Jenkins blasts “the worst performance I’ve ever seen”

10:21 27 March 2012

Cray Wanderers captain Mark Willy

Cray Wanderers captain Mark Willy

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Cray Wanderers boss fumes after defeat to lowly Leatherhead

“It was the worst performance I’ve ever seen since I’ve been a manager at this club. I honestly can’t think of a worse one. Not one player came out of it with any credit.”

Those were the damning words of Cray Wanderers manager Ian Jenkins after his team’s limp showing en route to a home defeat against lowly Leatherhead on Sunday.

Following a fine victory at promotion-chasing Hornchurch a week earlier, it was a sharp comedown for the Wands, who were two goals down before the break.

Both came from defensive errors. First Harry Ottaway was left unmarked in the box to head a free-kick past goalkeeper Andy Walker.

Then, after 24 minutes, Tyrone Sterling’s error gifted the ball to Tom Hutchings who raced through to double the lead.

Complacency

“I don’t know why it happened,” Jenkins said. “Maybe it was complacency after beating Hornchurch? Maybe they thought they’d win easily?

“The annoying thing is that Leatherhead didn’t even have to be good to beat us. We just have to hold our hands up.”

Cray improved after a half-time rollicking and Tommy Whitnell was unlucky not to score when he was denied by a fine double save from keeper Chico Ramos.

New signing Jamie Darvill did find the net after 85 minutes, but it proved nothing more than a consolation.

Captain Mark Willy also made his playing return in the second half following a collarbone injury.

“A few players have rung me since the game to apologise,” Jenkins revealed.

“They didn’t have to do that and I know they didn’t try to let us down on Saturday. The players normally do react positively to a defeat and I’m not too worried about it affecting the end to our season.”

The only slight positive for Cray on the day was that their nearest play-off contenders also faltered.

Sixth-placed Hendon drew 1-1 with Carshalton Athletic while Lewes lost 1-0 at leaders Billericay Town, so Wands remain in fifth spot.

“We haven’t really lost any ground, but it would have been a good opportunity to really try and cement fifth spot and put some pressure on those above us,” said the Cray boss.

Wands visit Hendon in the league tonight (Tuesday) before making the trip to East Thurrock on Saturday.

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