League club it will be nice for them to make a gesture, even if it pays for some training kits or things like that. If they could make a contribution to the club then I’d appreciate it.”

Mundele showed an example of this as he burst forward on a 35-yard run and cut the ball back for Karl Dent to bend his right-footed shot across the keeper and past the far post.

Russell said: “I was right behind that, I thought it was in! He hit it with his right-foot, it was curling away, it was in! I’m celebrating but Ben’s doing some good work down the right-hand side.”

Miller cut the ball onto his left-foot and drilled his shot towards the bottom right-corner, forcing Nick Blue to get down low to his left to make a vital block in the 21st minute.

“They were the better side first half,” admitted Russell, who has the attention of detail to manage at a much higher level of football than the Ryman League Division One South.

“I thought we had a little bit of a hangover from Saturday (losing 5-2 at Lewes). We played with nine men for 33 minutes and I thought it showed in the first half.  We looked a little bit tired and just wanted to get them in at half-time.  I thought we looked alright on the break but I thought they were the better side.”

Cray Wanderers’ midfield enforcer Lea Dawson fed the ball into Scott, who hit a left-footed shot on the turn which screamed past the foot of the near post.

Miller’s pacy and trickery saw him reach the right by-line to cut the ball across the penalty area but his strike partner Joshua Phillips produced a woeful finish, which sailed over the Cray bar from 14-yards.

The game then settled down until Scott cut in from the right to the corner of the Carshalton penalty area and hit a shot just over the crossbar.

When asked his thoughts at the break, Russell replied: “I just said we were working far too hard than we had to do.  I felt if we stayed compact centrally I think they’ll get frustrated and then force a pass and we’ll pick them off.  Sometimes with us people sit back and we have to lure them out and tease the passes a little bit. Carshalton will keep coming at you regardless of the score and we knew that.

“I didn’t think we was great first half and I told them that and I said we have to be better without the ball. If we’re good without the ball we’ll win this game.  In the end it could’ve been more than 3-0.!

Cray Wanderers created the first opening of the second half.

Prescott played a diagonal out to Haynes down the left, who charged forward before cutting the ball back for Sean Roberts, whose deflected drive looped over the crossbar.

Carshalton Athletic hit the side netting when Miller dinked a lovely ball in behind for Korboa, whose shot deflected off Sivapathasundaram before going just wide.

Cray Wanderers claimed the lead with 16 minutes and 37 seconds into the second half.

Dent won his side a free-kick some 28-yards from goal and it was a surprise when Prescott stepped up to take it.

He placed his right-footed free-kick underneath the wall, keeper Kozakis dived low to his left and fumbled the ball as it nestled inside the bottom right-hand corner of the net.

“It’s funny because I feel I can take a claim to this but Danny Haynes was going to take it but Lee Prescott didn’t ask for the free-kick but he’s got a great technique. I shouted out ‘let Lee take it’ and all the bench were going ‘that’s a big call’ and mucking about and when it goes in I was high-fiving everyone so I’ll have to take that one.

“I think sometimes with Carshalton they’ve got so many young talented players. One observation on them is when you go 1-0 up on them they start to feel sorry for themselves a little bit and that first goal was crucial.  When we went 1-0 up I felt we had them and I can only see one team really going on and we squeezed the life out of them.”

Carshalton Athletic player-manager Peter Adeniyi slotted in the centre of three centre halves and he gave away a penalty for tripping Haynes just inside the penalty area.

Haynes stepped up to slot his right-footed penalty into the bottom left-hand corner – despite Kozakis diving the right way – as Cray Wanderers doubled their lead with 24 minutes and 42 seconds on the clock.

“The game was getting stretched so when we pulled it out, we switched it out, Peter (Adeniyi’s) coming over and when it’s come into Danny he’s waited, lured him in, come in, spun off him and Peter’s on the move. It’s a clumsy tackle but I think he was a little bit tired at that stage and it was a penalty.”

Kozakis got his hands onto Roberts’ left-footed angled drive from 14-yards, which he pushed around the post, after Haynes set-up.

Carshalton Athletic crashed a shot against the crossbar when left-wing-back Tadafe powered a swerving left-footed drive over Blue’s right-shoulder from outside the corner of the penalty area.

Russell added: “You play against Carshalton, your shape’s fantastic and you get done by one long ball going through the middle.  I think the boys were focused on that little one going into feet.  We just switched off and the guy hit it. It’s hit the crossbar but I thought Ade (Osifuwa) got fouled leading up to that.”

Carshalton Athletic went close with two free-kicks from 25-yards.  The first, taken by Miller, screamed past the right-hand post. The second forced Blue to get down low to his left to use a strong left hand to push Korboa’s right-footed free-kick around the post.

