On a night of incredible drama Cray Wanderers came back from two goals down with twelve minutes to go to win 3-2 against a Sittingbourne side who played for the last twenty minutes with then men.  The win kept Cray in fourth place and made it 14 games unbeaten in the Isthmian South but certainly had to do it the hard way.

The Wands had beaten Hythe Town 4-1 on Saturday and were looking for their second successive Kent derby victory of the week.  Sittingbourne though were never going to be a pushover and have been in the top half of the table all season.

Cray were not at their best first half and Sittingbourne should have taken the lead when Mobolaji Dawodu fired over in the 28th minute whilst the nearest Cray came was when Michael Power hooked a shot wide on the half hour.

Sittingbourne took the lead after 32 minutes following the award of a free kick 30 yards out.  Ben Davisson’s shot was pushed out well by Nick Blue.  The loose ball came to Dawodu whose header was pushed onto the bar by Blue and following up Kane Rowland rifled home a shot at the near post.

Cray came close before half time when Freiter’s shot was well saved by Jordan Carey but the Wands went in at the break a goal down.

The second half took a little while to get going as the wintry rain fell but Sittingbourne still edged the game and Kane Phillip shot wide when well placed. 

In the 60th minute Sittingbourne doubled their lead when David Smith fired home a great shot from 25 yards to leave Cray a mountain to climb.

Cray began to exert pressure and Sittingbourne were reduced to ten men in the 74th minute when John Coker was sent off for a sturdy challenge on Dean Carpenter.

The comeback began in the 78th minute when from a right wing corner, Freiter’s cross to the far post was pushed out by Carey as far as Jay Leader who crashed home a first time finish into the bottom right corner.

It was now game on but the game entered the first minute of stoppage time when Cray were awarded a free kick 25 yards from goal.  Freiter stepped up and curled home an exquisite shot into the top left hand corner.

Then two minutes later incredibly Cray took the lead when Aaron Rhule made a strong run down the left and cut the ball back into the area and as Carey came to claim Freddie Parker stole in to touch the ball into the net to cap a remarkable turnaround.

After another seven minutes of injury time the final whistle went on a dramatic night.  The Wands were not at their fluent best but had to show grit and determination to beat tough opponents.

Cray are next in action on Saturday as they travel to Whyteleafe looking to keep the run going.            

Cray Wanderers: Nick Blue, Ben Mundele, Barney Williams, Jay Leader, Mitchell Nelson, Lea Dawson (Freddie Parker, 89), Zak Henry (Dean Carpenter, 62), Michael Freiter, Michael Power, Aaron Rhule, Jerome Federico (Brandon Scott, 70):  Subs: Ralique Lawrence, Marcus Evans

Att 127