Thursday, 7 April 2016

Cray Valley PM 0 Tunbridge Wells 0

Match 85/15/1290 - Wednesday, 6th April 2016 - SCEFL

Cray Valley PM (0) 0
Tunbridge Wells (0) 0
Attendance: 64

Entrance: £5 Senior
Programme: £1
Mileage: 82/6,161

Spring quickly turned back to winter as a biting wind not only took away much of the pleasure of spectating but also, along with an uneven surface, proved too much for either side to produce a great deal in terms of quality. Sadly, a very poor game ensued although Tunbridge Wells can rightly take great satisfaction in another clean sheet.

Tunbridge Wells opened the game kicking down the considerable slope at the Badgers and, with both sides cancelling each other out, it took until the 37th minute for a clear cut opportunity to arise. Jack Howlett got clear of the back line but lofted his shot over the advancing Rob French but also over the bar.

Cray Valley responded a minute later when Marcus Elliott guided a header wide and in time added, Rory Hill's free kick needed Steve Lawrence's intervention; at least the half was finishing on a relative high.

Ryan Crandley, who continues to impress with his direct running, was just off target after 75 minutes and after 81 minutes Hill brought a brilliant, low save from Lawrence plunging to his right to keep the scoreline goalless.

Into the last five and the game finally sprang into life. Elliott went close for Cray Valley and, in the first of three quickfire chances, Howlett shot over.

A corner was spilt by French but he recovered to touch Perry Spackman's effort over the bar and in the final throes of the evening, a defence splitting pass from Stephen Ikpeme gave Howlett one last opportunity which he pulled agonisingly wide. Every time I've seen Ikpeme I've been more than impressed and it bemuses me why he is not picked every game, but I'm not seeing every performance.

Speaking to supporters last night, with only two games to go, this is a season in which they will be glad to see ended. The club are about to embark on a new chapter under new stewardship following the resignation of chairman, Clive Maynard. Stability must be the watchword, next season cannot see a repeat of the revolving door of players. A clear policy is needed, if the budget only allows youth, that is the way it has to be and to stick with it.

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