Cray Wanderers 5-0 Redbridge - I told them to be ruthless and put them to the sword, says Cray Wanderers boss Tony Russell

Sunday 27th September 2015
Cray Wanderers 5 – 0 Redbridge
Location Hayes Lane, Bromley, Kent BR2 9EF
Kickoff 27/09/2015 15:00

Ryman League Division One North
Sunday 27th September 2015
Stephen McCartney reports from Hayes Lane

CRAY WANDERERS manager Tony Russell says he was delighted with his side’s ruthless streak after putting a struggling Redbridge side to the sword at Hayes Lane.

The Wands moved three points clear at the top of the Ryman League Division One North table on 26 points from 11 games, while Redbridge’s tenth defeat on the bounce leaves them in the bottom five in the table after collecting their seven points from their first three league games of the season.

Cray Wanderers had to wait 39 minutes to make the breakthrough when Ben Payne headed home his first goal for the club, before Karl Dent slotted home a second.

Russell lost striker Leigh Bremner (groin) and winger Malik Ouani (hamstring) at the break, while leading goalscorer with ten-goals, Andre McCollin watched the game from the sidelines as he recovers from a bruised knee.

Ray Powell, 35, who is Russell’s assistant, came off the bench at half-time and notched two goals, while Dent wrapped up a comfortable victory with his fifth goal of the season.

It was very evident from the first whistle that Redbridge’s joint-managers David Ross and Ricky Eaton were coming to Hayes Lane as a damage limitation exercise as they offered very little to trouble goalkeeper Nick Blue.

“It was one of them, you just want to get the win,” said Russell after his side’s eighth league win of the season puts them in the driving seat.

“I’m sure they’ll be disappointed with their performance. For a time it was a bit like Tuesday (0-0 draw at struggling Haringey Borough), we were missing chances and I thought it was going to be one of them when you’re playing teams down the bottom and they gather confidence from that.

“In the first half we missed so many sitters. I thought ‘here we go again’ so we took the first one and then we went 2-0 up, then we wanted us to be positive and see if we could put a few away.”

Sean Roberts picked up a loose ball and cut across the pitch to hit a left-footed drive which took a deflection before the ball was gathered at ease by visiting keeper Jack Avery inside the opening five minutes.

Redbridge’s lone striker Michael Ogboin didn’t look like he was ever going to add to his six goal haul and when presented with his only chance he sliced his left-footed shot high and wide from 30-yards out.

Redbridge did create the first shot on target as the game edged towards the tenth minute.

Avery launched a big kick straight down the middle and Reside Coxe-Sebastfao hooked the ball to Ogboin on the edge of the box.  Cray Wanderers failed to clear their lines and the ball came out to Redbridge left-back Jamie Alexandrou, but his left-footed shot bounced into Blue’s hands from 25-yards.

Cray Wanderers were to be denied a fifteenth minute lead when Roberts’ pass put Ouani through on goal down the left and after cutting inside he was denied a goal as Avery came off his line to make a fine block

“Malik’s gone through and in on goal and he’s helped the goalkeeper out and drilled it at him when he’s six yard-out and the whole goal to aim at.  Just put it in the corner! That’s what we said to him. You need a bit of quality. I think he’s got that so I know he was disappointed with that one, so are we.”

Blue then made a comfortable save from Charlie Parish, who stroked his left-footed free-kick towards the bottom corner from 30-yards.

Dent then released Duckworth through but the striker lacked composure and blazed his right-footed shot over the Redbridge crossbar.

Cray Wanderers were a threat from a couple of free-kicks from their left-back Grant Basey after the half-an-hour mark.

Dent’s progressed was ended by a bookable challenge from Parish and Basey curled his left-footed free-kick from 28-yards around the wall and sailing agonisingly past the near post.

“I can’t see from my angle, Basey sort of indicated to me that it was very close, but I couldn’t see,” said Russell.

Basey then curled his third free-kick into the penalty area and Nick Reeves came up from the back to glance his header just past the near post from eight-yards.

Russell added: “I think Reevesy had a header which he missed with no-one around him – that was probably the biggest miss of the day really! He’s a good centre half who scores goals as well so he’ll be disappointed with that.”

Cray Wanderers deserved their breakthrough – with 38 minutes and 32 seconds on the clock - from a set-piece that Redbridge made a complete mess off.

Basey swept in a left-footed free-kick from the right towards the far post where Bremner was lurking but the ball bounced off a Redbridge defender and looped to Payne’s head, the defender nodding the ball across the keeper to find the far corner from eight-yards out.

