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Cray to replay Arlesey on Tuesday
CRAY Wanderers and Arlesey Town will need to replay on Tuesday night after a gritty 0-0 draw in the FA Trophy second qualifying round at Hayes Lane on Sunday.
Arlesey's manager Gary King had been impressed by Cray's stylish football after watching their 2-2 draw versus Bury Town last Tuesday night, and his team duly set out their stall to try and blunt Cray's attacking football, and hit them on the break.
The gameplan eventually left Cray frustrated that for all their good build-up work, often waiting with patience before attempting to release the final ball, they couldn't muster many shots on target during the ninety minutes.
Michael Power demanded a smart save from Nathan Abbey when he drove the ball at goal just before the interval, and he put three long-range shots over the bar before giving way to substitute Laurent Hamici as the Wands made a promising late push to try and win the game.
The breakaway attacks by Arlesey produced some near misses in the opening fifteen minutes and throughout the second half, particularly Chris Marsh's low skimming shot that thumped against the post and rebounded to safety in the 53rd minute.
The Wands nearly broke through when Joe Vines had a header cleared off the line, and his brother Paul had no better luck when the goal was right in front of him but his hurried shot went wide.
Cray and Arlesey occupy upper mid-table places in the Ryman Premier and Southern Premier - both at Step 3 level - and on the evidence of this tight-fought game there will be little to choose between the sides when they try all over again at Hitchin Road on Tuesday night, with the winners set to host Welling in the next round.
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Cray: Walker, Burgess, Sterling, Day, Willy, J Vines, P Vines, Stavrinou, Bremner, Phillips (Clark 87), Power (Hamici 77). Subs not used: Peauroux, Fray, Parkinson.