Cray and the Mead shared the points in this local derby league opener, putting on an entertaining match, which both sides could have won, but the final result was probably fair.
The game started at a high tempo and was open with play going from end to end, the Mead created the better early chances though the on-loan Tashi-Jay Kwaiye firing over and then soon after going closer as he hit a post, before Alex Teniola hit the side netting from the rebound.
Mead pressed The Wands back playing down the Hayes Lane slope and made it hard for the home side to play out from the back, but it was Cray who went ahead with their first real chance when Luke Medley set up Karl Dent who powerfully drove home to make it 1-0 from ten yards.
The visitors though were level only five minutes later though when Scott Kinch played in Tash brilliantly who coolly slotted the ball under the advancing Nick Blue to equalise. Skipper Leon Smith went close for the visitors again with a fierce drive that deflected over before the game slowed a little before the Mead finished the half stronger - but the score remained tied at 1-1.
The second half started with Tash hitting a curling effort narrowly wide, but Cray once again edged in front with their first chance.
Ben Mundele combined with Brandon Scott who crossed for Michael Freiter to fire home from close range. The Mead though rallied again, as Alex was denied a goal against his old side when Lea Dawson blocked his goal bound shot and Ryan Flack forced a save from Blue, before the home side had arguably their best spell of the game.
Dent had an effort well saved by Lewis Carey and he was also on hand to brilliantly deny Dawson’s header from a corner. Sub Bradley Stevenson shot wide and Scott also brought Lewis into action with another great save as the half went on.
With both sides making changes it was the Mead who finished the game on top – Alex had a bicycle kick well saved by Blue, before the pressing paid off in injury time when a great long throw from Leon was flicked on brilliantly by Tom O’Connor to Tash who headed home the equalizer and gained the Mead a deserved point on an entertaining opening day!
THE MEAD – Carey, Brand, Mendy, Kinch, Smith, Denny, Glover, O’Connor, Teniola (Luchford), Kwayie (McIntyre), Flack (Vines)
Subs – Butler and Ovenden
REPORT COURTESY OF COLIN HEAD - KENT SPORTS NEWS
Updated 14:20 - 13 Aug 2017 by MIKE GREEN