Thursday 01st September 2005

Tuesday 17 August 2004 Ryman League
Division One
Jerry Dowlen reports from Hayes Lane
Cray Wanderers 2 Power 44, Woolf 79 (pen)
Leatherhead 2 Tavares 37,58

Woolf spot on for courageous ten-man Cray

Courageous Cray, reduced to ten men after the sending-off of striker Leigh Bremner in the 20th minute, twice fought back and earned a well-deserved point from their first-ever home match in the Ryman League.

The crossbar rescued Cray when Steve Sergeant fired in a shot on the half hour mark, but after 37 minutes the visitors did take the lead, Vitor Tavares heading in a cross from the right wing.               
Cray's plucky counter-attacks contained some threatening moments, but with Michael Power looking increasingly isolated up front there was every sign that Leatherhead would stay in control of the game.     

That changed in the 44th minute when Ross Lover put Power in and he did the work of two men, holding off a challenge, shooting against the 'keeper, collecting the rebound and picking his spot to put Cray level.

Cray's finest spell in the early second half nearly scared the life out of the visitors as Power kept getting on the end of crosses, and  Tony Russell went oh-so-close with goalmouth efforts in the 54th and 55th minutes.

When Tavares put Leatherhead in front again on 58 minutes with a curling shot from deep out on the left, it looked as though Cray's ten men were going to be beaten, but with the help of some well-timed substitutions and positional changes the Wands somehow found some new questions to ask of the Leatherhead defence.                  

Lover's cross from the left was seized by Jamie Kempster beyond the far post and when his attempted hook-shot was blocked by the raised arm of Adam Carpenter, a penalty-kick was instantly awarded to Cray. Matt Woolf cracked the ball home and Cray had made an incredible comeback to 2-2.

In the teeming rain this had truly become a night to remember, with Cray refusing to lie down. There were no further goals, but if Hayes Lane sees a more dramatic and entertaining game in 2004-05 it will have to be an outstanding game indeed.      

Cray are in fourth place following this game, with four points from their opening two games.  Ian Jenkins' side are below Hastings United and Metropolitan Police, who have a 100% record and landlords Bromley, who like Cray, have four points.

Croydon are the visitors to Hayes Lane on Saturday (3pm)                          
Cray Wanderers:  Mann, Whelan (Woolf), Mayall, Gray, Russell, Taylor, Lover, Kempster, Power, Bremner, Millar (Browning).          
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