Mead on wrong end of late drama
The Mead 0-1 Cray Wanderers
After winning on Wednesday at the death against Herne Bay, the Mead were this time on the wrong end of a late goal as Cray substitute Power lobbed the only goal of a tough derby played in blustery conditions to win the game at the death for the visitors.
It was a game that wont list too long in the memory and one that didn't finish until a few minutes before 5:00pm due to second half injuries including one that saw Cray's Dent carried off on a stretcher with an ankle injury in the 90th minute and almost immediately from the restart the Cray substitute coolly lobbed home after the Mead defence, who had stood firm all afternoon despite missing skipper Leon Smith and Jake McIntyre, temporarily switched off.
Tobi Ajala almost gave the home side a wind assisted early lead as both sides struggled in the early stages to come to terms with the swirling wind and when they did Dawson should really have done better on thirty minutes with a free header for a Cray corner. Then shortly after Wanderers full back Richardson hit a thunderous drive that missed the frame of the Mead goal by inches.
Scott Kinch then had two good chances in the closing stages of the first half - the first when he timed his run into the box as a corner wasn't cleared only for the ball to get held up in the wind and the chance was gone. Then just before the break, Kinchy drove in a shot that bounced the wrong side of the left post.
In the opening stages of an equally cagey second half, Leader had a diving header brilliantly saved by Lewis Carey before another Kinchy shot was well blocked. Dent who's charging run caused problems for the Mead all afternoon then burst through only to be denied brilliantly by Lewis before the Mead keeper was relieved to have Harvey Brand on hand to clear the resulting corner off the line.
Alex Teniola then fired over when well places and substitute Ellis Green then went close for the home side before Dent collapsed in a heap and was carried off with a leg injury. In an ever lengthening period of stoppage time, the visitors had one last chance which they sadly took as Power was played through and lobbed home from the edge of the box.
This was undoubtedly not a game for the purist but had a strange fascination about it that kept the crowd totally enthralled if not completely drooling over the rough, tough fare on a very testing afternoon which had few positives for the Mead to take.
THE MEAD - Carey, Brand, McIntyre, Kinch (McIntosh), Avery, Denny, Ajala, (Green), O'Connor, Vines, Teniola, Anidugbe
Subs - Adeniran & Ovenden