Russell said: “There’s plenty of games we play and Bluey doesn’t really do nothing, he sorts of pings the ball out and everyone things he’s there to hit diagonals. He’s a fantastic goalkeeper. If you ask the VCD supporters about him they’ll tell you. There’s some good goalkeepers in this league but I wouldn’t swap him for no-one!”

Russell was delighted that his players kept Korboa quiet in open play tonight.

“He goes wondering, that’s what it is.  When he goes wondering he goes in little pockets and that’s when he’ll cause you problems. We worked on it, as soon as he comes in areas, we dealt with it.”

They proved to be vital saves as Cray Wanderers wrapped up the victory with 88 minutes on the clock.

Substitute Timi Osibodu got down the left and whipped in an inch-perfect cross towards the far post where an unmarked Haynes sent his diving header into the bottom right-hand corner from eight-yards.

“Timi’s a left-back and I spoke to you after the first game (against Carshalton) when we drew three-all and at 3-2 I was going to take Denty off and bring Timi on and I didn’t do it and they scored one at the end. As soon as it went two (tonight), once bitten twice shy. I wasn’t going to fall to the same mistakes so I sat him in front of the left-back just to shut it up really.

“He’s broke and I thought he was going to cross its straight away but we didn’t have anyone in the box but he’s showed good composure and took his time and waited and Danny’s just thanked him for it.  Me and you would’ve scored that one. He whipped it around the back and Danny’s diving header into the corner. It could’ve hit his bum or anything he wanted to.   Some goals are made by the ball or the cross and Dan might run off celebrating but that was Timi’s goal for me.

“Dan’s missed the first five games of the season and his goals per game ratio is the best in this league.  There aren’t many people scoring more goals than him.  He's missed a lot of games through injury and a lot of personal reasons as well. He's fantastic. He’s a good lad as well.”

Blue made another save at the end, diving to his right to deny substitute Francis Sey, who was played in behind the Cray defence by fellow sub Olisen Okuglini.

Cray Wanderers scooped £2,500 in prize money for tonight’s win and £2,700 is up for grabs when Marlow visit Hayes Lane on Saturday in The Buildbase FA Trophy First Qualifying Round.

Marlow are in the top seven in the Evo-Stik Southern League Division One Central.

“I know its harsh but we’ll train tomorrow and find some managers’ numbers in that league and beg, borrow and steal some information (on Marlow).  It’s the only thing I can do,” said Russell, who insists The FA should have re-arranged this fixture earlier.

“The only bad thing about this whole situation, which frustrated me the most was we got punished for that because it doesn’t give me the time to watch that team.  We’ve done nothing wrong because the only thing I say about that is where was the advantage for us? We’ve done nothing wrong but I’ve got to go into the game virtually blind. I like to go and watch games. I love to have a report on everyone.

“One thing I bring to the table, I can come up with a game plan and we can work with it and I can’t do that now so you’ve just evened it up, for what reason? What did we do wrong in that whole situation? We did nothing. We just kept our counsel and accepted the decision but it went on too long. The game got put back too long. 

“I’ve got to be on the phone all day tomorrow and beg, borrow and steel some information on this team. I’ve got to trust someone I don’t even know, so it’s a little bit frustrating. I like Carshalton but The FA have messed up there and that’s annoyed me a little bit.”

Cray Wanderers: Nick Blue, Ben Mundele (Adetayo Osifuwa 64), Jeysiva Sivapathasundaram, Jay Leader, Paul Lorraine, Lea Dawson, Lee Prescott, Sean Roberts (Solomon Taiwo 85), Danny Haynes, Karl Dent (Timi Osibodu 78), Brandon Scott.
Subs: Bradley Woods-Garness, Jai McKinlay

Goals: Lee Prescott 62, Danny Haynes 70 (penalty), 88

Carshalton Athletic: Alexandros Kozakis, Harrison Street, Jonathan Tadafe, Peter Adeniyi, Jahmahl King, Paris Hamilton-Downes (Olisen Okuglini 76), Mickel Miller, Sekou Kaba, Joshua Phillips (Francis Sey 85), Ryan Healey, Ricky Korboa.
Sub: Sean O’Toole

Booked: Ryan Healey 37

Attendance: 91
Referee: Mr Nicholas MacKenzie (Marlow, Buckinghamshire)
Assistants: Mr Phillip Dunkley (Nunhead, London SE15) & Mr Joshua Howard (Catford, London SE6)

Coverage Sponsored by:

The Hayes Lane pitch maintained by: