Cray Wanderers continued their winning start to February with a morale boosting victory against Merstham at Hayes Lane to move out of the bottom three and make it two wins in a week.  The Wands with the returning Sam Wood in the side won at Potters Bar Town on Tuesday 3-2 after going 0-2 down and were looking to build on that success. 

On a grey and slightly blowy afternoon the game off to a breezy start with Merstham perhaps shading the early exchanges but it was Cray who broke through first in the 5th minute.  Down the left a pass back towards goal was latched onto by Chris Dickson who took on the Merstham defence and from 14 yards coolly placed the ball wide of Toby Bull into the net for his sixth goal for the club.

Merstham looked to get back into it quickly and Charlie Greenwood saw from outside the area blocked and then in the 11th minute, Dylan Adjei-Hersey down the right received a short cross and fired a shot just past the left post.

Two minutes later, Cray pushed for a second and Jamie Yila broke forward from midfield and into the area down the right and his shot skimmed along the turf and was well held by Bull.

In the 16th minute it was 2-0 to Cray and Anthony Cook played a fine ball out to Dickson down the right who sent over a cross as Bull seemed to lose his footing but did well to sprawl down to save as Kyel Reid broke into the area and at the second attempt was able to turn the ball into the net.

Cray began to grow in confidence and from a corner down the left to the far post, Nazir Bakrin set up Reid who shot over the bar.  Then, Dickson was again the provider from the right as his cross found Sam Wood who fired over the bar.  Again Cray looked good going forward and Reid exchanged passes with Barton and his cross fell to Dickson who shot over the top from 25 yards.

Five minutes before half time, Merstham looked to respond and Jacquart set up Serge Makofo who swiveled and turned just inside the area and his shot was saved by Bailey Vose.  The last action of the half saw Yila almost get on the scoresheet again down the right and this time his near post was well pushed out by Bull.

 Cray though were playing well and down the right Barton found Yila who was beginning to become a key influence in the game with his pace and set up Cameron Brodie who fired a shot over the top from 20 yards.  Then Yila saw a cross-shot blocked as Cray threatened a third goal and the Wands had the ball in the net possibly through Kasim Aidoo but was disallowed for a foul on Bull.

Early in the second half again down the right, Cray prospered came close after a good passing spell Brodie and Barton set up Yila whose shot was parried well by Bull and Cook fired over from outside the box.

Cray continued to threaten and were awarded a free kick 30 yards from goal and Cook’s shot was deflected over for a corner.  From the corner down the right, Cray went 3-0 up in the 59th minute when Wood’s cross towards the near post was met by a header under pressure from Ethan Kaiser for his first Cray Wanderers goal.

Following the goal the Wands were able to relax and Barton set up Dickson for an overhead kick from the edge of the area which was well held by Bull.

For Merstham, Korrey Henry was looking like a positive substitution and did well to barge his way into the area down the left and fired over the crossbar and then a minute later saw a shot from the edge of the area held by Vose.  

Cray had pretty much had the game won but the big challenge was to claim a clean sheet and Jacquart shot over for the Moatsiders and a cross from the left was headed wide by Henry towards the end but Cray saw out the remaining minutes for their biggest league win this season.

The win for Cray moved them up to 19th level on 26 points with Bowers & Pitsea and with 13 games to go gives hope if this performance is replicated can move the Wands more into a mid-table position and move on to Wingate & Finchley next Saturday looking to keep up the momentum.         


Cray Wanderers:  Bailey Vose, Freddy Barton, Nazir Bakrin, Ethan Kaiser, Kasim Aidoo, Sam Wood, Cameron Brodie, Anthony Cook (Jai Reason, 90), Jamie Yila, Kyel Reid (Luca Albon, 83), Chris Dickson (Emanuel Oduguwa, 86): Subs:  Tom Hanfrey, Jacob Munting

Att: 216