Cray Wanderers returned to the top of the Bostik South after a hard fought and gritty victory at a wet, windy and soggy Ramsgate and in doing so end a three match run without a win despite playing the last half hour with ten men.  With Lewes’ game at home to Carshalton Athletic a victim of the weather Cray had a chance to go top at a cold, wet and soggy Ramsgate. 

The first half was something of a war of attrition with few chances at either end.  Cray came close early on when Michael Power saw an effort down the left pushed out by Ramsgate keeper Jordan Carey.   For the home side, who had gone 8 without a win Rory Smith had the ball in the net from a header but was disallowed for offside.

The game came alive with two Cray goals in the last two minutes of the first half.   Junior Dadson picked the ball up just over the halfway line and made a strong run to the left edge of the area and his shot was slightly deflected off Jake MacKenzie which forced Carey to make a save but the loose ball was despatched emphatically by Power from five yards for his 18th league goal of the season.

The Wands had had to work hard to take the lead but with their tails up they scored a second in the last minute of the half.  There was a little bit of fortune as Dadson’s ball across to Michael Freiter was deflected off Liam Dickson to an unmarked Brandon Scott down the right who showed great balance and poise to work his way past two players to squeeze a shot into the net to cap off a perfect end to the half for Cray.

The second half saw the rain get steadier and Ramsgate penned Cray back and pulled a goal back in the 53rd minute after a rare mistake by Mitchell Nelson who lost possession just outside the area and Alfie Paxman down the left bore down on goal and perhaps unselfishly layed the ball across to Smith who powered home his shot to make it 2-1.

Cray looked to weather the storm and Lea Dawson headed a corner wide before he was sent off in the 61st minute for a foul tackle on Dickson in midfield and as he was booked in the first half received his marching orders.

The Wands now had to show their resolve and they regained their composure and  Power curled a shot just over the top but Ramsgate felt aggrieved when Paxman went down in the area but no penalty was given and was booked for diving.  Then with seven minutes to go, Ramsgate threatened when Tom Chapman near's post volley was pushed behind well by Nick Blue.

Cray almost sealed the game when Dadson’s run forward and shot brought out a good save from the left boot of Carey but Cray had hung on and showed good battling qualities to grind out the win.

The Wands next are in action in a mouthwatering tussle with 4th placed Carshalton Athletic at Hayes Lane on Saturday, 17th February.    

 Cray Wanderers: Nick Blue, Ben Mundele, Barney Williams, Jay Leader, Mitchell Nelson, Lea Dawson (Capt.), Michael Freiter (Dean Carpenter, 66), Karl Dent (Zak Henry, 53), Michael Power, Junior Dadson, Brandon Scott (Joe Vines, 84): Subs: Charlie MacDonald, Ralique Lawrence

Att:  186