Cray Valley (PM) 1-3 Raynes Park Vale
FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round, 17th August 2014: Att 106.
There isn’t a single paper mill at Cray Valley (Paper Mills). Note the plural. Not since the early 80s anyway. Disappointing turn of events. BUT, no matter, we had an unexpected treat. Club branded bins and FATHER JACK in the house! Paul John is one of the best linos about, always chatty, clear and rarely wrong, He also looks like he’s just slept in his car before donning the black of officialdom. He was long ago christened ‘Father Jack’, but we love him dearly.
And he had plenty to keep an eye on. Some spicy late tackles from the home side early doors as the clouds rolled in, adding an ill-fitting gloom to a previously fine day and a good game of football. Neat play from the Vale, fruity tackles from the home side and played at the proverbial one hundred miles an hour.
Raynes Park came closest when Jack Kelly spilled a fairly comfortable shot but Ali Wiltshire was too immobile to react, to what was a good chance.
A few moments later Vale had the lead after a testing crossed free kick into the box was turned in at the back post. Difficult to tell who got the last touch, Vale tweeted that it was their forward Makin while Cray’s thought it was an OG from Coburn. If the latter, he’ll probably want to forget this game.
Then heavens then opened. The surface was slick and a few passes went astray but both sets of players dealt with it pretty well. And it wasn’t long before the Millers (where’s the mill?) worked a lovely equaliser, tucked in the corner by Aaron Jeffrey after some lovely one touch football in front of Vale’s backline. But this was against the run of play and Vale were unlucky to be pegged back.
Jerome Smart was instrumental in midfield for Vale adding a little back heel to his sound distribution. Even the Raynes Park keeper got in on hte act with a chest down outside his box and a little dink over the advancing forward. His opposite number was having some trouble with the surface and on a few occasions put his defence in trouble with underhit or inaccurate passes.
On each at half time, Raynes Park Vale easily the better side but Cray were playing their part in an exciting, well-reffed game (contrary to the protestations of the Cray manager) on a surface slick for much of the half. Proper cup match.
The second half was barely underway when Vale clipped the wordwork from a curled shot, keeper well-beaten. And soon asfter they had a penalty, Putney tripped by the clumsy Coburn and Simon Moore sent the keeper the wrong way. 2-1 to Vale, deservedly.
Although the ref tried to keep the game flowing and keep his cards in his pocket, Raynes Park’s physical number ten, Wiltshire, was probably lucky to be carded after three robust challenges and an unintentional flailing elbow.
Cray finally had a bit of pressure and Vale lost their discipline for ten minutes or so but a header by Dowdeswell from a corner after about 80 minutes gave Raynes Park a 3-1 cusion that they never looked like surrendering.
/\ /\ Captured header for 3rd Goal, wonders will never cease /\ /\
Waters, Smart and Moore were the stand out players for Raynes Park Vale in a comfortable 3-1 win.
Another plus was the Badgers’ Beer, a pump ale at a non-league ground!! It’s presumably a re-badged Shepherde Neamer or some such, but pretty decent either way. And, after last seasons’s 0-0 triple start to the FA Cup, we’ve seen seven goals in just two games this time round, and two decent games of football. More of all that please.