CRAY VALLEY (PM) 4 WHITSTABLE TOWN 1
SCEFL Premier Division
Saturday September 17 2016 15.00
Cray Valley (PM) ran out comfortable winners as a much changed Whitstable side put in a very disjointed performance at Badgers Sports Ground. Despite taking the lead through Ian Pulman, the home side replied almost immediately and went on to dominate with Ainsley Everett scoring a hat-trick. Denzel Gayle added a fourth and they also hit the woodwork and had a couple cleared off the line. Lee Winfield was sent off towards the end of an afternoon to forget for the Oystermen. The corner count of 8 -1 in favour of the home side gave some indication of the balance of play.
Whitstable manager Scott Porter made six changes to the side that lost narrowly at Chichester on Tuesday evening as the game got underway on a much cooler, breezy afternoon in Eltham. There was only one assistant assigned to the match, so after a number of unsuccessful phone calls one of the officials of the home club volunteered to run the line so that the game could go ahead. Dan Eason produced a good save from a well struck Richie Hamill free kick after an early foul by the returning Joe Kennett. Pulman and then Aaron Quain both had attempts that were comfortably saved by home keeper Jack Bradshaw as Whitstable started quite brightly. After 15 minutes Cray Valley were awarded a corner despite the assistant flagging for offside and although the ball was partially cleared, the ball fell to Peter Smith who shot straight at Eason. Then a header back by Callum Wraight was latched on to by Ben Hunt, but his shot went just past the far post. The same player then worked himself into another good position but blazed his shot over the bar with only Eason to beat.
Whitstable though then took the lead as Kane Rowland got up to win a header and the ball was collected by Darren Marsden, whose clever pass over the defender found Pulman and he chipped the ball over Bradshaw and in off the back post. The lead lasted just one minute as Kennett brought down Hamill twenty yards out and his free kick hit the post and rebounded to Everett who rolled the ball into the net. On 26 minutes Pulman managed to take the ball around Bradshaw but the angle was too narrow and his attempted cross was cleared. The home side were now getting on top and Hunt first had an effort blocked by Rob Gillman, then he got past Kennett but his cross was intercepted by Charlie Smith. He got through again after playing a 1-2 with Everett, but Eason saved. The pressure finally told as Denzel Gayle broke down the right and crossed to Everett who forced the ball past the diving Eason at the far post to give Cray Valley the lead. Hunt and Hamill had further efforts to add to the score, but it remained 2-1 at the interval.
Things did not improve much as play restarted and Jamie Wood volleyed just over after an early corner and Wraight was booked for blocking off Hunt as he tried to break clear. Charlie Smith had a couple of attempts on goal for the visitors without troubling Bradshaw. Whitstable made a couple of substitutions, but they did little to alter the balance of play although Harris Rodgers made a good run down the left but shot well over. On 67 minutes Hunt curled in a long range effort that beat Eason but came back off the post. The third goal came just afterwards though as Peter Smith won the ball in midfield and fed Everett in the box who finished well past Eason into the far corner. Gayle and Wood both had shots off target before Gayle burst clear from his own half and fired the ball past Eason into the roof of the net to make it 4-1.
On 83 minutes Charlie Smith lunged in on Gayle without really making contact, although as Gayle got to his feet he made an aggressive gesture that sparked a coming together of a number of players. A red card was shown to Winfield for his part in the incident and yellow cards were given to Smith and Gayle, who was perhaps fortunate to stay on the pitch. After play restarted a corner was met by substitute Leigh Bremner whose header was cleared off the line, although it must have been close to being given by the stand in assistant who gave the defender the benefit of the doubt. Wraight then blocked another Peter Smith shot and Bremner tried a spectacular overhead kick that flew over the bar with Whitstable by now in total disarray. The final whistle blew with the home side good value for their 4-1 win.
It was a very poor performance by Whitstable who were unable to cope with the pace and movement of the home side and offered little threat in return. Unless a fixture is rearranged for the weekend, there is now a ten day break before the next game.
Cray Valley (PM)
Jack Bradshaw, Peter Smith, Danny Smith, Jamie Wood, Ashley Sains (c), Joe Matthews, Ainsley Everett (Frankie Griffin 77), Jamie Miller, Ben Hunt (Leigh Bremner 68), Richie Hamill (Mehmet Piro 58), Denzel Gayle.
Subs (unused): Kyle McDowall, Malik Ouani.
Goals: Ainsley Everett 22, 33, 68, Denzel Gayle 81.
Yellow cards: Denzel Gayle 83, Mehmet Piro 90+2.
Dan Eason, Connor Hood, Callum Wraight, Joe Kennett, Rob Gillman (c), Lee Winfield, Charlie Smith, Kane Rowland, Ian Pulman, Darren Marsden (Michael Yianni 55), Aaron Quain (Harris Rodgers 58).
Subs (unused): Ollie Lee, Nick Treadwell, Craig Thompson.
Goal: Ian Pulman 21.
Yellow cards: Callum Wraight 50, Charlie Smith 83, Ian Pulman 84.
Red card: Lee Winfield 83.
Referee: Chris Myatt
Assistants: Joe Neanor & Steve Chapman (Cray Valley – only one SCEFL appointed assistant)