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Wingate win as Cray self-destruct
Cray Wanderers self-destructed and lost 4-3 at home to fellow-strugglers Wingate & Finchley on Tuesday night.
This was a tale of missed chances by Cray who carried the game to the visitors in the first half, until terrible defensive errors undid them after the interval.
Cray skipper Mark Willy was unlucky with two headers from set-pieces. The first was tipped over by Jack Middleton - a blinding save - and the second struck the bar.
Sam Long couldn't find the target when set up for two promising shots at goal, but Cray were looking good with their passing and movement that pushed the visitors into deep and sometimes desperate defending before the break.
Wingate had whipped three strong shots narrowly wide of Andy Walker's goal in the first half, but it was nevertheless against the run of play when they took a two-goal lead soon after the restart.
Indeed it was Cray who might have immediately scored twice, for Middleton made another fine flying save, this time to deny Alex Stavrinou, and Leigh Bremner had a shot blocked at close range.
Ahmet Rifat scrambled the ball into the Cray net following a corner-kick on 54 minutes, and then a powerful breakaway run by Hector Mackie down the left wing ended with a cross for the unmarked Anthony Thomas to head past Walker on 64 minutes.
Cray were back in the game two minutes later when Bremner drove a penalty-kick past Middleton after Willy had been felled by Mackie.
Walker made a great save as Mackie powered in - from the right this time - but Cray's defensive frailties were exposed again on 77 minutes when Thomas sent in a free-kick from deep on the left and the ball travelled through a crowd of players and flashed past Walker.
Dramatically, Cray pulled the scores level at 3-3 with quick-fire goals in the 84th and 85th minutes.
Paul Booth slammed a penalty-kick high into the net, and then broke through on the right to set up James Fray for a tap-in.
Just when it seemed that Cray had salvaged a precious point and were looking well-in to find a winner, it was Wingate who had the last word when Mackie cut in from the right and shot past Walker.
Cray: Walker, Burgess, Clark, Long, Willy, Abbott, Booth, Stavrinou, Bremner (Power 75), Phillips (Fray 67), Saunders. Subs not used: Parkinson, Pooley, Estrada.
Cray are away to Metropolitan Police on Saturday (3pm)