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Cray too good for the boys in blue
Cray scored two splendid goals just after the interval, to defeat promotion-chasing rivals Metropolitan Police 2-1 at rainy Hayes Lane.
This was another game when the Wands impressed with their passing skills and their movement, although they always had to be strong against the physical approach of the visitors.
Missing three of their regular back four, the Met were stretched by Cray's pace in the first half, with Leigh Bremner and Tommy Whitnell always threatening to get on the end of the Wands' attacking moves.
A great run and cross from Alex Bentley was volleyed wide by Whitnell on 22 minutes, and Jack Clark sent a hurried shot wide when teed up by Whitnell.
Joe Vines was a solid presence in the Cray back line, and Andy Walker dealt with the visitors' best efforts from Stafford Palmer and Ty Smith.
On the stroke of half time Tyrone Sterling volleyed over the bar from Clark's corner-kick.
Sterling had earlier been booked for a mistimed tackle, and Chris Saunders - an outstanding battler in midfield for Cray - received a similar booking in the second half, but this was always a fast-flowing and sporting game on the rain-soaked surface.
Cray were ahead on 47 minutes when Lewis Perkins cut the ball back from the byeline, Bremner dummied the cross, and Bentley rattled the ball into the net.
It was two-nil to Cray on 52 minutes when Bremner slung in a cross from the left, and Perkins climbed to plant an unstoppable header past Jamie Butler.
A double substitution pepped up the visitors after a reflex save by Walker had denied Eddie Smith at close range.
Ryan James drove a deflected shot into the Cray net with twelve minutes remaining, to set up a tense finish.
In their quest for a third goal, Cray kept losing possession in the visitors' half of the field, but once the Cray forwards had the sense to hold the ball up more, the clock ran down without further difficulty as Cray saw out the game to win 2-1.
Cray: Walker, Young, Bentley (Dolby 72), Saunders, Vines, Sterling, Whitnell (Power 87), Perkins, Bremner, Phillips, Clark. Subs not used: Parkinson, Norton, Hall.
Cray stay in fourth place on an aftrernoon when clubs immediately below the top five all lost ground, and next Saturday the Wands have a vital game away to top of the table Billericay Town (3pm).