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Cray suffer early cup exit
CRAY Wanderers' poor season continued when they were dumped out of the FA Cup by lower league opponents Faversham Town 3-0 yesterday.
It was Cray who started the brighter with their young winger James Fray in particular testing Faversham’s defence.
Had his crosses from the right been met with more clinical finishing Cray could have taken the game by the scruff off the neck early on.
They looked the more comfortable on the ball and limited Faversham to long punts up field out of defence.
In fact, Cray were so in control Faversham didn’t mount their first serious attack until a quarter of an hour into the game.
But once again it was poor passing and uncertainty in defence that was to prove Cray’s undoing.
On 29 minutes a Faversham defender intercepted a Cray pass too easily.
The ball eventually found Faversham’s Luke Harvey in midfield, who ran to the edge of Cray’s penalty area unchallenged and fired a shot wide of keeper Andy Walker and into the back of the net.
Cray’s response was immediate, replacing Rhys Coleman with Tijani Eshilokun to add some steel in midfield.
For a while the tactic worked as they hemmed Faversham in their own half. But Cray’s penetration was poor and by half-time it was the visitors who looked more likely to score again.
The second half started as the first half had finished and Faversham’s David Botterill’s attempt on goal brought a fine finger tip save from Walker.
From the corner the home side couldn’t clear their lines and the ball was fizzing around the penalty area like it was a pinball machine but Faversham couldn‘t apply the coupe de grace.
To get out of their own half Cray adopted Faversham’s early tactic of punting the ball up field.
But the height advantage of the Faversham defence over Cray’s forwards meant that nine times out of 10 the threat was easily dealt with.
Cray fared better when they played the ball on the ground and had someone been on hand to meet Marcus Ekem’s cross into Faversham’s penalty area the game could have been all square.
But these glimmers of hope were too infrequent although James Fray was still proving to be a thorn in Faversham’s side.
And his persistence brought about the only booking of the game when Vamie Maxted was shown the yellow card for wrestling Fray to the ground.
Faversham repelled the subsequent free-kick and turned defence into attack when just inside the Cray half Aaron Day was adjudged to have up-ended a Faversham forward.
Wayne Wilson took the indirect fre- kick and found the head of David Botterill whose header was directed beyond Walker and into the net.
By now Cray were looking nervous and a lack of confidence began to permeate throughout the team.
Despite this Aaron Day, in his captain’s role, and Andy Walker tried to rally the troops but there was no denying that Faversham were more assured and in control of the game.
That was confirmed on 73 minutes when poor Cray defending allowed Faversham’s Darren Marsden to fire home from the edge of the box.
Wands manager Ian Jenkins will need all his motivational skills to raise his team’s spirit for their next game away to East Thurrock United on September 21.
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