*BS*Cray come to Crabble tomorrow (Saturday) looking to extend their unbeaten run against a Whites side hoping to build on a comfortable FA Cup win last weekend.*BF*
The home side will have their work cut out against the meanest defence in the league so far, Cray having conceded only once in their first four games. However, Dover can take heart from the two goals Wanderers let in last week to Walton Casuals in the cup.
Cray have an impressive record since winning the Kent League a few years ago and have made a name for themselves in the Ryman League with their attacking flair and exciting matches.
Forwards Leigh Bremner, Jamie Wood and Jamie Kempster have often taken the plaudits but the experience of 41 year-old Gary Abbott up front and 30 year-old Colin Luckett in defence has strengthened the side and increased the on-field ambitions.
Tipped by many to challenge for the title this season, Cray will rely on the experience of Abbott and Luckett to give them the consistency that so often deserted them last season.
Abbott has had many clubs in his long career but Cray would appear to be his final port of call. The former Aldershot, Barnet and Welling striker collected three England Semi-Professional caps and is one of the most prolific goalscorers ever in non-league football. He has also been known to cause a stir or two at his clubs along the way!
Luckett has a less contentious reputation in non-league circles, admired for not only his defensive quality but also his steady character. He came to prominance at Kingstonian when they won the FA Trophy in 1999 and 2000. He played in both finals and was key to the London club’s all-too-brief success.
Cray’s blend of attacking exuberance and experienced heads should make them a contender for promotion this season. Their early form has been impressive and Saturday will be a test of their mettle.
Dover, on the other hand, go into the game hoping to leapfrog Cray and keep the pressure on 1st placed Dartford, who have set the league alight with their goalscoring exploits so far, particularly in the form of ex-Tonbridge striker Jay May.
The departure of Anthony Hogg, not selected in any game so far this season, has reduced Whites’ squad to 18. The experienced midfielder, who was not under contract at Crabble, is said to be in search of first-team football.
Hogg was perhaps a victim of the 3-4-3 formation being employed this season and the number of versatile players at the club. With space for just two central midfielders, Lee Spiller, Danny Chapman, John Keister, and Shane Hamshare seem to have that area covered. Tommy Tyne has also played there on several occasions, especially when Clive Walker has moved to a 3-5-2 formation.
Forward Chris Chase is set to increase Clive’s options by returning to the squad against Cray, following an injury in the first game of the season at Molesey. His return will be an extra boost for Whites, whether he is in the starting line-up or on the bench.
Crabble is all set for an enthralling clash. It’s 2nd vs 3rd. Be there for the first Kent derby at Crabble this season, as the Whites take on the Wands.
*IS*If you cannot make the game, listen to WhitesLive commentary from 3.00pm. You will need to subscribe to WhitesLive if you do not have an account. Read the relevant news article on the home page for details.*IF*