Cray Wanderers ended a two game home losing run but had to be content with a point against Leatherhead in a match between two sides in the bottom three. There was no shortage of endeavour but it was a very tense match with a lot at stake and despite a more open second half neither team could force a winner.  The match though did see Cray achieve their first clean sheet of the season.

With Cray in 20th and Leatherhead in 22nd place in the Isthmian Premier table this did look before the game one where perhaps tension would prevail over quality and this is how it proved with both sides working hard but just lacked that bit of magic to open up the game and set the match alight.

On a night racked with tension this looked like a game where the first goal would be important and in the opening moments, Leatherhead posed the first threat when a cross from Michael Fernandes from the right was headed off target by Joshua Bohui.

In the 3rd minute came a good opportunity for Cray when a good ball from Richie Danquah out to the right found the lively Erald Desa who broke into the area and his shot was well blocked by the feet of goalkeeper Manny Agboola.  

The first real shooting chance for Leatherhead came in the 14th minute when Aaron Lamont exchanged passes with Fernades and curled in a shot from 20 yards which went past the left post.

The next chance came to Cray when from a corner down the right, Kyel Reid's cross was pushed out by Agboola and came to Desa just outside the box who fired wide of the right post.

The game then passed without any great incident for a while until the 33rd minute when Desa and Reid combined to find Kasim Aidoo down the left of the area  who fired a shot into the side netting.

For Leatherhead, from a corner down the left, Lamont’s ball towards the far post was met by the head of Cameron Black but was well claimed by Bailey Vose. Meanwhile at the other end Brodie found Albon inside the area and his effort was blocked and came to Anthony Cook who attempted an overhead kick which was off target.

Five minutes before half time Cray came close again when Freddy Barton down the right played a good ball down the line to Desa who like earlier in the match broke into the area and his near post shot was again saved by the legs of Agboola.

Then two minutes before half time Barton and Albon combined to find Jamie Yila down the right of the area and his cross-shot cannoned off the woodwork and no-one could follow up.

The second half at least seemed to have more zip about it and Cray looked to set off quickly and Cook hooked a half volley over the top.

In the 52nd minute came a half chance for Leatherhead when a ball over the top from the back sought out Michael Fernandes who cut inside from the right and his curling shot was held by Vose.

For Cray, there was good play down the right and Cook found Desa and he fizzed a ball across to the far post where Yila managed to swing the ball back towards the right hand post but no-one could get a telling touch.

 In the 55th minute Archie Burnett picked up a return pass from Fernandes and flashed in a shot which was well parried by Vose and following up Louie Paget fired wide of the left post.

Two minutes later Cray were unlucky not to score when a ball into the area was pushed out and the ball eventually fell to Desa in a good position outside the area but goalbound shot was deflected past the left post for a corner.

Then on the hour Bohui for Leatherhead down the left hit a shot which was again pushed away well by Vose.

After this burst of excitement the game drifted back into nervous mode for the last twenty five minutes.  Cray did come close to scoring when from a corner down the right from Albon the ball was cleared out to Brodie who lashed a shot over the top.

Leatherhead had certainly been livelier in the second half and Fernandes shot well wide from 35 yards and a free kick from Lamont into the area aiming for Mitchell Gough was deflected behind for a corner. 

Then the Tanners created their last real chance when Pochu Mendez-Calucane played in a cross from the right towards the far post and Jethro Hanson hit a half volley which was deflected past the right post for a corner.

There looked to be one more big chance for Cray left  in the dying minutes and it did come when after a quickly taken free kick from Daniel Uchechi put Desa through down the right and his cross-shot went just agonisingly just past the left post.  Then in stoppage time a cross from Cook out on the right into the area was met by a flicked header from Yila but bounced through to Agboola on the goal line.

So in the end it finished 0-0 which did stem the flow of recent home defeats but perhaps in essence a point didn’t do either team a great deal of favours.  Cray remain 20th on 20 points, two behind Bowers & Pitsea whilst Leatherhead stay bottom on 13 points. The Wands are next at home on Saturday 22nd January when Grant Basey's side entertain Carshalton Athletic, 3pm.


Cray Wanderers:  Bailey Vose, Freddy Barton, Richie Danquah, Tom Hanfrey, Kasim Aidoo, Cameron Brodie (Chris Dickson, 71), Anthony Cook, Luca Albon (Daniel Uchechi, 84), Jamie Yila, Kyel Reid (Jacob Munting, H/T), Erald Desa: Subs: Jai Reason, Emanuel Oduguwa

Att: 256