Russell admitted: “It was a bit like head tennis. I didn’t even celebrate to be honest. I was a little bit annoyed because I thought here we go again from Tuesday. I was getting frustrated a little bit so you’re just happy to see it go in.

“It was a little bit scrappy. We probably needed that to settle us down because we had that Tuesday. It was very edgy, we had a lot of the game, we had loads of possession in the final third but we were snatching at things.

“I think it needed one of our centre halves or centre midfielders just to score a scrappy little goal just to settle everyone down and it duly did open it up a little bit.”

Right-back Adetayo Osifuwa then clipped the ball down the right channel and Redbridge keeper Avery came out to the edge of his penalty area and dropped the ball as Duckworth ran towards him. The striker drilled the loose ball into the side netting from the right corner of the penalty area.

But Cray Wanderers doubled their lead with 41 minutes and 15 seconds on the clock.

Central midfielder Lea Dawson played a lovely through ball to put Dent through on goal, who slotted his right-footed angled drive into the bottom far corner of the net from 16-yards.

“It was Dawson into Duckers and he had a one-two, a lovely little move on the edge of the box put him in and it was a nice finish,” said Russell.

“It’s not a sharp goal, it’s just a good bit of movement. Denty’s very good at getting into those pockets so it’s straight into his feet, a couple of one-touches and he’s in and it’s a nice goal.”

But Dent missed a sitter on the stroke of half-time when he somehow screwed his shot past the far post from eight-yards after Ouani cut the ball back from the by-line after racing down the left with the ball.

Russell added: “You can catalogue the misses we’ve had. This is one to add to the ever growing pile of misses! I can speak you through a couple on Tuesday as well if you want?

“It was a bad miss. He’s gone past the guy, the goalie’s come out, he’s squared it and he managed to screw it wide from five or six yards. That’s got to be one of our difficult chances.”

Russell revealed what was going on during the home dressing room at the break

“All of a sudden we started dropping like flies.  Brems tweaked his groin, Malik’s tweaked his hamstring, so we’re really just trying to organise because literally they went within a minute of each other.

“We just spoke to the boys about adjustments made in terms of structure of people coming in.

“We told them to be ruthless. I thought they there for the taking. I thought we could put them to the sword. I don’t think overall we played particularly well today if I’m honest. I know we’ve missed chances and we’ve scored five but we were a little bit sloppy.”

With enforced changes being made at the break – and with Redbridge bringing on substitute left-winger Lewis Francis – the Essex side attacked briefly without forcing Blue into making a save.

Their best chance of the afternoon arrived in the 50th minute.

Francis swung in a free-kick from the left which was palmed away by Blue and the ball came out to Kabashi, who drilled the ball back into the box.  Timi Dorgu stuck out a long right leg and flicked the ball across the diving Blue and past the far post from within the six-yard box.

Russell admitted he wasn’t pleased with his side’s start to the second half.

He said: “It was just rubbish! Everyone was trying to do their own thing.”

A poor clearance from Avery to the right-hand side of his penalty area fell to Roberts, who took a touch and attempted a 50-yard lob, but the keeper got across to gather the ball comfortably.

But Cray Wanderers killed the game off with their third goal in the 63rd minute.

There was a delay in taking the free-kick as the referee spoke to a couple of players before Duckworth floated in his free-kick with his left-foot from the right.  The ball sailed over the Redbridge defence towards the far post and a towering Reeves headed the ball across goal towards the far post and Powell couldn’t really miss with his header from two-yards.

Russell said: “Johnny on the spot. He gives me banter, telling me to get him on especially when teams are gone and we’re going at them and it’s a free-for-all.

“I didn’t look when he scored and he celebrated, I just turned my back like I was speaking to someone. I expected some sort of sarcastic gesture.

“I didn’t want him to (come on), I think he’s days are over but he’ll tell me different.  He’s scored two and set up one today. He may have to play Tuesday unless we can get people in.

“I’m sure you and other people have seen him over the years. He always scores goals.

“He doesn’t get drawn to the ball and in training he’s always telling the strikers about that. If the ball goes over your head don’t get sucked to it, come away from it, let everyone else get sucked and you just get the tap-ins and to be fair every time he does it in training, he can talk about this one!”

Duckworth then released Powell through on goal and with only Avery to beat the Redbridge keeper came out to make a save.

Russell said: “Duckers put him in one-on-one, the keeper makes the save. It was just how many does it want to be? I felt for their back four in the end because we’ve just walked through their midfield. We had ample time and could literally just play whatever ball we wanted.”

