Kent Hürlimann League – Premier Division - 3rd September 2011
After the euphoria of gaining their first points in the Kent league the previous week, 10 men Cray came crashing back down to earth against a weakened but spirited Woodstock side. An inept first half performance saw the home sides centre forward Aaron Firth dismissed following two bookable offence, while two uncharacteristic mistakes by the normally dependable full back Ben Healy gifted the visitors a two goal lead at the interval.
Cray never really got going in the first half and were fortunate not to concede an early goal as a result of Woodstock’s long ball tactics. It was only some outstanding saves and brave goalkeeping from Jack Carthy that prevented them from taking an early lead. The constant questioning of the officials decisions by Firth earned him a caution for dissent and within 5 minutes he saw red! Having diverted a cross into the net, he was adjudged by referee Chris Myatt to have deliberately handled the ball and therefore, the referee had no option other than to send him off.
Woodstock finally made the breakthrough in the 31st minute when a long diagonal ball caught Healy the wrong side of his marker and striker Damione Kynston sprinted clear before confidently shooting past Carthy. Cray’s promising young keeper then made a fantastic save from Frazer Roger’s long range effort but it wasn’t long before Woodstock extended their lead. Another defensive mistake form Healy was capitalised by the lively Baverstock and he made it 2-0 just before the break.
In fairness to Cray they managed to reshape and reorganise at half time and despite having the numerical disadvantage they dominated the second half. The introduction of new signing David East and the move to a 4-3-2 formation caused panic in the Woodstock final third and it was East that clawed a goal back in the 77th minute. Matt Knuckey’s shot was parried by Nicholas Shaw but East was on hand to gratefully accept the rebound.
Cray almost snatched a deserved equaliser but a lack of composure in front of goal cost them dearly. Defender Steve Springett pushed forward for the last five minutes and had the best opportunity to salvage a point but his effort was well saved by Shaw.
Cray Man of the Match – Jack Carthy