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Cray draw 2-2 with battling Bury
Cray Wanderers were two goals up after an hour, but had to settle for a 2-2 draw as visitors Bury Town staged a compelling late comeback.
Cray started at high tempo but it was Bury who threatened first when Craig Parker sent a snap shot wide, and again when the unmarked John Sands needed a quick pass from Conor Hall but thankfully for Cray he didn't get it.
And so it was the Wands who broke the deadlock on 24 minutes, with Joe Vines leaping to plant a firm header past Marcus Garnham when Danny Phillips sent in a free-kick from the right.
Andy Walker immediately had to hold a well-struck free-kick from Mark Coulson, but Cray had been ramping up the pressure and began to look increasingly good value for their lead.
Garnham had to show all his class to prevent a second goal for Cray when he got down low to his left to stop a cleverly-placed shot from Michael Power.
Garnham pushed out Leigh Bremner's one-on-one shot towards goal in the 50th minute, but on 59 minutes he couldn't keep Mark Willy's glancing header out of the net after a prolonged attacking move by Cray had seen the ball returned into the box from Phillips on the left.
A quick one-two between Bremner and Paul Vines saw Cray come agonisingly close to a third goal that would have been vital in view of what happened next.
Far from being down and out, Bury began to overwhelm Cray in midfield and to stretch the home defence with wave upon wave of attacks, using all areas of the field at fast pace.
Parker was felled in the 76th minute and netted the penalty-kick himself.
Jordan Patrick shot narrowly wide from a lightning breakaway attack on the Cray goal, and Hall saw his shot beaten away by Walker.
Cray were on the rack, and five minutes of added-on time was all the incentive that Bury needed to keep pressing forward, with Sands eventually heading the equaliser.
Cray: Walker, Burgess, Sterling, Day, Willy, J Vines, P Vines, Stavrinou, Bremner, Phillips (Hamici 89), Power (Fray 84). Subs not used: Peauroux, Lozano, Parkinson.
Cray are at home to Arlesey Town on Sunday in the FA Trophy 2nd qualifying round (3pm).
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