Cray Wanderers 1-5 Charlton Athletic - It was a pretty lacklustre display on the whole but I don't think we'll lose too much sleep over it, says Cray Wanderers assistant Joe Vines

Wednesday 20th December 2017
Cray Wanderers 1 – 5 Charlton Athletic
Location Hayes Lane, Bromley, Kent BR2 9EF
Kickoff 20/12/2017 19:45

Kent Reliance Senior Cup Quarter-Final
Wednesday 20th December 2017
Stephen McCartney reports from Hayes Lane

CRAY WANDERERS assistant manager Joe Vines says he will not lose too much sleep over his weakened side’s lacklustre performance against Charlton Athletic.

Jason Euell’s side joined Bromley, Folkestone Invicta, Maidstone United or Gillingham in the Kent Reliance Senior Cup Semi-Finals following a comfortable 5-1 win at Hayes Lane.

Cray Wanderers went into the game sitting in second-place in the Bostik South table with 47 points from 22 game, a point behind Lewes with a game in hand, but boss Tony Russell made seven changes to his side that came away from Whyteleafe with a 2-0 win at the weekend.

Goalkeeper Nick Blue, right-back Ben Mundele, central defender Mitchell Nelson and midfielder Dean Carpenter kept their place in the team.

Albie Morgan scored from the spot to give the League One club the lead, before Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu killed the game off inside 31 minutes.

Winger Alfie Doughty made it 3-0 to Charlton Athletic, before the recalled Anthony Adesite won and tucked home a penalty on the hour-mark for a consolation goal.

Jo Cummings then came up from the back to head in a fourth goal before substitute George Lapslie tapped in a late fifth to maintain Charlton Athletic’s favourites tag.

“They fully deserved the result,” admitted Vines.

“It was disappointing in terms of scoreline, in terms of individual performance. It’s pretty obvious that was a team of boys that haven’t had much football from our perspective but that was a very young Charlton side so I think that was a lot of 18s, we’re disappointed in a whole.”

Cray Wanderers travel to Molesey on Saturday, welcome basement side Shoreham to Hayes Lane on 26 December, then play at home to Faversham Town on 30 December, before making the short trip to a promotion rival in Greenwich Borough on 1 January 2018.

And it was that gruelling Christmas schedule that ensured Russell made the changes tonight.

Vines explained: “We’ve got a lot of games, we’ve got so many games coming up over Christmas. We’re running with a really lean squad and we’ve got a big game Saturday against Molesey. We’ve got Shoreham, we’ve got Faversham and Greenwich Borough coming up.  It’s Christmas, it’s thick and fast!

“The truth be told, this competition isn’t high on the list of our priorities.

“We find ourselves in a position, potentially, if we win our game in hand, we go top of the Bostik South but let’s be honest we’ve said all along our ambition is to get out of this league, whether it’s first or second or via the play-offs, we’re not concerned how we do it but to keep ourselves in the position where we’re competing for one of two promotion places.

“It’s lovely to win a cup competition but our ambition as a club with the potential of the new ground hanging over us as well, it’s to get out of this level because it will become more and more difficult with the restructuring, it will become very difficult to do so.”

It was a competitive start for Charlton’s young pros as they committed seven fouls inside the opening 14 minutes of the game.

Charlton Athletic opened the scoring with 17 minutes and 41 seconds on the clock.

Brazilian trialist, Gabriel Almeida played in left-wing-back Jordan Zemura who twisted and turned inside the box before Marcus Evans came across and stuck out a leg to foul his man.

Morgan drilled his resulting right-footed penalty into the bottom left-hand corner with the keeper guessing the right way.

Vines said: “I feel for Marcus, he’s been very unfortunate that he’s got two decent centre halves in front of him in Mitchell Nelson and in Jay Leader. He’s got himself in a position where he’s third choice centre half, in front of me, I’m fourth choice! 

“He’s a fantastic, he really is a brilliant young player, he’s got a fantastic attitude and he’s not played a lot of football recently so he’ll be disappointed, he’s still learning, he’s still very young, he’s 21.”

The highly-rated Nick Blue pulled off a great save to deny Charlton Athletic in the 21st minute.

Right-wing-back Dan Birch sped down the line and whipped in a lovely cross towards the edge of the six-yard box for striker Luke Carey to hook his shot towards goal.  Blue pulled off a brilliant save, using both hands to palm the ball up onto the crossbar and behind for a corner.

Vines said: “Bluey is a class act! What you see every week is his ability with his feet, his distribution but he’s a good shot-stopper.  For me he’s crucial to the very way we want to play football but his ability with his hands, it’s why he’s in there.”

