Cray Wanderers suffered back to back league defeats for the first time this season as Herne Bay fought back from a goal down at half time to score twice in the second half and inflict Cray’s third loss of the season.  Despite the defeat Cray remain in second place in the Isthmian South and didn’t lose too much ground on leaders Lewes and stay three points clear of Carshalton Athletic in third place.

On a day which started brightly and ended wet and soggy Cray just about edged the first half and with the first real incision went ahead in the 10th minute.  A fine passing move ended with Karl Dent playing through Junior Dadson down the left and into the penalty area and was brought down by Richard Ismail for a penalty.  Charlie MacDonald stepped up to confidently fire the penalty past Ben Hunter.

Efforts from Dadson and Dent went wide and then Ben Mundele saw a shot pushed out by Hunter to MacDonald who shot into the side netting as Cray sought a second goal.

Herne Bay though were always in the game and Junior Aikhionbare had fired in a shot which Nick Blue got down to save.  Then Nassim Dukali fired over the bar and Bradley Schafer curled a shot just wide from 25 yards before half time.

The second half saw MacDonald replaced at half time and Mundele fired over for Cray whilst for Herne Bay Jack Steventon planted a header into the arms of Blue from close range.

Then for Cray, Dent’s free kick was cleared out to Jay Leader who shot just wide of the left post.

Herne Bay though were playing some good football at this time and Danny Leonard made a good run forward and his low shot from the left was met by a fine diving save by Blue pushing the ball past the right post.  However, in the 61st minute from the resulting corner the ball into the box was awkward to deal with and Jake Embery reacted quickest to turn the ball into the net and to make it 1-1.

Herne Bay began to dominate and Tom Carlton hit a well struck shot which Blue did very well to push away.  Then Carlton hit another shot which was deflected past the post for a corner. 

With ten minutes to go the goal Herne Bay had been threatening came with Carlton again involved and he found himself inside the area down the left and his lofted shot was pushed out well by Blue but only as far as Ben Gorham who rifled the ball into the net to complete the turnaround.

Cray pushed forward in an attempt to force a draw but Herne Bay defended well to hang on to the three points and end Cray’s unbeaten away league run which dated back to September.

The Wands remain second in the Isthmian South two points behind leaders Lewes who drew at home to Walton Casuals and three points ahead of third placed Carshalton Athletic who also picked up a point at Phoenix Sports.  Cray are next in action against East Grinstead Town on Saturday, 3rd February, 3pm ko.  

Cray Wanderers: Nick Blue, Ben Mundele, Matt Parsons, Jay Leader, Marcus Evans (Joe Vines, 66), Lea Dawson (Capt.), Dean Carpenter, Karl Dent, Charlie MacDonald (Michael Power, H/T), Junior Dadson, Brandon Scott (Ralique Lawrence, 55): Subs:  Michael Freiter, Zak Henry

Att:  219