Date Posted: 09/02/2019
Unsurprisingly, runaway Bostik South East leaders Cray Wanderers had too much for Guernsey on Saturday afternoon as they ran out 3-0 winners at Hayes Lane.
The unbeaten away run, which stood six games without defeat on the road since November, is well and truly over as the Green Lions’ rear-guard struggled to deal with the Wands’ pace and power and could offer little in response, finding themselves three behind at the break despite showing promise early on. An 11-minute spell after the half-hour proved to be their undoing.
It took 10 minutes for the first meaningful chance as Joseph Taylor flicked a leg at a left-wing cross but the ball bounced down harmlessly for Stanton.
The outcome could have been different if Paris Pereira had made the most of a free-header as a corner was flicked towards him. He was completely free at the far post but got his body shape wrong and the ball looped off the top of his head and behind.
Stanton pushed an early snapshot from Jerome Frederico wide at his near post before a second promising opening for Guernsey was snuffed out as Matt Loaring couldn’t quite connect with a flick-on from Jamie Dodd’s free-kick.
A vital interception to a low centre from Frank Tobin nearly turned into an own-goal midway through the half but Stanton was able to get to the ball before it crept over the line.
Shots from Junior Dadson and Ben Mundele were both diverted away from goal and Stanton had to be alert to block a free header at his near post. But the visitors could not keep their hosts out any longer as Junior Dadson, who had been denied with a similar effort shortly earlier, picked out the far top corner with a delightful curler that Stanton had no chance with.
A brief glimmer from Guernsey saw De La Mare break forward and tee up Rihoy on the edge of the area but the GFC number seven didn’t catch the shot well and Blue had time to get down to it.
Karl Dent’s low shot from the edge of the area that was deflected wide ended up being the catalyst for Cray doubling their lead. A short corner was fired in hard and low across the area and Taylor got there first to tap it in.
Taylor had the ball in the net again four minutes later as he nodded in Dent’s chipped cross to the far post but the flag went up for offside.
But that was only prolonging the inevitable as the Wands killed the game off before half-time just a minute later. Pritchard was completely free to be picked out in the box and had all the time he needed to pick out the far corner – poor defending.
A chance to make it four before the break was spurned as Frederico ran at the Guernsey defence on the counter and dragged his shot wide.
The Green Lions improved in the second half to provide some positivity for their sizeable travelling support on the first official fans’ away day of the season, but the second half was lacking much clearcut goalmouth action.
Federico fired just wide, Phipp hit a free-kick wide and Sean Roberts struck over the top, while Stanton denied Phipp and Taylor in the closing stages. For GFC, Loaring saw a shot blocked after good work from Dodds and substitute Will Fazakerley, while Carlos Canha's effort of the half from distance that was easy for Blue, but it was more of a formality as the hosts were happy to see the game out for a comfortable win.
Tom Phipp was sent off in the last minute for what was believed to be a high foot but it made little difference and Guernsey will want to chalk this one up as a bad day at the office and move swiftly on.
Cray Wanderers: Nick Blue, Ben Mundele (Sean Roberts 51’), Archie Johnson, Jay Leader, Mitchell Nelson (Marcus Evans 87’), Bradley Pritchard, Tom Phipp, Karl Dent (Daniel Uchechi 65’), Joseph Taylor, Junior Dadson, Jerome Frederico. Not used: Freddie Parker, Tiwao Fujimade.
Goals: Dadson 31’; Taylor 37’; Pritchard 42’. Booked: Nelson, Pritchard.
Guernsey: Callum Stanton, Tom De La Mare (Keanu Marsh 72’), Jamie Dodd (c), Thomas Dodds, Frank Tobin, Liam Mahon, Dave Rihoy (Will Fazakerley 53’), Seb Skillen, Paris Pereira (Glyn Dyer 76’), Carlos Canha, Matt Loaring. Not used: Tom Jackson.
Booked: Dodd, Dodds, Canha.
Highlights will be uploaded to GFCTV over the weekend, while subscribers can also view the full 90-minute playback.