Cray Wanderers


Ashford Town (Middlesex)


Ryman League Premier Division,
Hayes Lane, Bromley
20th March 2010

A solitary Rob Quinn goal was enough to secure all three points for the home side against a toothless Ashford Town whose boss, Jamie Lawrence, will be puzzling over how, in the space of a few weeks, his side can go from realistically contemplating a play-off place to starting to look over their shoulders at the relegation zone after losing six of their last eight matches.

Wanderers took the game to their opponents from the start and could have taken the lead as early as the 2nd minute when Craig Ross was called into action to save from Lewis Wood then watching as Leigh Bremner’s follow up shot was deflected out for the first corner of the game.

Brian Haule and Paul Johnson combined, shortly after, to set up a chance for Jones Awuah but the Ashford striker scuffed his shot wide then Johnson split the Cray defence with an intelligent ball that Jermaine McGlashan ran onto to deliver a deep cross to the far post that Warren Harris headed wide.

Tommy Tyne reciprocated for the hosts but shot over Ross’ bar after playing a one-two with Wood before Johnson  replied with two free kicks in quick succession, the first being defended at the cost of a corner and the second blasted high over Tony Kessell’s bar from 40 yards.

Cray had a free kick of their own, in the 26th minute, for hand ball, which was curled just wide by Jack Clark from the edge of the Ashford penalty area while George Porter, whose threat down the right flank had been cut out by the excellent Femi Ilesamni, for once slipped his marker to cut inside and fire wide.

Ilesamni took time out from his defensive duties to start a move that went through his skipper Johnson, Awuah and finally McGlashan whose low drive was clutched by Kessell then, at the other end, Ross was on hand to make a tidy save from Wood from a corner.

Johnson let fly with another long range effort that Kessell took in the midriff just before the interval and that was to be the Ashford midfielder’s last involvement of the match as the effects of his recent illness looked to have taken its toll, Davis Haule coming on as his replacement.

Early in the second half, a clumsy challenge on Clark earned Vinnie O’Sullivan a caution, Clark’s free kick found Porter but the winger was ruled off-side.

A surging run by Bremner bought him within striking distance of the Ashford goal but he unselfishly laid the ball off to Wood but O’Sullivan made a telling tackle to clear the danger then Scott Weight sent McGlashan away, the speedy winger cut inside but cleared the Cray bar with his shot.

Vinnie O’Sullivan, outstanding at the heart of the Ashford defence, had a momentary lapse of concentration when he back-heeled the ball into the path of Bremner but the Cray striker spurned the chance of giving his side the lead by wildly firing high and wide with only Ross to beat.

The home team scored the only goal of the game in the 69th minute, Clark crossed from the Cray right and Rob Quinn stole in between O’Sullivan and Russ Canderton to head past Ross from close range.

The visitors pushed on looking for the equaliser but it wasn’t to be Ashford’s day leaving their management with a lot of thinking to do if they are to resurrect the season.