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Cray Wanderers 2-4 Kingstonian

It is not often that the festive fixture delivers a clash of great significance. Kingstonian's visit to Cray, however, was a top of the table contest that may well have decided who goes on to set the pace in the New Year.

In a shaky first half the visitors were a touch fortunate to go in ahead at the break. Despite the goals, they had not been dominant and Cray were several times unlucky. It was a different affair in the second half though, and it was clear by the end of the ninety minutes which side deserved to start 2009 in the number one spot. Kingstonian were dominant and persistent and were worthy of the convincing score line.

Bobby Traynor celebrates the third goal
Photo: Chris Hatton - Kingstonian FC

K's were ahead in less than ten minutes after a bright start. Wilson-Denis and Collins broke together on the right hand side to provide an excellent cross. Joseph's shot hit thin air but Huckle was there to drive the ball home. Glen Knight had no chance of reaching the powerful shot from close range.

Simon Huckle scores the first goal
Photo: Chris Hatton - Kingstonian FC

Cray almost equalised moments later when Kempster's shot was saved unconvincingly by Garrard, leaving a desperate K's defence scrambling to clear. K's continued to look bright though and their persistence was soon rewarded. Bobby Traynor found the strength to plough his way through the Cray defence before selflessly squaring to Wilson-Dennis, whose uncertain finish slotted in to the bottom corner to double the lead.

Bobby Traynor squares the ball for the second
Photo: Chris Hatton - Kingstonian FC

Carl-Wilson Denis scores the second goal
Photo: Chris Hatton - Kingstonian FC

After the goals, K's never really looked like scoring again in the first half and Cray were dominant before the break. Wayne Finnie was both hero and villain, clearing off the line to keep the two goal advantage before conceding the penalty that halved it. Luke Garrard was sent the wrong way but Luckett's well placed spot kick would have been difficult to save for any keeper.

Cray really should have levelled before the break when Whitnell blasted the ball past Garrard and was only beaten by the underside of the crossbar.

It was a real test for both managers' half time team talks and Dowson clearly won this battle. Cray had a Colin Luckett free kick saved after just a minute, but then were dominated for the rest of the game.

Luke Garrard tips over a Colin Luckett free kick
Photo: Chris Hatton - Kingstonian FC

Kingstonian dominated in the midfield and were seldom pushed back into their own half. They always looked dangerous on the break with Traynor and Wilson-Dennis chasing down every seemingly lost cause. Traynor was unlucky not to score off his behind after he blocked the keeper's clearance but the rebound bounced wide.

K's restored their two goal advantage half way through the half when Huckle's strong header from a Collins cross could only be parried by Knight. Traynor was finally rewarded for his determination to chase everything, and despite the tight angle, slotted the rebound home.

Minutes after having picked the ball out of his own net for a third time, Knight was lucky to stay on the pitch, picking up only a yellow for a challenge on Traynor. The keeper ran out of his area to clear a long K's pass. Traynor was quicker to the ball and Knight's challenge looked more like it belonged on a rugby pitch.

It was another well timed break from midfield which put the points beyond doubt for K's. Wilson-Dennis rounded off the scoring with a lob from the edge of the box.

Carl Wilson-Denis in action
Photo: Chris Hatton - Kingstonian FC

Carl Wilson-Denis scores the fourth goal
Photo: Chris Hatton - Kingstonian FC

Cray got a consolation with minutes to go when Wood was left unmarked. His free header was clearly the result of a lapse in concentration, but was the only blemish in an otherwise superb second half performance.

Jon Coke in action
Photo: Chris Hatton - Kingstonian FC

Kingstonian's performance was certainly that of promotion chasers. The players were certainly fired up by the top of the table nature of the game. The real test of their ambitions will be if they can maintain this level of quality throughout.

Sat 27th Dec 2008
Hayes Lane (Bromley FC)
Isthmian League Division One South
Cray Wanderers2
Huckle, Wilson-Denis (2), Traynor
1Luke Garrard
2Jamie Beer
3Jon Coke
4Adam ThompsonCautioned
5Wayne FinnieCautioned
6Simon Huckle
7Anthony Joseph7
8Liam Collins
9Bobby Traynor
10Carl Wilson-Denis16
11Tommy Williams
12Neil Lampton7
14Jason Turley
15Nick Rundell
16Max Hustwick10
17Adrian Blake
Match Report By
Kevin O'Connor