Cray Wanderers hopes for automatic promotion took a knock as 4th placed Carshalton Athletic came from behind to inflict a second home league defeat of the season for the Wands.  With Lewes winning at home to Greenwich Borough, the Wands moved down to second and are now level on points with third placed Corinthian Casuals and a point ahead of Carshalton.

Cray had taken the lead early in the second half through Aaron Rhule’s ninth goal of the season but Carshalton scored twice in three minutes to turn the game the Robins way.

The first half was an intriguing rather than spectacular affair but certainly was end to end for the first ten minutes with both sides coming close to scoring.   Cray threatened when Junior Dadson’s low drive was pushed out by Billy Bishop and the loose ball came too quickly to Michael Power who turned the ball wide.  Then Jay Leader saw a shot from 30 yards pushed behind by Bishop.  For Carshalton, Jordan Cheadle shot wide and Raheem Sterling-Parker was denied by a fine block from Nick Blue.

Before half time the game roared back into life and Karl Dent curled a free kick through to Bishop who then did well to push a header from Power from seven yards over the bar but a goal kick was given.  The best chance of the half fell to Carshalton when in the last minute, Kalvin Morath-Gibbs steered the ball wide from a right wing corner.

The deadlock was broken in the 51st minute when the ball was worked down the left to Rhule who from twelve yards out just outside the area floated a cross over to the far post which deceived Bishop and flew into the top right corner of the net.

Cray though never seemed comfortable with the lead and Carshalton were resolute and after 72 minutes levelled the scores when they were awarded a free kick 25 yards from goal slightly to the left of the penalty area.  Cheadle curled the ball round the wall with great accuracy arcing the ball into the top right corner of the net to make it 1-1.

In the 75th minute, the game had turned around completely with the Robins taking the lead with a goal out of nothing.  Christie Pattison picked the ball up out on the right, cut inside past a couple of challenges and crashed a superb shot high into the top left corner.

The Wands were now having to chase the game and Carshalton were clever with possession in the last quarter of an hour and possibly could have scored again but Ricky Korboa was denied by Blue.  Cray were unable to find a leveller and although they remain second on goal difference Carshalton have two games in hand. 

Cray Wanderers: Nick Blue, Ben Mundele, Barney Williams, Jay Leader, Mitchell Nelson, Zak Henry (Michael Freiter, 78), Dean Carpenter (Capt.), Karl Dent, Michael Power (Charlie MacDonald, 57), Aaron Rhule, Junior Dadson (Brandon Scott, 67): Subs: Marcus Evans, Joe Vines

Att: 318