Cray Wanderers first home game of 2022 turned out to be an early candidate for match of the year as Cray three times led and Enfield came back from 4-2 down to grab a point from a game full of excitement and pace and prevent the Wands from winning back to back league games for only the second time this season. 

Cray got off to a cracking start in the second game in charge for interim manager Grant Basey with a goal in the 2nd minute. Cray were awarded a free kick down the right and Kyel Reid switched the ball over to the left to Anthony Cook who strode to just outside the area and put over a cross which was met emphatically by the head of Chris Dickson who powered home his header from 8 yards.

Enfield were definitely in the game and Sam Youngs found Coker down the left who cut into the box and his attempted shot was deflected over for a corner by Freddy Barton.  Then from a corner down the left, the ball came courtesy of Scott Thomas and Coker to Youngs who from the edge of the area fired in a shot which was well gathered by Bailey Vose.

Cray almost scored a second in the 20th minute when Jai Reason and Aidoo combined down the left to find Jamie Yila who cut to the byline and laid the ball across to Dickson and his shot was deflected wide of the right hand post for a corner.

Two minutes later though Enfield drew level when out on the right a well delivered cross from Lyle Della-Verde into the six yard box was turned home by Coker.

Cray though showed character to go back in front in the 26th minute when Chris Dickson was played through down the right into the box and his attempted near post shot was pushed out by Adi Connolly but following up Dickson laid the ball to the far post where Yila was on hand to fire home his 7th goal of the season.

Still chances came and from a free kick outside the area down the right, Reid hit a shot which was parried by Connolly and the ball was cleared.  Meanwhile at the other end, Youngs curled a shot over the bar.

Six minutes before half time Enfield levelled again when again down the right, Della-Verde advanced into the area and as it looked like he might run out of space cracked in a cross-shot which flashed across and into the bottom left.

Before half time, Cook hit a shot which went just over from 20 yards for Cray while at the other end, a great ball in from Mo Faal down the left into the box just missed a touch from Kiangebeni and went behind and after a brisk, enjoyable first half the sides went in all square.

The pace continued to be unrelenting at the start of the second half and Cray restored their lead following a pacey burst from Yila who down the left had picked up the ball from Aidoo and Dickson, broke into the area and his exquisite ball across into the six yard box found Cameron Brodie on hand to score his second of the season and another early goal for the Wands.

Enfield almost levelled straight away after Cray gave the ball away and Coker down the left found himself with space to shoot but Vose did well to block and the ball went over the top.

The visitors then had a good five minutes spell of pressure and won a couple of corners and Kiangebeni shot over from the right edge of the area, then substitute Lewis Taaffe found Youngs in the box and was blocked for a corner and then Della-Verde and Youngs set up Taaffe down the right and his near post shot was blocked by Vose.

From this spell of pressure Cray broke away in the 61st minute with Yila again to the fore, taking the ball over half way and down the left found Dickson who cut to the edge of the area and played the ball into the area and before Cook could apply a touch, Ryan Kirwan could only turn the ball into the net to make it 4-2.

Cray had claims for a penalty waived away in the 68th minute when Yila cut inside from the left and looked to have been clipped by Nathan Smith but no decision was given. Then Yila did well down the left again and his ball across found Reason who hit a volley just wide and then shot over from just outside the area.

In the 76th minute Enfield pulled a goal back when Mo Faal who has 26 goals in league and cups did well down the left and laid the ball across to Taaffe to score from 8 yards and it was game on once again.

Cray looked to wrap the game up and Yila set up Erald Desa down the left of the area and his snapshot came back off the left post and put behind for a corner.  Then from a corner, Barton’s looping ball into the area was headed over by Yila.

With three minutes to go Enfield levelled for the third time when a ball was played forward towards Vose in the area but was perhaps caught in two minds to clear or claim and Taaffe won the ball as Vose looked to get a hand to the ball and down the right of the area fired into the net to make it 4-4.

Enfield had their tails up and almost grabbed a winner when Faal’s shot down the left was pushed behind by Vose for a corner but the game finished all square.

 The point leaves Cray in 20th place on 19 points but at least have started 2022 well and hope to carry on the momentum at Potters Bar Town on Saturday.


Cray Wanderers:  Bailey Vose, Freddy Barton, Ethan Kaiser, Tom Hanfrey, Kasim Aidoo, Cameron Brodie, Jai Reason, Anthony Cook, Kyel Reid, Jamie Yila (Stefan Wright, 89), Chris Dickson (Erald Desa, 75): Subs: Kayden Lewin-Thomas, Emanuel Oduguwa, Eniola Hassan 

Att: 401