Cray Wanderers assistant Joe Vines: A disappointing result at Hastings but a minor blip in the whole scheme of things

Friday 22nd March 2019

CRAY WANDERERS assistant manager Joe Vines says his side lost a great game against Hastings United last week.


Tony Russell’s side lost only their second league game in 29 games after going down to a 3-2 defeat down on the south coast.

The Wands raced into a 2-0 lead inside the opening six minutes through Archie Johnson and Joe Taylor but Hastings United joined Horsham as the only sides to beat them this season.

Cray Wanderers remain at the top of the Bostik South East Division table with 71 points, while the four play-off places are occupied by Horsham (58 points from 30 games); Ashford United (57 points from 29 games); Hastings United (56 points from 30 games) and Haywards Heath Town (55 points from 29 games).

“It was a really great game of football away at Hastings last week,” said Vines.

“We started brilliantly, scored two early goals and were in cruise mode. Unfortunately, goals change games and Sam Cruttwell scored the best goal that I’ve seen all season!

“I’ve watched the game back and up until the ninth minute Hastings hardly touched the ball but that goal gave them a renewed confidence.

“We were guilty of missing two gilt-edged chances at 2-1, which would have put us back in control but full credit to Hastings, they scored another through Davide Rodari, that brought them level.

“The turning point was losing Bradley Pritchard after that goal. He was causing problems with his penetrating runs that allowed us to stretch the play and open the space in between midfield and the final third.

“The second half was a bit of a ding-dong affair and either team could have won it convincingly if the chances had gone in.

“I would say Hastings definitely had the better of it. Again, we missed a good opportunity to go in front and they went straight up the other end and scored the third.

“All in all, a disappointing result but a minor blip in the whole scheme of things.

“I thought Adam Lovatt for Hastings was excellent and Mitchell Nelson for us was outstanding.

“Chris Agutter at Hastings is another young, progressive manager that is focused on improving players and giving chances to youngsters so we really expect his philosophy and approach.”

Haywards Heath Town come to Hayes Lane tomorrow, sitting 11 points clear of Hythe Town.

“We have prepared as we always do this week with the next game firmly in mind,” said Vines.

“Haywards Heath offer a different threat than Hastings with more size and direct play.

“They are on a good run of form so we will respect them.  They are a side that will look forward to playing us with no fear so we will have to be focused and disciplined to get a result.

“The last three or four months has really shown me that we have come a long way as a club and as a team.

“The way that teams are celebrating getting a result against us shows that.  Ramsgate even sent out a message on Twitter commemorating them being the only team in the whole league who we haven’t beaten this season, which I thought was wonderful!

“Player wise we are in a good place, we can't complain. Tom Carlse has come in and will add a new dimension once he has settled in. We've brought Jordan Clark in to add some depth and Dan Uchechi has now left the club, which is a shame as he is someone I really like as a player and person but he wasn't getting much game time and it was best for both parties.”

With the club closing in on the league title, Russell and Vines are expected to give some of the club’s young talent a chance to shine to knock on their door for a place in their Bostik Premier Division squad next season.

“We are looking to try and integrate as many of the future stars as possible over the coming weeks so there should be some new faces and names on the team sheet as we blood the youngsters,” revealed Vines.

“The clubs youth structure, under 18s and 23s has produced a plethora of talented players in the last two seasons and we are keen to build a culture where if you are good enough, you are old enough.”

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Cray Wanderers  v  Haywards Heath Town
Bostik South East Division
Saturday 23 March 2019
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Hayes Lane, Bromley, Kent BR2 9EF