Cray Wanderers moved up to 16th in the Isthmian Premier league table but had to settle for a point as Haringey Borough made an unlikely comeback from 0-3 down to claim a point with a goal five minutes into injury time. 

The Wands were looking to build on four unbeaten league games but at the same time had moved just one place above the relegation places and had missed a couple of games away from home due to postponements.  From the side which drew at home to Whitehawk on 29th November there were two changes with Tom Bonner and Alfie Evans coming in for Cameron Black and Yahya Bamba.

The game was certainly action packed from the start of the game on a day that began murky and wet but dried out enough to make it a perfect afternoon for a good game of football.

Cray came out of the traps quickly and almost scored in the opening minute from a free kick down the right and Frankie Raymond’s ball into the six yard box just missed the head of Gary Lockyer and behind for a goal kick.

In the 3rd minute Cray went in front from a corner down the right and Raymond’s ball to the far post was met by a fine header from Tom Bonner which beat Dillon Barnes at his near post for his first Wands goal in only his second game.

Haringey looked to find their way back into the game and had a better spell after the goal but Cray were looking good going forward and in the 13th minute came close twice to scoring with Gary Lockyer unlucky to see a shot from the edge of the box crash a shot against the crossbar.  The follow up was latched onto by George Porter whose driven shot was saved by the legs of Dillon Barnes.

Two minutes later Cray were awarded a penalty when down the left of the area, Porter was clipped inside the box by Miles Mitchell-Nelson for one of the more obvious decisions you will see.  From the spot, Anthony Cook slotted home with a typically confident strike.

The game then went through a quiet spell with Cray on top and had the ball in the net in the 27th minute with Jack Holland heading in but was disallowed for offside.  Then, a minute later Lockyer who has been in great form with striking from outside the box hit a shot from 30 yards which went just past the left post.

Just after the half hour Haringey threatened with Walter Figueira who had a good game throughout, made a strong run to just outside the area and fired a shot just over the bar.  Then down the right, Georgios Aresti set up Matthew Young for a shot which went wide of the right post.

A minute before half time it looked like Cray had given themselves daylight between the teams with a third goal.  From an Anthony Cook throw-in down the right the ball was flicked on by Lockyer for Ellis Brown who steered the ball into the left corner of the net.

At half time, Borough made a couple of changes to look to turn the tide and Nadum Melvin-Lambert and Anthony Mendy came on and gave them impetus which lasted most of the second half and early on Mendy shot wide just after Cray threatened a fourth as Anthony Cook made a run forward and set up Lockyer who hooked over but the play was called back for a free kick to the Wands.

For Cray, a Porter cross from the right was put behind for a corner from which Raymond’s cross was turned over by Lockyer.

Cray sought a fourth goal and David Ijaha and George Porter combined to set up Alfie Evans down the right of the area and his near post shot was well turned behind by Barnes.  

Then from the resulting corner Frankie Raymond curled the ball towards the left post which Barnes did well to tip over the bar.

This was followed by Lockyer down the right of the area latching onto a ball over the top hitting a near post shot held by Barnes, then Jamie Mascoll set up Lockyer for a shot hooked over.  Then, Porter found Lockyer whose ball across the box just missed the onrushing Evans.

Going into the last quarter of an hour Cray looked fairly comfortable but Haringey hung in the game and Anthony Mendy saw a shot blocked by Anthony Cook from inside the area and behind for a corner.

In the 78th minute, Haringey got on the scoresheet when from the rigt wing corner by Matthew Young towards the near post was glanced into the net by Scott Mitchell.

Haringey now had something to cling on to and had a good spell and from another Young corner the cross into the six yard box fell to Nadum Melvin-Lambert and his shot was blocked inside the area.  Then a cross from Matthew Iontton down the right of the was headed out to Young who fired over.

With the game into its 90th minute, Haringey scored a second when another Young right wing corner was headed into the top left corner by Melvin-Lambert to make it a grandstand finish.

In the fifth minute of stoppage time, Haringey grabbed a dramatic goal to make it 3-3 when a ball was played forward and headed on by Charlie Smith on to Anthony Mendy down the left of the area and from ten yards drove a shot wide of Shaun Rowley into the right corner of the net.

There was still time for Cray to win a late corner and a free kick down the left but couldn’t retake the lead and at the end it most definitely felt like two points dropped and a chance to move up to 15th in the table.  Haringey remained bottom on nine points but most definitely would have settled for a point at half time.

In the end Cray moved up to 16th on nineteen points but are just one point above the bottom four going into a game at Hashtag United on Saturday 16th December which will be followed by four successive home matches over Christmas and into the New Year starting on Boxing Day vs Margate (1 pm).

Cray Wanderers: Shaun Rowley, Anthony Cook, Tom Bonner, Jack Holland, Jamie Mascoll (Sam Wood, 84), David Ijaha, Alfie Evans, Frankie Raymond, Ellis Brown, George Porter, Gary Lockyer:  Subs:  Sahid Nallo, Cameron Black, Antonio Dembele, Joshua Tobin

Att: 190