Cray Wanderers and Rusthall must meet again in the FA Cup Preliminary Round after the Wands were held at Hayes Lane by their SCEFL Premier opponents.  Cray trailed at the break courtesy of a well taken Sam Murray first half goal and it took an own goal from Ryan Waterman in the 56th minute to draw level. The replay will take place on Wednesday 5th September at Rusthall with a 7.45pm ko.

This was the first ever meeting between the two sides and on a day of sunshine and showers not surprisingly Cray had the vast bulk of possession and created a number of chances but had to rely on a second half own goal from Ryan Waterman to force the replay after Sam Murray stunned the home fans six minutes before half time with a well taken goal.   Rusthall were helped by a fine performance in goal from Callum Christie who made three excellent saves to deny Karl Dent, Malik Solebo and Michael Power.

Cray were very quickly out of the traps and Bradley Pritchard saw an early shot blocked for a corner and Marcus Evans twice headed over from corners.

Karl Dent was very unlucky not to score twice in the first half, firstly when his twenty five yard deft chipped shot was pushed over the bar well by Christie.  Then from a 30 yard free kick saw his shot cannon back off the crossbar.

Cray were unlucky not to score when Dent played Malik Solebo through into the area but his effort was pushed away brilliantly by Christie.

Rusthall had been hanging on and had five players booked first half but the last thing anyone expected in the first half was a goal for the visitors but it came in the 39th minute when Ryan Waterman put a superb ball through to Sam Murray who from 16 yards finished with some aplomb to stun the Wands fans and Cray trailed at the break.

Cray levelled in the 56th minute with perhaps their only stroke of luck in the game when Dent’s left wing free kick was played into the area and Waterman diverted the ball into his own net with his head.

The Wands came close to winning the tie firstly through a possible second own goal when Jerome Federico’s right wing cross was deflected across goal by Robbie Bissett.

The with nine minutes to go Michael Power turned two defenders inside the area and his shot from 12 yards was stopped by a fine one handed save from Christie.  Finally with two minutes to go Ben Mundele strode forward and his shot just from outside the area shaved the crossbar but there were no further goals and the two teams must try again.

Cray are next in action on Bank Holiday Monday away to Sittingbourne with a 3pm kick off.

Cray Wanderers: Nick Blue, Ben Mundele, Barney Williams (Capt.), Marcus Evans, Tom Phipp, Sean Roberts, Bradley Pritchard, Karl Dent, Michael Power (Freddie Parker, 87), Aaron Rhule (Junior Dadson, 80), Malik Solebo (Jerome Federico, 63):  Subs: Joe Vines, Jay Leader, Tiwa Fujamade

Att:  111