Cray Wanderers notched their first three points of the season as substitute Billy Crook made an impact off the bench to glance home a Dan Bassett cross in the second minute of injury time to beat Canvey Island.

The game seemed set fair to finish goalless but after seven minutes of added on time, Crook who came on in the 82nd minute got on the end of the cross to steer the ball home from six yards.

Cray had begun the season well but had only a point to show from the first two games against new league leaders Bognor Regis on Wednesday night and over the game just had the better chances against a hard working Canvey Island side.

The opening exchanges were a little cagey but Cray created the first real moment of excitement in the 6th minute when the excellent Mitch Chapman from 25 yards hit a shot which hit the top of the crossbar.

Shortly after, Tom Derry saw a shot from outside the area blocked in the area but despite appeals there was no call for a penalty from the officials.

In the 21st minute, Cray threatened with a corner down the left and Cook’s ball into the area was headed over by Chapman.

Canvey had their first real shooting chnce four minutes later when Evans Kouassi fired wide of the left post.

Cray though had a very good ten minute spell after that and down the right, Michael Ademiluyi put over a great cross which was diverted away well by the head of Reiss Chandler before  Nyren Clunis could score.  Bassett fired over from a free kick and

then, Cook and Chapman combined to set up Sam Skeffington whose goalbound effort was well saved by Rhys Byrne, pushing the ball away which was followed by Cook firing just over the bar.

Canvey Island though came into the game more before half time and came close when Danny Parish played a ball through to Kouassi who down the left turned into the box and at the second attempt saw a shot blocked well by Shaun Rowley.  Then Rob Girdlestone saw an effort deflected behind for a corner and from the right wing kick the ball came to Girdelstone whose shot was cleared off the line and out to ex-Wand Luca Albon who fired over.

The second half began lively and Clunis down the right found Adeiliuyi who fired overf from distance.

Just after the hour Canvey had the ball in the net through Parish following up a Kouassi shot but the flag was raised for offside.

Then, Kouassi down the right put in a ball to the near post which deflected away by Alex Bentley who took a blow to the nose and there was a lengthy stoppage for treatment.

For Cray, Clunis hit a shot from distance which was held by Byrne and Derry hit a half volley wide before substitutes Ben Krauhaus and Gary Lockyer were introduced in the last twenty minutes.

There was a good chance for Canvey when Kouassi down the right laid the ball to the far post where Albon connected with a shot but was diverted behind for a corner.

Billy Crook was brought on in the 82nd minute and shortly after Cray were unlucky not to score when Krauhaus and Cook combined to set up Basset whose effort was superbly saved by Byrne tipping the ball over for a corner.

The game went into seven minutes of added on time and in the second minute Cray took the lead when the ball was worked out to Bassett down the left and his ball across was met by a diving Crook who from six yards diverted the ball into the net to break the deadlock.

Canvey put on a bit of pressure for the remaining minutes but couldn’t get a goal to respond and Cray held on for the win and the first three points and a clean sheet.  It took until January last season for Cray to claim the only clean sheet of the season so the Wands are looking more solid in the early weeks of the campaign.

Cray moved up to 11th in the early league table and are next at Bishop's Stortford onn Friday 26th August, 7.45 pm.


Cray Wanderers: Shaun Rowley, Alex Bentley, Harold Joseph, Jalen Jones, Anthony Cook, Mitch Chapman, Sam Skeffington (Billy Crook, 82), Michael Ademiluyi (Ben Krauhaus, 72), Danny Bassett, Nyren Clunis, Tom Derry (Gary Lockyer, 76): Subs: Jacob Munting, Sinn’kaye Christie

Att:  242


Earlier in the week on Wednesday 17th August, Cray drew 2-2 with current league leaders Bognor Regis Town.  Cray went ahead on 28 minutes through Harold Joseph and extended their lead two minutes after half time with a superb strike from Nyren Clunis. Bognor though fought back and after Isaac Onaliyan was adjudged to have been brought down, Nathan Odonkonyero scored from the spot in the 72nd minute. Four minutes later Odonkonyero cracked home a classy strike and the match finished all square.