Cray Wanderers continued their good start to the season with a narrow but deserved Bank Holiday Monday victory against Margate at Hayes Lane.  In a game of few chances, Cray took the lead in the 28th minute through substitute Dan Bassett, two minutes after entering the fray and ultimately proved decisive.

Cray started the game the brighter and Krauhaus in the opening minute made a burst into the box and looked to shoot but keeper Amadou Tangara managed to narrow an angle for a shot and the ball was cleared.  Then Roman Charles-Cook found Mitch Chapman whose shot was charged down.

From there the game was a little scrappy but Cray had the first shooting chance when Nyren Clunis found space to shoot and his effort was gathered by Tangara.

From a corner, Cray again threatened when Sam Wood’s cross from the right found Krauhaus whose shot was blocked.  There was a blow for Cray though just after the 25 minute mark when Clunis had to leave the field through injury and Dan Bassett came on.

Two minutes later Cray went in front when a ball from Wood was played towards Tom Derry outside the box and with his back to goal turned and swept a ball through to Bassett down the left of the area and showed composure to bury the ball into the bottom right corner of the net.

Margate had more of a say coming into the later stages of the half and ex-Wand Cameron Brodie saw a shot deflected behind for a corner.  Then Sam Blackman hooked a shot over.

The last action following eight minutes of added on time came from a corner from Margate when Ben Greenhalgh’s ball to the far post found Fjord Rogers but his flick was gathered by Shaun Rowley.

Cray began the second half on the front foot and won a couple of early corners as the Wands continued to look the more threatening side.  From a corner down the right, Wood’s cross was knocked behind by Mitch Chapman.

Margate had more possession but Cray still had the edge and a Wood free kick into the box saw Derry go for the ball and perhaps came off his shoulder and was cleared.

The best Wands chance of the half fell to Anthony Cook who was played through superbly by Billy Crook and inside the area just pulled the ball wide of the right post as Tangana came out to meet the Wands skipper.

Margate though were only a goal down and still in with a shout and from a free kick out on the left the ball came to Brodie who shot wide.  Then from another free kick played into the area Brodie volleyed over the top.

With the game still delicately poised, Margate’s best chance came when down the right, Troy Howard cut into the area and his shot was pushed out well by Rowley and following up Cray were able to clear in a goalmouth scramble before Rogers could get to the ball.

Cray were able to stem any Margate fightback and came close to adding to the lead when down the right, a Wood corner towards the far post was volleyed just wide of the right post by substitute Gary Lockyer.

The Wands had most of the possession in the latter stages and were able to see out the remaining minutes for their second home win of the season and move up to 7th in the table ahead of next weekend’s FA Cup tie at Bognor Regis Town.


Cray Wanderers: Shaun Rowley, Roman Charles-Cook, Sinn’kaye Christie, Jalen Jones, Sam Wood, Mitch Chapman, Ben Krauhaus (Sam Skeffington, 82), Billy Crook, Anthony Cook, Nyren Clunis (Dan Bassett, 26), Tom Derry (Gary Lockyer, 73): Subs: Alex Bentley, Michael Ademiluyi


Att:  312