Cray Wanderers unbeaten start to 2022 came to an end on a cold evening as Bognor Regis Town inflicted a seventh home defeat of the season with a goal scored on the hour by Dan Gifford in a game where Cray deserved at least a share of the spoils.  The Wands remain 20th in the league table on 19 points.

On a chilly evening with a touch of mist in the air, Bognor started with more possession and an early corner but it was Cray who forged the first real opening of the game in the 5th minute. After some good passing down the left, Jai Reason and Cameron Brodie combined to put Jamie Yila in and cut into the area and his firmly hit shot was well held by Amadou Tangara.

Bognor had a couple of half openings and Harvey Whyte set up Jordy Mongoy who saw his shot from 25 yards blocked by Anthony Cook.   Then Hughes set up Mongoy for another shot that was blocked and then top scorer Nathan Odonkonyero cut inside from the right and his shot was deflected over by Cook.

Cray were putting some good movement together and down the left again, Albon and Kasim Aidoo found Yila and his ball across found Chris Dickson whose shot was well saved but the linesman’s flag had been raised.

Bognor had their best opening of the first half in the 22nd minute when Cook’s pass back was picked up by Dan Gifford and he found Odonkonyero who curled a shot wide of the right post.

Cray were again getting some joy down the left and Cook played a great ball out to Yila and his ball across found Albon whose shot from 12 yards went just past the right post.

For Bognor, Whyte saw a shot deflected behind but Cray came close to scoring when Yila was brought down just outside the area and from the free kick, Kyel Reid’s ball into the area was headed in by Cameron Brodie but the linesman’s flag ruled the goal out.

Yila was proving to be quite a thorn in Bognor’s side first half and once again after combining with Dickson set up the unlucky Albon who curled a shot fractionally past the right hand post.

Before half time the game became a bit scrappy with Cray probing down the right and Freddy Barton’s cross was well claimed under pressure from Tangara.  At the other end, from Craig Robson’s pass, Mongoy saw a shot from 25 yards held by Bailey Vose. Then Whyte set up Odonkonyero who fired well over the top. 

The Rocks had a half opening a couple of minutes after half time when Whyte found Gifford down the right of the area but slightly off balance his shot went past the right post.

Cray were looking lively at the start of the half and after Reid won a corner down the right, his ball across was helped across by Tom Hanfrey and Uchechi and out to Cook who volleyed well over and then Dickson show well over from distance.

The Wands best chance possibly of the game came when a Bognor back pass caused hesitation and Dickson broke through but his attempted chipped shot from the edge of the area was well blocked and clawed away by Tangara who had a great game in goal.

In the 59th minute, down the right, Brodie and Reid found Barton and his ball into the box was dropped by Tangara and following up Uchechi was unlucky to see his shot deflected over for a corner.

However, from the corner Bognor broke away to score when Ethan Robb hooked a ball over the top and Gifford latched onto the pass, found himself just inside the area and placed a cool finish wide of Vose and into the bottom right corner.

Cray had to take a few more chances to get back into it and Bognor were presented with a chance to score a second with a free kick inside the D and Jame Crane curled a shot over the top.

The game once again became a bit scrappy with passes going astray but Cray kept going and in the 73rd minute nearly scored when Dickson and Reid down the right set up Albon and his shot was deflected behind for a corner.

Bognor were defending well and repelling Cray’s attacks but the Wands were desperately unlucky not to score in the 79th minute when Brodie won the ball down the right and set up Albon and from 25 yards saw his goalbound shot tipped superbly over the bar by Tangara.

Despite plenty of possession and endeavour from Cray in the closing ten minutes couldn’t quite forge that one more big chance to grab a point which over the game they probably merited and Bognor saw out the remaining minutes for the three points.  Cray remain 20th in the table and are at home again on Saturday (15th January) vs. Corinthian Casuals, 3pm.


Cray Wanderers:  Bailey Vose, Freddy Barton, Anthony Cook, Tom Hanfrey, Kasim Aidoo, Cameron Brodie (Stefan Wright, 83), Jai Reason (Daniel Uchechi, H/T), Luca Albon, Jamie Yila, Kyel Reid, Chris Dickson: Subs: Erald Desa, Emanuel Oduguwa, James Town

Att: 265