I think that if we let our position at the top of the tree go to our heads and think that it gives us a divine right to win, that will be the end of us, says Cray Wanderers assistant manager Joe Vines

Thursday 31st January 2019

CRAY WANDERERS joint-manager Joe Vines has criticised the refereeing during their last two games.

The Wands were held to a 1-1 draw at Faversham Town last weekend and Vines complained about the decisions from Romford based referee Craig Pullen at Salters Lane.

“Faversham was a tough place to go for us. We had Barney Williams out with a niggle and we had to shuffle the pack a little bit,” said Vines.

“Faversham were very resilient and they were very physical indeed! I know Danny Chapman well and he is a proper old-school football man, I've got great respect for him.

“If we are completely honest and at risk of sounding like (VCD Athletic manager) Keith McMahon, the referee was really out of his depth!

“There was a tackle on Mitchell Nelson after one minute that was reckless, high, late and 100% a red card. From then on it went from bad to worse!

“The Faversham penalty was a ball fired across the box onto Jay Leader's hand (which was in a natural position beside his body, not raised or moved toward the ball) and the linesman was adamant and borderline aggressive in his dismissal of our pleas to reconsider his decision.

“I understand that it's not easy but the standard of officiating is struggling.

“We've had a red card last week which was overturned on the video evidence and now this penalty decision which obviously can't be overturned.

“We have all of this captured on video and we actually shared footage with the referee from the VCD game (Daniel Proctor) as he was unhappy with his performance and wanted to review and try and approve so I applaud him for that. That level of accountability is rare. 

“The long and the sort of it is we actually played really well, we hit the bar, post, had three headers cleared off the line and created many chances.

“The boys have been congratulated on their attitude and work-rate this week and are really positive going into two tough games.”

The Wands are runaway leaders in the Bostik South East Division table with 55 points from their 22 league outings, with just the one league defeat.

Tony Russell’s men are 11 points clear of Hastings United, who suffered a shock 4-1 defeat at struggling Herne Bay last weekend.

Cray Wanderers host bottom-four side Herne Bay at Hayes Lane on Saturday, before making the trip to fifth-placed Whyteleafe next Tuesday, 5 February (19:45).

“We've got to refocus on both Herne Bay and Whyteleafe in quick succession,” added Vines.

“I know that Herne Bay seem to pride themselves on being giant-killers, especially after beating Hastings last week, but I think maybe they should focus on beating the teams around them in the short term as the league table doesn't lie and that's where the bigger impact will be for them in their battle for survival.

“We are confident that at home we are hard to beat so it should be entertaining.

“Whyteleafe follow quite quickly afterwards. I think they are a really good side and the only thing holding them back is the ability to keep their better players.

“Their manager Harry Hudson is a real smart cookie and very tactically astute so we are looking forward to pitting wits against him, he really made us think in the home game.

“I think since the loss to Horsham we have dropped two points but our performances have been very good. We are creating chances, not conceding many goals from open play and our attitude towards the games has been ultra-professional.

“I think that if we let our position at the top of the tree go to our heads and think that it gives us a divine right to win, that will be the end of us. That 4-2 loss at Horsham (15 December 2018) and the way that they celebrated it really hurt our pride and we've reacted brilliantly, it could be the best thing that happened to us.

“After these two games we will really know how far we've come and if we are really worthy of the top spot.”

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

Cray Wanderers  v  Herne Bay
Bostik South East Division
Saturday 2 February 2019
Kick Off 3:00pm
at Hayes Lane, Bromley, Kent BR2 9EF