Monday, 9 April 2018

Tunbridge Wells 0 Cray Valley PM 2

Match 116/17/1566 - Monday, 9th April 2018 - SCEFL

Tunbridge Wells (0) 0 White 24 James 84
Cray Valley PM (1) 2
Attendance: 122

Admission: £4 Senior
Programme: £2
Mileage: 38/7,831

Match Report

Three games in five days justifies the rotation exercised by Jason Bourne but the sight of Alfie Hall hobbling away also showed that fate is no respecter of manager’s decisions of whom plays where or when.

The Tunbridge Wells line-up showed five graduates from the Development and Youth set-up and credit can be taken that they produced a competitive performance whilst accepting that Cray Valley, whom themselves made changes for an identical schedule, were worthy winners.

It was a miserably wet evening leaving one to reminisce of recent season’s when these end-of-season games have been played on warm Spring evenings with pitches rock hard. This evening’s game didn’t need a pitch inspection to start but would have probably failed one at the finish.

After an opening quarter hour in which the main source of interest was the rain falling harder, the first opportunity fell to the visitor’s star turn, Kevin Lisbie, who outpaced Jack Hampson but his shot cleared the bar.

Tunbridge Wells responded immediately with Cray’s goalkeeper, Andy Walker, saving from Franco Mici with his feet.

Cray Valley made the breakthrough on 23 minutes when Jack White’s header from a corner was adjudged to have crossed the line despite the best efforts of Tommy Lawrence.

The visitors went on to dominate the rest of the half making and spurning several chances with Callum Hampson making a trio of good saves.

The Wells opened the second half with a positive attitude and Walker needed a smart save to deny Jon Pilbeam. Callum Hampson proved his worth as an able deputy for first choice Cameron Hall with two brave blocks to thwart Sam Bailey.

Josh Stanford brought a good save, low to his left, out of Walker just before the hour mark whilst Hampson saved similarly from a Bailey free kick. Within a minute, Hampson was once more the hero brilliantly turning aside a Lisbie header.

Cray Valley finally put the game to bed with six minutes remaining when Denzil Gayle, free of the shackles imposed by Alfie Hall, crossed into Lisbie who, in turn, set up a shooting chance for Josh James to finish.

Once this week is over, a more reasonable schedule should allow Bourne to settle his side for the opportunity to salvage some silverware from a disappointing season in the SCEFL Challenge Cup Final.

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