Ben Krauhaus scored a hat-trick as Cray Wanderers saw off Brightlingsea Regent with a strong second half display.

Three goals in the last fifteen minutes ensured the Wands claimed the three points but it might have been very different had the visitors scored three minutes after the break when they hit the crossbar with the scores still level. Instead, Cray went straight up to the other end and scored, after which, they never looked back.

Jack Littlejohn had the first goal attempt of the game for the visitors as they took advantage of Cray’s difficulty in clearing but his shot deflected off a team-mate and went wide,

Kellen Fisher and Nyren Clunis caused problems for the hosts down the left hand side of the Brightlingsea defence however several dangerous low angled crosses were unrewarded. Krauhaus sent Clunis away, but he shot wide of the near post before Tom Derry went clear only for goalkeeper Charlie Turner to come out and block.

Krauhaus came close when his shot came back off the post and Derry’s follow up was blocked, then the Cray captain rose for a header from a Clunis cross but was unable to garner sufficient power to trouble Turner.

In the opening skirmish of the second period, the Wands’ goalkeeper Shaun Rowley only cleared as far as Ollie Bell, but he got back quickly to save well before Brightlingsea striker found Adalberton Pinto whose shot came back off the underside of the bar.

That prove pivotal as Danny Bassett took it straight to the other end and pulled it back for Krauhaus who finished clinically.

Jermaine Anderson went on a strong run and drew a good save out of Rowley before Derry and Bassett both had shots deflected off target.

Anthony Cook came on as a substitute and almost made an immediate impact when getting on the end of Fisher’s pass forward only to see his first time lob go wide of the near post.

Fifteen minutes remained when the Wands scored their crucial second. Krauhaus went on a long powerful run. Although Turner did well to make a block, Krauhaus had the strength to follow up and hold off two defenders before forcing it home.

Four minutes later, Derry was sent clear by Krauhaus, and he slotted coolly beyond Turner. Krauhaus completed his hat-trick when he exchanged passes with Cook before he placed it into the bottom corner.

Although Anderson tested Rowley again in the closing stages, the contest was over and there was nothing that the visitors could do to stop Cray from moving up to fourth place in the league table.

Cray Wanderers: Rowley, Fisher, Sodje, Skeffington, Jones, Christie, Bassett, Krauhaus (Ademiluyi 82), Derry, Chapman (Ijaha 74), Clunis (Cook 70). Unused subs: Stagg, Ando.