Thursday 01st September 2005
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Wednesday 8th
December 2004
John Ullmann Kent Senior Cup First Round Stephen McCartney reports from Hayes Lane
Cray Wanderers 2 Drew Watkins 69
Jamie Kempster 75
Chatham Town 1 Israel Amadi 81

Cray aiming to sweep the board

CRAY WANDERERS manager Ian Jenkins is gunning for Kent Senior Cup glory after booking their place in the last eight after beating Southern League Division One East side Chatham Town on Wednesday night.

They join Gravesend & Northfleet, Tonbridge Angels, Margate, Ashford Town, Dartford, Dover Athletic and Folkestone Invicta in the hat after two spectacular goals late on from man-of-the-match Drew Watkins and Jamie Kempster secured victory.

In a game that took over an hour to get going, Chatham striker Israel Amadi scored from close range late on, but they couldn't force extra time at a foggy Hayes Lane.

Jenkins said: "I told the players how important this cup is for Cray Wanderers, because we've never won it before.  

"We've been in it once, but we've never won it.

"It's there to be won as we are one of the senior sides in Kent."

Cray are also still involved in the Bryco and London Senior Cups and Jenkins is gunning for glory to add to their already full trophy cabinet.

He added: "We are capable of winning all the cups we are in at the moment."

On Saturday, in front of their biggest gate of the season, when 1082 flooded through the turnstiles to see them beat AFC Wimbledon, only 59 saw their county cup win over Chatham - their lowest gate of the season.

And in a dour first half, chances were few and far between. Chatham lost midfielder Kevin Spriggs - with a broken ankle - and was stretchered off the pitch and later taken to hospital.

Before this, however, Michael Power headed into Clark Hunt's hands from a Matt Woolf cross from the left, before the left wing-back struck a 30-yarder which was never going to trouble the goalkeeper.

Both sides played with good approach play, without beating two solid defences, who locked the door until the attackers found the key in the final half hour.

The closest Chatham came to scoring was in the 43rd minute when Andy Boyle's 16-yard effort flew narrowly over the bar.

A first half best forgotten!

Watkins', however, livened up proceedings in the second half.  His first chance, after receiving James Millar's cut-backed corner, but the former Folkestone Invicta man blazed high over the bar from 25-yards.

He did get closer in the 62nd minute when a fiercely struck 30-yard screamer dipped agonisingly over the bar, but it was third time lucky for the player, as he opened the scoring seven minutes later.

This time, a left-footed shot from 25-yards gave Hunt no chance, and at last the faithful few supporters that braved the foggy conditions had something to talk about.

Cray doubled their lead with fifteen minutes left when Watkins' cross from the right picked out Jamie Kempster, whose kung-fu styled volley crashed into the far corner of the net from an acute angle.

Chatham made the game interesting when they pulled a goal back with nine minutes left.

Deep in the fog, Boyle played the ball to Mark Brooks who delivered a low cross to the far post, picking out the impressive Amadi to tap in from close range.

Chatham manager Clive Walker, however, was satisfied with the night's work.

The former Dover Athletic manager said: "To be honest, that's probably as good as we've played for a couple of weeks.

"I thought we didn't deserve that but Cray scored two cracking goals.  All credit to them, they are a good side.

"I thought we did enough to get something out of the game."

Chatham make the "daunting" trip to Champion Hill on Saturday to play leaders Fisher Athletic.

"It's another hard one.  It is daunting as they are a good side.  We are just playing all the best sides at the wrong time," he said.

Walker is aiming for a top-six place in the table this season.  "We are in with a shout for a top six.  It's a long season, so let's see how we go - if we play like we did tonight, we've got no problems."

Jenkins, however, is looking for three points in Saturday's home clash with Burgess Hill Town - a side they beat 2-1 on the opening day of the season.

"We are looking for three points," he insisted.

"We beat them away in the first game of the season.  They are a very strong side and were one of the favourites to go up at the time.  They've had a bit of a blip.

"We have to approach the game exactly as we did against AFC Wimbledon and Bromley," the only two sides Cray have beaten in Ryman League Division One action at Hayes Lane  this season, having drawn seven and lost once in ten fixtures.

A mouth-watering clash next Tuesday sees Cray travel to Stompond Lane, to face second in the table Walton & Hersham.

Jenkins added: "Obviously Walton & Hersham next Tuesday is on my mind because it's a big, big night and a big game.

"They're a side whose up there in the table and a side we need to beat if we are looking to go on and be up there at the end of the season."

Cray's aim? Simply promotion, and the Sidcup based boss added: "It still looks as we've got a chance of doing it.

"We are not losing many games - even tonight we kept a run going - it's the Kent Senior Cup - but we beat a side at the same level as us."

Cray Wanderers: Steve Northwood, Drew Watkins, Ian Rawlings (Capt), David Gray, Matt Woolf (Tony Russell 83), John Myatt, Dean Morris, Jamie Kempster, Phil Collins, Michael Power (Leigh Bremner 65), James Millar.  Subs: James Taylor, Sam Wood, Ian Jenkins

Chatham Town: Clark Hunt, Andy Boyle, Scott Saunders, Danny Larkin, Matt Bourne, Steve Best (Capt), Kevin Spriggs (Mark Brooks 24), Tom Binks, Frannie Collin (Darren Adams 68), Glen Billenness (Gary Stock 80), Israel Amadi.  Sub: Ollie Cotton (GK)

Attendance: 59
Referee: M Basten
Assistants: G Smith & C Hatzidakis