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Cray 1-4 Hendon
CRAY Wanderers' two wins in their first three games under new management could have led to a false sense of security among the fans, but losing to Hendon FC at home on Saturday in the FA Trophy nipped any complacency in the bud.
There was no doubt Hendon deserved their win though the final scoreline did flatter slightly.
From the kick-off they pressed Cray and it was Jefferson Louis who made their intent clear when he fired a shot just over the bar.
So it was against the early run of play when Cray took the lead as Jack Clark’s corner eluded everyone, including Hendon keeper Berkley Laurcin, and nestled in the back of the net.
Hendon continued to press but it was a counter-attack that nearly doubled the home side’s lead when Alex Stavrinou had a fierce shot turned onto the bar by Laurcin.
The hosts were exhibiting some good controlled football.
Instead of defenders hoofing the ball upfield for the forwards to chase, they were playing their way out from the back.
In particular Helge Orome, Carlos Talbot and Aaron Day looked solid in defence and chased down the Hendon forwards.
It was from a Day interception which led to ball being played behind Hendon’s defence and Shamir Mullings sprinted towards goal, leaving defenders trailing in his wake.
Had his control been a little more assured he could have punished the visitors.
Day again proved his worth in defence with a goal line clearance and there was hope that Cray could hold out until half-time, but it wasn’t to be.
A lofted ball into a crowded penalty area was met with the fist of young keeper Charlie Grainger, on loan from Leyton Orient.
In clearing his lines, he clattered into team-mate Dmitri Larin and while they were both sprawled on the turf, Hendon’s Tony Taggert picked up the loose ball and fired home from the edge of the area.
Up until then it looked as if a mistake was the only way Hendon were going to score but with their tails up they began to press looking for a second goal.
It came in the 40th minute when Chris Seeby found himself in Cray’s area and stabbed the a shot home.
The second half started as the first had finished with Hendon on the attack.
Grainger pulled off some excellent saves but he couldn’t stop Hendon adding a third in the 47th minute.
From a corner the ball was met by the head of Jefferson Louis who steered it into the back of the net.
Hendon’s keeper fumbled a free-kick and Dmitri Larin’s follow up shot rattled the bar, but this was as close as Cray came to scoring.
The icing on the cake for the visitors came in the 87th minute when Louis rounded the keeper to get his second and Hendon’s fourth of the game.
Cray Wanderers' next home game is in the Ryman Premier League on Saturday against Bury Town.
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