Basey swung in a corner from the right which was headed away at the near post and two shots from outside the box reigned in on Redbridge’s goal.  Firstly, Duckworth’s low drive was blocked and Dent’s shot from 25-yards was caught by the keeper.

Redbridge midfielder Kabashi blasted his right-footed free-kick high over the bar from 30-yards as the game entered the last twenty minutes, but Redbridge were poor and another season of struggle beckons.

Duckworth swung in a corner from the left and Reeves planted his header crashing against the crossbar and Avery was relieved to catch Dawson’s follow-up.

Russell added: “The last 20 minutes, it was carnage in that sense.”

Powell turned back the years with a fine finish to give Cray Wanderers a 4-0 lead after 86 minutes as Redbridge’s poor midfield and defence went missing again.

Reeves was given time from inside his half to clip a ball over the top of the Redbridge back four to put Powell through on goal. The striker cut into the penalty area and drilled his right-footed angled shot across the keeper to find the bottom far corner from 16-yards.

Russell said: “Reevsey just stepping into midfield, no-ones around him and they’re playing a high line - it’s suicidal!

“Razor’s made a lovely peel off, gone through, waited for the keeper to come out and he’s slotted it underneath him.

“I was facing the other way, I chose not to make eye contact,” came Russell’s reply on his colleague’s fine finish.

Powell turned provider to cut the ball across the face of the penalty area into Dent’s path, clipping his right-footed shot into the far corner from 12-yards just 87 seconds later after scoring his second goal of the game.

Russell added: “Denty’s been out for the last three games so to get him back is a big plus.

“You take Andre (McCollin) and Denty out of your team, in the nine games that they’ve played together they’ve scored 13 league goals together so to lose them two, I don’t care what team you are, you’re going to miss that – and we have missed that.

“We’ve got one half of the duo back, I just hope the other half can come back soon.”

The Redbridge defence parted again as Dent played a lovely pass in behind to put Powell through on goal again.  The home fans were willing on their assistant manager, whose dinked shot went across the keeper and agonisingly clipped the far post before being cleared to safety.

Russell said: “Razor reckoned it was Cantona-esque. He sort of chipped the keeper and to be fair to the goalkeeper he got a touch to it and it just hit the post.

“It would’ve been good (to score a hat-trick). It was the loudest cheer of the day weren’t it when he was running through.

“He done well. We have got a game on Tuesday and we are having to try to bring people in as quickly as possible. I don’t know whether it is too much to ask him to play this amount of games in this sort of time, I think he’ll be stiff.”

Cray Wanderers are making Hayes Lane a bit of a fortress as this was their 12th home win on the bounce (including last season).

Today’s game attracted the club’s highest crowd of the season of 240 and Russell wants them to return when they play a top-of-the-table clash against local rivals Thamesmead Town on Tuesday night.

“They said to me the attendances are going up every game. Cray have got sort of sleeping fans. When I used to play here they’d get a few more so obviously we’ve had some dark days here that people say were pretty poor previously. 

“You can’t expect people just to turn up and watch football they don’t like or a team they don’t like or can’t connect with. They’re coming back slowly, one-by-one.

“That’s why we always tell the boys to go and clap them and when we’re in the bar to talk to them because we want them to come back and create an atmosphere. We will need them in some period, we’re definitely going to need them.”

Cray Wanderers: Nick Blue, Adetayo Osifuwa, Grant Basey, Nick Reeves, Ben Payne (Dean Carpenter 78), Lea Dawson, Sean Roberts, Karl Dent, Leigh Bremner (Ray Powell 46), James Duckworth, Malik Ouani (Reece Deakin 46).
Subs: Dane Moore, Jack Lodge

Goals: Ben Payne 39, Karl Dent 42, 87, Ray Powell 63, 86

Redbridge: Jack Avery, Bostry Bansende (Joe Gent 65), Jamie Alexandrou, Timi Dorgu, Charlie Parish (William Drake 70), Stephen Good, Tommy Turner, Oliver Smith (Lewis Francis 46), Michael Ogboin, Riges Kabashi, Reside Coxe-Sebastfao.
Subs: Jordan Cornelius, Ryan Karrer

Booked: Charlie Parish 30, Bostry Bansende 64

Attendance: 240
Referee: Mr Dean Skipper (Rainham, Essex)
Assistants: Mr Mark Pond (Romford, Essex) & Mr David Moreno-Rojas (East Ham, London E6)