After Tuesday night’s draw at Shoraham, The Rooks come into Saturday’s game against 9th place Cray Wanderers still unbeaten but ruing the opportunity to be sitting on top of the table. Darren still has some concerns over Gus Sow, Alex Malins and Matt Hurley, the former two who were on the bench on Tuesday.
We had two eventful games with Cray last season, and they’ve made a decent start to the season this time around with a crew of very good, experienced players, so we’re going to have to up our game this afternoon.
I want to start by thanking all the fans who backed the boys last Saturday and especially at Shoreham in midweek. The support was unbelievable on Tuesday night, especially in that atrocious weather, and I’m just sorry the performance didn’t match up. We can’t blame the conditions, the officials or anyone else for the result. I didn’t feel we played well and we can do a lot better, and we’ll need to do a lot better this afternoon.
Sadly, after Tuesday night’s game, Tony Coade was taken ill. I went to see Codge in hospital on Wednesday and before long we had the notepad out, running through Tuesday’s game – but the nurse made me put it away, because it was giving him another funny turn! Seriously, I’m sure everyone at the club sends Codge their best wishes, and I hope we’ll see him back at the Pan very soon.
On a similar note, it was great to see both Derrick Parris and Peter Hiscox at the game on Saturday, and I’m glad we put on a decent performance for them!
I want to say an enormous thank you to Roger Feltham, who has done an amazing job on the pitch over the past few weeks. Roger is down here so often looking after the pitch that I’m surprised they don’t charge him council tax, but the pitch has played brilliantly since the start of the season and that’s testament to the hours he puts in on the tractor. Buy him a pint if you see him in the bar.
How has this season been?
Cray come into the game unbeaten like us in the Bostik League South, having been the drawn specialists so far this season with four of their six games ending all square. Their two wins have come against Molesey and Shoreham, whilst their dreams of a FA Cup run ended at home to Sevenoaks Town in the Preliminary Round.
How was last season?
After losing in the Ryman North Play-offs to Harlow Town in 2015/16, Cray
got their wish in transferring to the Isthmian League South last season
although they found the standard of opposition much higher. Despite scoring an impressive number of
goals, including 24 from Danny Hayes then leaked 86 which ultimately meant they
finished way-short of the Play-off spots.
Isthmian League South Division – 11th – P 46 W 19 D 11 L 16 GS 88 GA 86 GD +2 PTS 68
FA Cup – Second Qualifying Round – Lost at home
to Worthing 2-1
FA Trophy –
First Qualifying Round – Lost away to Faversham Town 1-0
Kent Senior Cup – First Round – Lost at home to
Isthmian League Cup – Did not enter
When did we last meet
Our excellent run of form against Cray Wanderers continued last season with
the Rooks taking all six points and scoring eight goals in the process. In our first meeting at The Pan in October,
The Rooks went in 2-1 down at half-time thanks to a Lloyd Harrington strike but
within a few minutes goals from Jamie Brotherton. Cray were then reduced to ten men when
full-back Jay Siva was sent off for a reckless challenge on Charlie
Coppola. Jamie Brotherton then completed
his hatrick with a spectacular strike before the visitors were reduced to nine
men with Danny Haynes sent off for violent conduct. Duncan Culley then finished
the job off in injury time.
At Hayes Lane in February, The Rooks took an early lead
thanks to Stephen Okoh then Harrington scored another against Cray before
another excellent strike from James Hammond wrapped up all three points for The
Our record versus Cray Wanderers since 2011/12
P 8 W 6 D 2 L 0 GS 22 GA 9
Biggest Win – Cray Wanderers 1 Lewes 5 – 23rd February 2014
Biggest Defeat – N/A
Kick off on Saturday at The Pan is 3pm. Admission is £11 for Adults, £6 for Concessions and Under16s go Free.