Cray Wanderers were lacking their usual threat in the final third.  They created a half-chance when Nelson played the ball along the deck into winger Ralique Lawrence’s feet but all he could do was flash his low right-footed drive past the near post from 25-yards.

Vines said: “Ralique higher up the pitch is very dangerous.  What we were saying to him was he was probably doing too much work on the halfway line or even in the final third or in our third of the pitch.

“Again, it’s very, very difficult if you’re swapping out one player and putting one player in, then we can carry that lack of organisation and knowledge but to swap out seven you’re asking a bit much.”

Charlton Athletic produced a slick move down the left which saw Almeida slip the ball through for Carey, who drove a low left-footed angled drive towards the bottom near corner from 15-yards.  Blue dived to his left but blocked the shot with his outstretched right-foot, which was a vital touch as the ball nestled into the foot of the side netting and behind for a corner.

Blue was then beaten by a piece of quality as Charlton Athletic doubled their lead with 30 minutes and 38 seconds on the clock.

Morgan did well to keep a long diagonal in play down the left before slipping the ball inside for Sarpong-Wiredu, who cut into the box before cracking a sublime right-footed dipping curler over Blue from 15-yards, which went in after kissing the underside of the crossbar.

“A good finish! We were just a bit ragged on the whole,” admitted Vines.

“We were a bit disjointed.  I’ve mentioned, I don’t think our communication across the side was very good but it’s a group of boys that haven’t played any football together. It’s just a bit of an off day on the whole.”

Charlton Athletic’s central midfielder Morgan drilled a right-footed 32-yarder, which screamed past the diving Blue and only just missed the left-hand post.

Morgan curled a right-footed shot around Blue and the far post, before Doughty played the ball inside to Morgan, who charged forward and from 22-yards stroked his left-footed drive which was held by Blue, diving to his right.

Morgan floated in a corner from the left which was met by Sarpong-Wiredu’s glancing header, which sailed past the far post from 10-yards.

Cray Wanderers missed a chance on the stroke of half-time.

Ben Mundele linked up well with Adesite down the right inside the final third and winger Jerome Frederico floated in a deep cross from the right but Lawrence directed his downward header wide of the near post from six-yards.

“I didn’t say too much at half-time,” revealed Vines.

“Tony was quite direct in his messaging, not happy, because some of these boys do play regular.  Zak (Henry) plays regularly, Mitchell (Nelson) and Dean Carpenter as well.”

Cray Wanderers handed three players their first team debuts as central midfielder Nick Whybrow, tiny right-back Charlie Foster and left-winger Kyrique Garvey-Williams were given a chance as substitutes.

Whybrow came on at the break to play in the heart of midfield, so Carpenter moved back to slot in at left-back.

Vines said: “We just wanted to get something out of it, whether or not it’s hard work.  We put the young boys on, they have been playing in the under 18s to blood them a little bit and give them a bit of experience of what’s it like.

“I thought they’ve done alright. For those boys it’s a good experience playing against a professional football club and hopefully they kick on from there because they’re doing really well in the 18s and 23s.  It’s a nice memory for them and they’ll be telling their mates tomorrow that they played against Charlton so it’s lovely really.”

Charlton Athletic scored their third goal of the night with only six minutes and 23 seconds on the clock.

Morgan floated in a great cross from the right, Carey flicked the ball on across the face of goal and Doughty hooked the ball in to the bottom corner from a tight angle at the far post.

Vines added: “Just disappointing really, not good enough! A smart finish. It is what it is. I won’t be going home crying into my pillow too much!”

Ben Mundele played at right-back for the hosts for the opening 55 minutes and was keen to impress a club that are interested in him.

“Charlton had a look at him. He’s been in to at Charlton to train for a week at a time.  He had an injury and he’s been back to his best in recent weeks so what I really hoped was he’d have an outstanding game today and Charlton would ask him to train with them.

“The reason why I like working with Tony is because he’s not selfish about what we’re doing. He loves to develop players. A successful season would mean pushing a couple of players on and I think he is a player capable of playing at a higher level.

“He was unfortunate. We didn’t really get the ball out on the right-hand side tonight and he didn’t really have the opportunity to shine, which he should’ve done.”

Cray Wanderers’ holding midfielder Henry lost possession in midfield and this gave Doughty a chance to stride forward before drilling his left-footed shot past the foot of the left-hand post from 25-yards.

Cray Wanderers were given a lifeline when Adesite cut into the box and was tripped by central defender Ryan Blumberg just inside the box on the right-hand side.

