We are disappointed to not achieve an automatic promotion place but we cannot say we deserved it, says Cray Wanderers assistant manager Joe Vines

Friday 27th April 2018

CRAY WANDERERS assistant manager Joe Vines says he wants his side to finish their league campaign on a high note.

The Wands go into their final Bostik South game in fourth-place in the table with 86 points in the bag from their 45 games and welcome eighteenth-placed Guernsey to Hayes Lane tomorrow.

Carshalton Athletic (99 points) and Lewes (98) are two club’s battling it out for the league title and host VCD Athletic and Chipstead respectively.

Greenwich Borough are in third-place on 87 points, Cray Wanderers are in fourth-place on 86 points, Corinthian-Casuals are also on 86, while Hythe Town are in the final play-off berth on 85 points.

Walton Casuals can also grab a play-off place as they are two places behind the Cannons, who host Corinthian-Casuals at Reachfields Stadium tomorrow.

The side that finish tomorrow in third-place in the table shall play at home to the team that finish in sixth-place in Tuesday night’s play-off showdown, while fourth lock horns with the team that finish their campaign in fifth.

“Guernsey is a game that we would like to win to step into Tuesday’s play-off on a high note,” said Vines.

“Guernsey are a side that bring unpredictability as they have a real challenge with the travelling involved for them to play at this level.

“Credit to them for being able to commit to the constant flights and coach journeys as it would have been too much for me to do and carve out a professional career as well.

“The away game was a close game and they set out to nullify us by sitting deep. I'm not sure if the playing surface at Hayes Lane will allow them to do that so let's hope that we can impose ourselves on them early and get the result that confirms us a home tie on Tuesday.”

Tony Russell and Vines were targeting automatic promotion and have fallen a little bit short in their aspirations.

Vines said:  “We've had a fantastic season on the whole scheme of things. We've bettered our league position from last year. We've been more organised, scored more goals than any Cray side at this level, played attractive football and brought through some young, exciting players.

“Off the field, the club is going in the right direction with the small matter of a shiny, new stadium to be confirmed and it's a great time to be at this historic club.

“We are disappointed to not achieve an automatic promotion place but we cannot say we deserved it. The table doesn't lie. Lewes and Carshalton have shown great consistency and are worthy of their league position.

“Our next milestone is to finish as high as possible and then look to formulate a way of winning against Tuesday’s opponents, whoever that may be.

“We know that the biggest factor in our league standing has been discipline. With every blip we have had it coincided with losing an influential player through suspension, so we have no excuses.

“The play-off game is obviously in our minds but until we know who we are playing all we can do is wait and ensure we are ready. The focus for us is to try and make sure that the right Cray turn up, the one that everyone is scared of, that is relentless in its pursuit of goals rather than the Cray that is open to soft goals and ill-discipline.

“The players are determined and in good spirits so there is every chance the right Cray will turn up.

“I would personally like to take this opportunity to thank Tony for taking a chance on me with my first role as part of a management team. This season has taught me a lot about how football looks from the other side.

“I feel very fortunate that I have had exposure to working with people like Tony, Nathan White (who for me is one of the most exciting young coaches out there) and Bill Lappage (goalkeeper coach) who is a legend.

“Lastly, I wanted to thank the fans, who have always been brilliant with me personally but the boys are really grateful for the continued support and hopefully we can give them something to celebrate.”

Visit Cray Wanderers website:  www.cray-wanderers.com

Cray Wanderers  v  Guernsey
Bostik South Division
Saturday 28 April 2018
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Hayes Lane, Bromley, Kent BR2 9EF