Thursday 01st September 2005

Silk delivers praise after cup final defeat

Cray Wanderers' utility and clubman, Andy Silk, admitted he was disappointed after his team-mates were denied a unique treble at the Wesbourne Stadium in Folkestone on Saturday, writes Stephen McCartney.

After winning the Go Travel Kent League Premier Division championship for the second successive season, and winning the Kent Senior Trophy, they were denied the treble by Thamesmead Town, who won the Kent League Cup 1-0, thanks to Marc Merridan's 32nd minute strike from close range.

Silk, who said he was "thirty-two-years young in August" lives in New Eltham and is a postman, but he delivered praise to Thamesmead Town for their performance and praise for his team-mates who have stamped their authority on Kent League football for the past twenty-four months.

He said: "I am definitely disappointed not to win the treble today.  Whenever you lose a cup final you are always going to be disappointed.  To be fair, I don't think we really got going really, and in the last fifteen minutes we threw caution to the wind a bit."

Silk's career started at south east London club, St Andrews FC, before he joined Bromley in 1992, initially to play as a striker in the reserve team before George Wakeling, then first team manager, now assistant at Carshalton Athletic, gave him his chance in the first team.  He left Hayes Lane in 1996 to join Leyton Pennant, where he was captain of the side before he rejoined Bromley in the summer of 2000.  After being bombed out by present Bromley boss Stuart McIntyre he stayed at Hayes Lane, but dropped into the Kent League with Cray Wanderers, who groundshare the same stadium.

Silk was pleased with this season's exploits, that will see Cray play their 56th game of the season when they entertain Maidstone United at Hayes Lane on Monday evening that will complete their campaign.

He said: "You can't knock our season, quarter-finals of the FA Vase, winning the Kent League, the Kent Senior Trophy, which is probably bigger than the Kent League Cup and the final of this."

Silk praised the work-rate of Thamesmead Town, after the Bayliss Avenue club deservedly took the silverware away from Cray.

He added: "Thamesmead were deserved winners and they were great.  David Gray has had a block in the last minute from Tony Russell, who threw himself in, and that summed it up really.

"Cup finals are all about on the day - and Arsene Wenger said, good teams win the league - and average teams win the cup - but fair play and good luck to them!"

Like the rest of the playing staff and management team, no-one knows where their future lies until the Football Association make public the line-ups of next seasons new leagues.

Silk added: "The future, who knows? Everyone is talking about it.  We don't even know where the club will be next season.  I think everyone is in the same boat, we just have to wait and see what happens."

The Thamesmead defence impressed Silk.  He added: "Tony Russell had a great game but in general, all their players were up for it.  They worked hard didn't they!

"It's a shame to go out like that but you can't knock the season we've had.  It's been brilliant and the boys have been fantastic all the way through."

He added: "We still wanted to win this one - it wasn't the case of just turning up and going through the motions as you say it's a cup final and in a final you want to win it.  You want to win every game otherwise it isn't worth turning up!"

The utility player, who can play anywhere on the pitch, was praised by his manager Ian Jenkins, a few weeks ago, has enjoyed the season and appreciates the team spirit the club have.

He admitted: "I've just enjoyed this season.  I've played in the majority of games this season, and it's been the same during my career.  There is a great spirit at the club all the way through from chairman Gary Hillman, and all the way down to the boys who weren't here today.

"We've all done superbly - you talk to anyone about Ian Jenkins (manager) and Joe Francis (assistant) and you get nothing but praise for them!"

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