Cray Wanderers advanced into the 2nd Round of the Kent Senior Cup as a Freddie Parker double helped the Wands come from behind to defeat Ramsgate in an enjoyable game at Hayes Lane.

Cray had the better chances in the first half but went a goal down in the 33rd minute when Aaron Millbank converted a penalty after Charlie Dickens was held down in the box.  Within a minute and a half Cray were level when Parker was on hand to steer the ball over the line from Mitchell Nelson’s header. 

The Wands took the lead six minutes into the second half when Parker converted a penalty after Bradley Pritchard was upended by Dickens and Ramsgate keeper Luke Watkins had to make a number of saves to keep Ramsgate in the game.

Cray started the game well and Parker fired wide from Malik Solebo’s cross.  Mitchell Nelson headed wide from a corner and Solebo was denied by a sharp block from Ramsgate keeper Luke Watkins.

Sean Roberts saw an effort blocked by George Crimmen and then curled a shot wide as did Parker.  Ramsgate threatened with shots saved by Nick Blue from Rory Smith and Tom Chapman.

In the 33rd minute, Ramsgate were awarded a penalty when a left wing corner, Jack Penny’s ball into the near post found Charlie Dickens who was adjudged to have been impeded in the area by Zak Henry and a penalty was given.  From the spot, Aaron Millbank struck home a confident kick to give Ramsgate the lead.

Cray hit back just over a minute later when from a free kick out on the right, Archie Johnson floated the cross into the area and Nelson rose highest to divert a header goalwards and showing good predatory instincts, Parker was on hand to tap in to make it 1-1. 

There was a blow for Cray before half time when Jerome Federico who had an excellent first half went off injured.

The second half was just as bright and breezy as the first but it was Cray who made the first impact in the 51st minute when Pritchard who as on Saturday looks an inspired signing made a run into the box and was upended by Dickens for a second penalty award of the evening.  Parker stepped up to score and make it 2-1.

Cray had other opportunities to score throughout the half with Parker denied by a good save from Watkins who also thwarted Solebo on three occasions.  Nelson put a header just wide and Iffy Onwuachu fired just over the bar and Kyrique Garvey Williams saw a cross-shot saved by Watkins legs.   

Ramsgate’s best opportunity fell to Kyron Lightfoot who curled a shot wide of the left post but Cray deserved to win the game and showcased some very bright young players for the future.

Cray are next at home on Sunday, 19th August in league action against Whitstable Town, kick off 3pm

Cray Wanderers: Nick Blue, Barney Williams (Capt.), Archie Johnson, Marcus Evans, Mitchell Nelson, Bradley Pritchard, Zak Henry (Kyrique Garvey-Williams, 61), Sean Roberts, Freddie Parker (Iffy Onwuacho, 75), Malik Solebo, Jerome Federico (Cain Cruz, 43):  Subs: Deshon Carty, Tiwa Fujimade

Att: 90