Cray Wanderers FA Cup adventure for 2017-18 came to an end in the Preliminary Round as SCEFL Premier Sevenoaks Town emerged victorious in a rip roaring cup tie at Hayes Lane. 

In a match played in a great spirit, Sevenoaks notched their first ever competitive win against Cray after taking a two goal lead going into the break before a stirring Cray fightback almost grabbed a replay by the end.

After a riproaring start to the game, Sevenoaks came close after two minutes when Jimmy Rogers shot was headed off the line by Jay Leader.  Then at the other end Cray were unlucky not to score when Karl Dent’s left wing cross to the far post was met by head of Leader but his header was turned behind well by keeper Craig Holloway.

Sevenoaks took the lead in the 8th minute when Rogers put a delightful ball over the top through to lively ex Bolton player Tom Young who ran on, took the ball round the advancing Nick Blue and calmly placed the ball into the net. 

Cray then saw Barney Williams leave the pitch after quarter of an hour due to concussion.  Both teams had opportunities to score before the visitors grabbed a well worked second goal in the 35th minute.  Again Young was involved down the left and played the ball across to Billy Bennett who struck a well hit shot past Blue.

The second half saw a Cray Wanderers resurgence and pulled a goal back four minutes after the restart.  Ben Mundele who had a fine game for Cray made a burst into the box and squared the ball across to Luke Medley who scored from five yards.

Cray almost squared the game when Michael Frieter’s chipped shot from 25 yards was tipped over the bar spectacularly by Holloway.  Then Frieter fired over from a tight angle as Cray applied the pressure.

Sevenoaks though weathered the storm and scored an excellent third goal in the 69th minute.  Paul Springett played an exquisite pass through the Cray defence through to Young who strode on and as Blue advanced clipped the ball over him into the net.

With ten minutes to go Cray pulled another goal back when Frieter’s cross was headed home powerfully by substitute Freddie Parker in off the post to set up a grandstand finish.

In the dying moments, Dent flashed a shot from 30 yards narrowly wide and then in stoppage time saw a shot cleared off the line frantically by Sevenoaks who hung on for an impressive victory and a place in Monday’s 1st Qualifying Round draw.

Team:  Nick Blue, Barney Williams (Marcus Evans, 14), Timi Osidobu, Jay Leader, Mitchell Nelson, Lea Dawson (Capt.), Ben Mundele, Karl Dent, Luke Medley (Freddie Parker, 72), Michael Frieter, Brandon Scott (Anthony Adesite, 87): Subs: Joe Vines, Sean Law, Dean Carpenter

Att: 162