Orpington 4 v 3 Cray Valley (aet)

Kent Intermediate Challenge Shield, 3rd Round

Report by Phil Alder

ARE Cray Valley sick of the sight of Orpington or what?

The Os have won four out of four meetings over the past three seasons.

Cray Valley must have thought their chance was in after Os manager Ted Gorman was awarded the kiss of death manager-of-the-month award.

Indeed the visitors looked to have laid the Os curse to rest once as they headed for the semi-finals of the Kent Intermediate Challenge Shield.

That was until Perry Belchamber popped up with an injury time header to send the game into extra-time.

Although Orpington started the brighter of the two sides, it was Cray Valley who had the first genuine opportunity when Jason Dolby's goal-bound effort was cleared off the line by Danny Taylor.

Gary Gorman responded for the Os when his attempted lob cleared both Stewart Back, in the Cray goal, and the bar.

But the Os took the lead on 20 minutes when a miss-kick by Back allowed Anthony Weir to steer the ball home.

The goal stirred Cray into action and they created several good chances - a deep cross to the far-post was met by the boot of Jason Dolby but his effort was just wide and one minute later, Taylor again came to the rescue when he cut out a low cross from the right.

Dolby again found himself in a threatening position but this time his shot was deflected wide by Danny Gorman.

Orpington responded with a Perry Belchamber long-range effort just wide of the right post.

Cray's Matt Knuckey went on a penetrating run into the Os penalty area but his shot was pushed over by Nicky Blue.

But just as it seemed Orpington would take their lead into the interval, Cray equalized when Knuckey exchanged a one-two with a team-mate inside the penalty area and then tucked the ball inside the left post.

Just before the break, Cray's Dean Flood picked up a yellow card for a foul on Adam Noad.

Cray began the second-half the brighter of the two sides and moved into a 2-1 lead when a mix-up in the Os defence allowed Knuckey to grab his second of the afternoon.

But Orpington responded immediately when Weir also claimed his second goal in converting Gary Gorman's deep low cross from the right, to draw the scores level at 2-2.

However, this see-saw match swung back towards Cray seven minutes later.

This time it was Ryan Dolby who drove home a diagonal through ball from the right to give Cray a 3-2 advantage.

Orpington fought hard for the equalizer and their cause was helped when Cray's Flood received a second yellow card for use of the arm when challenging for a header.

Cray re-organised themselves to account for the loss of a player but Orpington continued to press forward.

Just as it looked Orpington would surrender their unbeaten run, Perry Belchamber managed to steer his header into the bottom left hand corner of the Cray goal.

Orpington with the extra player looked the more likely to win the game during the added half-hour.

The winning goal came a minute before the turn-around - Hughes stabbing the ball home after Weir's header from a Noad cross was parried by Back.

Orpington will be at home to either Greenways or Fleet Leisure in the semi-finals.

MATCH FACTS: ORPINGTON: Blue, D Gorman, Taylor, Beard, P Belchamber, Shelton (Quick, 78), G Belchamber, Noad, G Gorman (Johnson, 80), Weir, Hughes.