Cray Wanderers maintained their unbeaten start to the Isthmian South season but had to be content for their second consecutive home draw against Hastings United.

The Wands dominated the game for long spells and played some exceptional football for the first 30 minutes and deservedly led through Brandon Scott’s well taken first goal of the season after 13 minutes.

Cray came close to adding to their lead before Hastings were able to get into the game but against the run of play they grabbed an equaliser when Curtis Gayler converted a penalty in the 36th minute after Davide Rodari was brought down in the area.

The second half saw Karl Dent denied by a fine stop from Charlie Horlock but despite being under the cosh, Hastings almost won the match in injury time when Sam Adams crashed a shot against the post.

After a cagey start to the game Cray went ahead in the 13th minute with a really fine goal.  Michael Power played the ball out to the right wing to Scott who sped past Ollie Black with incredible pace and with great poise across the six yard box and gently guided the ball into the net for a breathtaking piece of football skill.

A few minutes later it could have been 2-0 as Scott again gave Black a torrid time down the right and this played the ball into Power who saw a close range effort well blocked by Horlock and following, Karl Dent saw an effort cleared via a deflection off the line.  Then Dent set up Bradley Stevenson with a neat pass and his strike was tipped behind by Horlock for a corner.

The feeling was that Cray needed a second goal to give them comfort and so It proved in in the 36th minute when Rodari did well to burst into the box and was brought down by Jay Leader for a penalty kick.   Curtis Gayler confidently converted the spot kick to make it 1-1.  This was the first goal Cray had conceded in the league for close to 400 minutes play.

The second half promised more goals and Cray again started well with Mitchell Nelson’s throw in to the box met by Jay Leader who headed over from 12 yards.

Hastings though were very much alive in the game and almost took the lead when from a free kick out on the right, Sam Cruttwell’s cross was met by the head of Adams whose effort was tipped brilliantly over the bar by Nick Blue from ten yards.

Cray then had a great chance to take the lead when Scott made a burst through the middle and played the ball through to Dent who ran on into the area and was unlucky to see his shot well saved by Horlock and the ball went out for a corner.

With the game going into the last ten minutes both teams sought a winner.  Cray came close when from a free kick out on the left, Dent’s ball into the area was met by the head of Nelson but was glanced just wide of the right post.  Then from a throw in the ball was launched into the area and found Lea Dawson who turned the ball goalwards but into the hands of Horlock.

However despite being the dominant side, Cray almost lost the game in stoppage time when from a free kick launched forward by Ollie Rowe the ball was cleared out as far as Adams who turned and fired in a shot which came back off the right post to the Wands relief and the game ended in a draw

Cray Wanderers: Nick Blue, Ben Mundele, Barney Williams, Jay Leader, Mitchell Nelson, Lea Dawson (Capt.), Zak Henry, Karl Dent, Michael Power, Bradley Stevenson (Aaron Rhule, 70), Brandon Scott (Timi Osidobu, 90+1):  Subs: Freddie Parker, Marcus Evans, Joe Vines.

Att: 162