Cray Wanderers made it five games unbeaten and earned an FA Cup replay on Wednesday evening after an entertaining draw at Bognor Regis Town.

Cray twice led in the game as Gary Lockyer notched his first goal for the club after nine minutes before Nick Dembele levelled fifteen minutes later.  The second half saw both sides go for the winner and Michael Ademiluyi slotted Cray back in front in the 66th minute to also score his first Wands goal but three minutes later Nathan Odonkonyero scored from close range and despite both sides coming close late on the sides must do it all again on Wednesday evening for a place in the 2nd Qualifying Round.

On a very mild afternoon the tone was set for a good cup tie from the start with Cray looking sharp going forward but Bognor had the first shooting opportunities when first Joe Rabbetts set up Sam St De Croix for a shot which was held by Shaun Rowley at the right post.  Shortly after, Nathan Odonkonyero who scored twice in the league match fired in a well struck shot which Rowley got down to save at the second attempt.

Shortly after though Cray went ahead with a well worked goal down the left involving Billy Crook and Sam Wood and the ball came to Dan Bassett who did well to keep the ball in play and strode into the area and laid the ball to the far post where Lockyer was on hand to stroke the ball into the net for his first goal for the Wands in his first start for the club.

Lockyer had a shot from distance go wide of the left post but on 24 minutes Bognor drew level when a ball was played forward to Isaac Olaniyan who flicked the ball on and Jalen Jones looking to clear could only find Dembele who found space to shoot past Rowley and into the net to make it 1-1.

Before half time Bognor came close through Olaniyan who strode forward and fired a shot wide of the right post.  For Cray, a cross from the left from Bassett was pushed out by Toby Steward and the ball deflected off Tom Derry and gathered by the Rocks keeper.

The second half began with Bognor slightly in the ascendancy and from a free kick out on the right, Harvey Whyte’s ball into the box was volleyed over by St De Croix.  For Cray Anthony Cook from a free kick down the right of the area saw his shot saved by Steward.  The game was going from end to end and from a cross which was pushed out by Rowley the ball came to St De Croix who again fired over the top.

It looked like the next goal could be the winner and on 66 minutes Cray went in front for a second time as Rowley’s ball forward was flicked on by Tom Derry and substitute Michael Ademiluyi latched onto the ball and down the left of the area stroked the ball past Steward and into the bottom right corner of the net.

However, Cray couldn’t hold on to the lead long enough and from a throw in the ball went down the right and a ball into the area was helped on by Dembele to Odonkonyero to score from close range.

Both teams searched for a winner in the latter stages and Skeffington set up Mitch Chapman for a shot which went wide.  

Then a free kick out on the right from Sam Wood was floated into the area and Jalen Jones headed wide.

For Bognor their best chance came when Whyte and St De Croix down the right combined to set up substitute Tom Chalaye who curled a shot just over.

For Cray, from a corner won down the right, Cook’s cross was cleared out to Bassett whose shot was well held by Steward.

The final shooting chance of the game fell to Bognor when St De Croix set up Odonkonyero whose shot was gathered by Rowley.

Despite five minutes of injury time neither side could find a winner in what was a fine cup tie and Neil Smith’s side had played well and at least deserved another crack on Wednesday night, 7.45 pm ko at Hayes Lane.


Cray Wanderers: Shaun Rowley, Alex Bentley, Jalen Jones, Sinn’kaye Christie, Sam Wood, Mitch Chapman, Billy Crook (Sam Skeffington, 51),  Anthony Cook, Danny Bassett, Tom Derry, Gary Lockyer (Michael Ademiluyi, 51): Subs: Ben Krauhaus, Lucas Vazquez, Harold Joseph, Jargal Enkh, Kieron Bennett


Att: 351