Cray Wanderers FA Trophy hopes for 2017-18 continue on but only after a dramatic finale with substitute Ralique Lawrence levelling with the last kick of the game bringing Cray back from 0-2 down to earn a replay at Grays Athletic on Wednesday night.

Both sides came into the game in good form but it was the visitors who looked set to take a place in the 2nd Qualifying Round after goals by Kieran Bishop and Jamie Slabber looked to have won the game for the Essex side.  However, Cray fought back and Lawrence earned a penalty converted by Michael Power in the 67th minute before the late intervention by Lawrence keeping Cray's trophy hopes alive.

After a very even first quarter of an hour the game sprung into life when Ben Mundele was denied a goal for Cray by a fine one handed save by Lamar Johnson.  From that save, Grays took the lead in the 17th minute when Johnson's ball up field was latched on to by Kieran Bishop down the right who held off the challenge of Timi Osidobu to place a shot wide of Nick Blue.

Grays almost scored a second when Jamie Slabber turned Sam Cross's corner over the bar but Cray had the best chance for the remainder of the half when Barney Williams' excellent cross was headed wide by Michael Power.

Lawrence came on at the start of the second half and livened things up for Cray and Mitchell Nelson headed over and Jay Leader had a header blocked on the line before Grays broke away to score again against the run of play.

In the 54th minute, Blue came out of his goal to clear a ball forward but could only divert the ball into the path of Joao Carlos who put over a first time cross from the left to the far post where Slabber was on hand to steer the ball into the net.

Cray though fought hard to make a game of it and pulled a goal back from the penalty spot after 67 minutes when Lawrence turned just inside the area and was fouled by Richard Halle.  Power stroked home his twelfth goal of the season to make for an interesting finish.

The Wands tried hard to get back into it but it seemed Grays had done enough to win when in the fourth minute of stoppage time, a ball was played forward and Nelson and Freddie Parker helped set up Kyron Lightfoot who turned on the edge of the area and whipped a ball to the far post where Lawrence latched on to the pass and as Johnson advanced slipped the ball under the keeper. 

The replay now takes place on Wednesday 1st November at Aveley FC with a 7.45pm kick off.