Wingate were knocked out of the quarter-finals of London Senior Cup as a result of both overplaying the ball and a lack of cutting edge in front of goal, writes Khalid Karimullah.
The condition of the pitch didn’t help either side as the game started off slowly, until the composed Tommy Tejan-Sie found Knight 30-yards from goal, who hit a powerful drive which went just wide of the post. The game was starting to become frantic, as Jimmy Rogers pass came to the feet of Ben Healy, whose side footed attempt looked like it beat the Wingate goalkeeper, but Stuart Lake was there to clear the ball off the line for the visitors.
Karl Oliyide playing on the right, cut inside after some skilful play and found Jack Read in space from 18 yards, who just couldn’t connect properly, with the ball easily finding its way into the keeper’s hands. Before from a corner, Laney’s close-range volley was well saved by Sutton with players around him.
Wingate again had another chance when Knights effort was well saved by Sutton. The hosts though scored a minute later in the 36th minute. A pass was sent over the top of Wingate’s defence to Thomas Youngs, who hit a powerful shot into the far corner of the goal, despite Metcalffe’s effort to close him down.
This hadn’t rattled Wingate though, after Laney again forced Sutton into a save, before Oliyide’s deflected effort had to be held well with Knight lying in wait inside the area. They did eventually get their equaliser on 42 minutes, after Knight combined well with Read, who was put through on goal and the forward hit the ball low and hard into the corner from four yards.
After half-time, Ronanyne Marsh-Brown who was constantly busy at either end, delivered a good pass to Laney whose by-line cross came to Knight, but Sutton was equal to his low hard shot. Cray Valley took the lead moments later when after 56 minutes gone, a mix up at the back by Wingate’s defence allowed Paul Gross to half-volley the ball into the top corner as he was on his way down.
The forward almost scored again a minute later. James Hawkins found himself with space to attack down the left side, and he delivered a dangerous ball across goal which Gross could only hit wide. Wingate went on a flurry of attacks afterwards. First Read shot just over from outside the box, before Marsh-Brown and Oliyide combined well to win a corner for the blues, and from the resulting corner, Read got to the near post but his header went inches over.
Sogbanmu then drifted a pass out to the right for Laney who deceived Cray Valley’s defence. It appeared they were expecting a cross to the back post, though his pass found Read at the near post who hit his shot over, before Tejan-Sie’s effort went inches wide.
The Millers, after some intricate passing in the middle of the park looked for a third, when they had a 25 yard effort sail wide of Metcalffe’s post. Then, Oliyide who looked threatening for the visitors, went one way and then another as he left his defender trailing, but his effort only resulted in a corner. This created an opportunity though for Sogbanmu, whose resulting header was cleared near the line with the keeper beat.
More chances were coming for both sides with the game enteringits final minutes. After a scramble inside Cray Valley’s box, Oliyide’s controlled attempt was blocked. Minutes later the home side had a free kick from 18 yards. Adam Gross stepped up to take the free kick, but despite hitting the ball with real menace, it went inches over with the keeper flat footed. Wingate were pushing hard for a second goal, and through Knights free kick in the dying seconds, they had their chance but it went frustratingly wide. Both sides played out a great game of attacking football, though Daniel Nielsen’s side left the pitch knowing that chances were there to be taken.
Jack Metcalfe, Paul Wright (Gavin Suddell 85), Ronayne Marsh-Brown, Ola Sogbanmu, Marc Weatherstone (c), Stuart Lake, David Knight, Tommy Tejan-Sie, Rob Laney, Jack Reed (Tulani Pama 73), Karl Oliyide
Subs: Joe Sharpe, Tulani Pama, Gavin Suddell, Karl Stevenson, Gavin King
Mr V Anekwe