Adesite, who has been playing Southern Counties East Football League First Division football for Punjab United, held both hands on his hips before clinically scoring from the spot, sending the keeper the wrong way with a right-footed penalty, into the right, the goal being timed at 14 minute and 50 seconds on the clock.

“Anthony has been out on loan, he’s been playing at Punjab and he’s been getting some games and enjoying himself,” said Vines.

“He’s a player that’s got bundles of potential in my opinion. When I walked into the club in pre-season, physically he’s a specimen. He’s not really realised that potential on the whole, whether it’s confidence, whether it’s opportunity but he’s a lovely boy and I just think he can grow into being a very, very good footballer.”

But any slender chance of a comeback was extinguished as Charlton Athletic headed in their fourth goal, timed at 16 minutes and 25 seconds.

Doughty swung in a free-kick from within the right-hand channel towards the far post and Cummings easily glanced in his downward header into the near corner.

Vines said: “I was a bit disappointed in that Mitchell Nelson’s marking him – he had a couple of opportunities with his head.  I know he’s a big boy, I expect Mitchell Nelson, who is one of the best centre halves in the league, I expect a bit more from him.  He’s been a professional himself, he’s normally very aggressive in the air, it was disappointing.”

Cummings rose above his marker at the far post to nod wide again after meeting Morgan’s cross from the right after a short corner routine involving Carey and Doughty.

The impressive Morgan ran with the ball into the Cray Wanderers box and Blue made a low block to his right inside the final 10 minutes.

Cray Wanderers then created a couple of long-range strikes which was meat and drink for Dillon Phillips.

Adesite stroked a low right-footed free-kick towards the bottom right-hand corner from 28-yards, which was comfortably saved by the keeper.

A run down the right by Frederico, saw his cross cleared out to Adesite who hit a first-time right-footed drive from similar distance, which was held by Phillips, moving to his right.

Vines added: “He’s got good quality. In patches he showed that.  The game is done with, I’ll probably forget it all in the morning if the truth be told!”

Charlton Athletic wrapped up a comfortably night by adding their fifth goal, one minute and 40 seconds into time added on.

Zemura easily got past Foster to whip in a cross from the left which flashed across the face of goal and substitute George Lapslie easily tapped the ball over the line from one-yard out at the far post.

Vines added: “Nick (Whybrow) was told to come on and attach himself to the highest midfielder, unfortunately he didn’t track that run.  The boy on the left done well to beat young Charlie with a bit of trickery and the kid has got on the end of it.

“It was a pretty lacklustre display on the whole, let’s be honest but I don’t think we’ll lose too much sleep over it. There’s plenty of football left.”

Meanwhile, with so many games coming up over the Christmas period, Vines revealed news on three injured players.

“Luke Medley has got a nerve issue in his back. He’s close to a comeback. We’re looking to get him involved in the under 23s, he needs to get some sharpness back.

“Danny Haynes has work commitments at the moment. He can’t commit to either training or matches at this stage. It’s pointless for him to be involved, full stop.  He may well be back. At the moment there isn’t anything that can be done.

“We were hoping Karl Dent might’ve been able to get involved tonight but he’s still maybe a week or so away.  There’s no point in rushing him back.  Last time he came back in he got injured and we lost him against Moneyfields.  He’s got that little bit of magic but Michael Frieter has come in and done really well to take that spot.”

Cray Wanderers: Nick Blue, Ben Mundele (Charlie Foster 55), Timi Osibodu (Nick Whybrow 46), Zak Henry, Mitchell Nelson, Marcus Evans, Jerome Frederico, Anthony Adesite, Freddie Parker, Dean Carpenter, Ralique Lawrence (Kyrique Garvey-Williams 73).
Subs: Michael Frieter, Joe Vines

Goals: Anthony Adesite 60 (penalty)

Booked: Marcus Evans 20, Zak Henry 85

Charlton Athletic: Dillon Phillips, Dan Birch, Jordan Zemura, Ben Dempsey, Jo Cummings, Ryan Blumberg, Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu, Albie Morgan (Matt Carter 87), Luke Carey (George Lapslie 87), Gabriel Almeida (Kareem Isiaka 72), Alfie Doughty.

Goals: Albie Morgan 18 (penalty), Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu 31, Albie Morgan 52, Jo Cummings 62, George Lapslie 90

Booked: Jordan Zemura 17, Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu 86

Attendance: 152
Referee: Mr Aji Ajibola (Dartford)
Assistants: Mr Liam Vittoria (Sevenoaks) & Mr Max Sollis (Tonbridge)
Fourth Official: Mr Joseph McKay (Maidstone)

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