Cray Wanderers 1-3 BSFC: MATCH REPORT

Cray Wanderers 1-3 Bishop’s Stortford Match Report 11/10/20


Bishop’s Stortford’s unbeaten start to the season continued with a 1-3 win away against Cray Wanderers. Playing on a Sunday for the first time since New Year’s Day in 2017, the Blues came from a goal down at half-time against the side that won 5-1 at the then ProKit UK Stadium last season, with Aaron Greene scoring and Frankie Merrifield bagging a brace. The win moves the Blues up to fourth in the Pitching In Isthmian League Premier Division, just one point off league leaders Worthing. After Bowers & Pitsea’s defeat yesterday, the Blues are the only team left unbeaten in the division after five league games.


Playing on a plastic pitch at Hayes Lanes – the Wands groundshare with Vanarama National League Bromley – the artificial grass suited the hosts and they were able to make a fast start, with Jerome Federico’s cross from the right falling to Joe Taylor in space inside the box but he miscued wide. Jason Banton beat Ryan Henshaw for pace down the left wing and fired at goal from a tight angle when a cut-back looked like the better option, Jack Giddens parried it and Mark Haines cleared the danger. Greene was at his lively best, regularly beating the full back but his crosses couldn’t find the target, or it would be blocked for a corner. Freddie Parker was given too much space on the left wing by the Blues defence, and was able to cut in and curl one into the bottom right corner from the edge of the box. The shot was perfectly placed, with Giddens unable to make a save despite a full stretch dive. Merrifield was clumsily tackled in the box by Jay Leader, but referee Graeme Ions denied any penalty claims, before Parker had a chance to double the lead, but his low shot from the edge of the box was deflected into Giddens’ arms, as Haines’ block took most of the pace off the shot. Federico’s pace was causing Sam Mvemba all sorts of problems at left back, and his crossing wasn’t bad either, playing an inch perfect cross to the far post but no team-mate was there to attack it, and it nearly crept into the top corner, with Giddens not getting near it. Picking up the ball in a central position, Greene let fly from 30 yards and it whistled past the right post, before Merrifield found himself unmarked and in the box after a great reverse pass by Archie Jones, only for the assistant referee to raise his flag for offside. Federico picked out Parker in the middle with a cross, but Sam Robbins blocked the effort, before Taylor’s cross fell to Bradley Pritchard, but a poor first touch allowed Jack Thomas to clear. Giddens punched away a dangerous cross from the right wing, before Mitchell Nelson was fortunate not to see red for a high tackle on Ben Marlow – with Steve Smith saying that the referee had said he was prepared to admit he made a mistake in only showing a yellow card to the Cray defender. Darren Foxley’s free kick went wide of the right post before a high pressure saw Greene in behind the defence, but he was denied from a tight angle by Lewis Carey.


HT 1-0


After a fairly even first period, the Wands began the second period a goal up. But write off this team at your peril, as the Blues started after the break on the front foot, with a high press and forcing mistakes. Greene forced Carey into a save with a rising shot that was tipped over the bar from the edge of the box, before Merrifield’s header from Greene’s corner went wide. With no chances of note coming at the other end, the pressure was building and eventually Greene scored the equaliser, striking left-footed from the corner of the box on the half-volley, after brilliant work by Marlow in the build-up to lay it off, and the shot was perfectly placed in the bottom right corner like Parker’s opener. Just 10 minutes later and the Blues had taken the lead, Foxley cut in from the right and played in Greene who was fouled by Leader, and Merrifield sent Carey the wrong way with a calm finish – his fourth of the season. He soon netted his fifth, after Leader lost the ball on the edge of the box thanks to great pressure from Foxley, he slid it through to Merrifield in acres of space who slotted home through Carey’s legs. The striker was denied a second hat-trick in three games when he slipped in the box before taking a shot, and was then withdrawn. His replacement – Tom Richardson – had a chance to equal the scoreline against Enfield Town last month, but Marlow’s pass was over hit, taking Richardson too wide and he couldn’t find the target.


FT 1-3


Like the Blues, Cray Wanderers are still in this season’s FA Cup, they travel to Bristol Manor Farm before the Blues host Royston on Wednesday 14 October in the Third Qualifying Round. Bishop’s Stortford return to league action at home to third-placed Cheshunt on Saturday 17 October



Cray Wanderers XI

1 Lewis Carey

3 Tom Carlse (c)

4 Jay Leader

5 Mitchell Nelson (Yellow card 44’)

6 Tom Phipps (Yellow card 60’)

7 Jason Banton (Murrell-Williamson 32’)

9 Joe Taylor

10 Freddie Parker (Goal 16’) (Allen 82’)

11 Ben Mundele

12 Jerome Federico

15 Bradley Pritchard


2 Barney Williams

8 Lee Lewis

16 Rhys Murrell-Williamson

18 Ehizoji Onoabagbe

19 Charlie Allen


Bishop’s Stortford XI

1 Jack Giddens

4 Jack Thomas (Yellow 47’)

5 Sam Robbins

6 Ryan Henshaw (c)

8 Ben Marlow

10 Frankie Merrifield (Goal pen 68’ 74’) (Richardson 79’)

11 Aaron Greene (Goal 57’) (Brown 89’)

12 Sam Mvemba

14 Archie Jones

15 Darren Foxley (Davidson 83’)

17 Mark Haines


2 Michael Mullings

7 Correy Davidson

9 Tom Richardson

16 James Baker

20 Jordan Brown


Attendance 338

By Hamish Arnold