Thursday 01st September 2005
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Sunday 11
October 2004
FA Trophy
Preliminary Round
Stephen McCartney reports from Hayes Lane
Cray Wanderers 3 David Gray 21
Phil Collins 87
Jamie Wood 89
Aveley 1 Steve Jones 90 (pen)

Cray have a rocking FA Trophy debut

CRAY WANDERERS swept aside Southern Leaguers Aveley in blustery conditions at Hayes Lane to make it a winning debut in the FA Trophy.

Their reward is another home tie in the first round, against Ryman League Premier Division side, Folkestone Invicta on 6th November.

Two names on the score sheet for the Ryman League Division One hosts had a rock theme to it as David Gray's first half header was followed up by a Phil Collins strike three minutes from time.

Jamie Wood, however, netted the third in the 89th minute before the Essex side scored an injury time consolation goal from the penalty spot.

Collins, making his third debut for Cray - he netted an impressive 55 goals in 81 appearances whilst they were a Kent League side - has been signed up from Nationwide South outfit Welling United - and he quickly made a mark in this game, testing goalkeeper Marc Palmer from eight yards after only 75 seconds.

Visiting Aveley didn't test Cray's former Thamesmead Town goalkeeper Steve Northwood throughout the game, limiting themselves to long range efforts.  On one occasion Jermaine Hughes was well off target with a 28-yarder.

Cray took the route one approach and Northwood's long kick was flicked on by Leigh Bremner - top scorer this season with seven goals - into the path of Collins' but he shot over from ten yards.

Gray had a tenth minute headed goal ruled for a foul on the goalkeeper in a goal mouth scramble after Aveley failed to clear Ross Lover's free kick.

Cray, however, took the lead in the 21st minute from another set-piece.  Lover clipped the ball from 32-yards into the penalty area, the ball was missed by the defender, and Gray reacted superbly firing low into the bottom left hand corner from ten-yards.

The goal brought a response from Aveley and after making room for a shot with a dummy, Steve Jones' wind-assisted shot narrowly went over from 20-yards.  Moments later, Hughes' shot across the face of goal and good defending by former Bromley captain John Myatt - putting in a solid display at right-back - prevented Nathan Elder to get in a shot at the far post.

Collins' was giving the visitors all sorts of problems with his aggression  and his shot from a difficult angle was blocked by Palmer at his near post and the ball fell kindly for the striker and his centre was hacked over his own crossbar by Kevin Marsden.

Aveley had a goal of their own disallowed as Jordan Kelly's cross from the left was flicked on at the near post by Hughes and Elder headed home from two-yards but the flag had already been raised.

Cray goalkeeper Northwood saw Kelly's 21-yard free kick sail high over his crossbar as the first half came to a close.

Unfortunately the second half wasn't as good as the first and it took twenty minutes for an attempt on goal.

Sam Wood's corner was met by an unmarked James Taylor at the far post, and he did well to get his header on target, but goalkeeper Palmer saved comfortably.

Two minutes later, Jamie Kempster, who had a very quiet game for his standards, finally came alive.  A run down the left, cutting inside and the former Maidstone United midfielder managed to get in a shot from a difficult angle eight yards out, but his shot hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced out.

After Aveley survived penalty appeals from the home side, Rio Alderton, leaning back, found the back of the terracing with a right footed 25-yarder.

Kempster, inside the D, went close again, but this time his shot sailed narrowly over the bar and at the other end Hughes' blasted over from the edge of the penalty area and was booked for dissent by a fussy referee Mr M Links, as he appealed for a corner.

Although the home side had a slender 1-0 lead at this point, Aveley, who had three very physical men up front, couldn't snatch an underserved equaliser.  The game, however, finally sprung into life with three goals in the final three minutes of the game.

Cray doubled their score when Taylor sent Kempster on a run down the left, went into the penalty area, and his centre was touched home by Collins at the near post from four yards - a deserved goal for all his hard work.

It got even better for Ian Jenkins' side in the 89th minute when Jamie Wood slotted home past Palmer from a central position on the edge of the penalty area.

Myatt, however, who put in a solid display, encouraging players like he used to at Bromley, was booked for a handball ten yards from goal and Jones stepped up to slot the consolation past the goalkeeper.

Cray Wanderers: Steve Northwood, John Myatt, Sam Wood, David Gray (Capt, Dean Morris 89), Danny Bower, James Taylor, Ross Lover, Jamie Kempster, Phil Collins, Jamie Wood, Leigh Bremner (Matt Woolf 89). Subs: Robert Browning, James Millar, Mark Hammond

Aveley: Marc Palmer, Rob Walker, Jordan Kelly, Tolo Mas (Luke Bauckham 67), Mark Risley (Capt, Manzeidi Mbala 50), Carl Fannon, Kevin Marsden, Steve Jones, Jermain Hughes (Michael Lenahan 75), Nathan Elder, Rio Alderton.  Subs: Barrie Simmons, Chris Sorhaindo

Referee: M Links
Assistants: C Uju & M Tweed

Attendance: 170