Cray Wanderers’ FA Cup adventure came to an end for another year as Metropolitan Police came from behind at the break to win 3-2 and book their place in the 2nd Qualifying Round draw on Monday.

Cray who advanced through in dramatic fashion on Wednesday evening at Rusthall got off to an awful start at Imber Court as Jonathan Wright scored for Met Police after just 33 seconds.  The Wands though fought back five minutes later when Junior Dadson hit over a looping cross-shot which caught out keeper Thomas Williams and sailed into the net. Two minutes before half time Cray went deservedly in front when Michael Power slotted his third goal of the week and the Wands had a 2-1 at half time. 

The second half was more of a bitty affair which suited the home side and they levelled when Jack Mazzone scored from close range in the 67th minute.  Six minutes later, the Met Police took the lead when Ethan Chislett struck and held out to claim the win.

The Wands were rocked on their heels after a dreadful start with the Police taking the lead with their first attack after 33 seconds when Nick Blue’s clearance ricocheted off Jay Leader out to Jack Mazzone down the left and put a ball across into the path of John Wright who tapped the ball in from close range.

Cray though are a very resilient side and got back on level terms in the sixth minute when Junior Dadson picking the ball up twenty yards from goal out on the left hoisted a cross-shot towards goal which was well struck and flew into the top right corner of the net giving Thomas Williams no chance.

Cray were the better side for the remainder of the half and Tom Phipp and Michael Power came close to scoring before the Wands did take the lead two minutes before the interval.  Bradley Pritchard put a superb ball through which Power latched onto, took on Nesta Guiness-Walker and slipped the past the keeper from nine yards for a deserved lead on the balance of play.

The second half saw the Met Police come more into it but for Cray, Dadson was denied a third after a blocked save from Williams and Power was unlucky to shoot just over.  The Met Police came close when John Gilbert’s free kick was pushed over well by Blue.

In the 67th minute the home side drew level when a free kick played into the box from the left wasn’t claimed fully by Blue and the ball fell loose to Mazzone who turned the ball into the net.

It got worse for Cray in the 73rd minute when the Met Police went in front for a second time when Tom Nyama set up Ethan Chislett who tucked home a very tidy finish from just inside the area.

Despite Cray’s best efforts the Met Police held on to end the Wands FA Cup hopes for another season.  Cray remain second in the Isthmian South East and are next in action on Saturday at Ashford United.   

Cray Wanderers: Nick Blue, Barney Williams (Capt.), Archie Johnson, Jay Leader (Zak Henry, 57), Mitchell Nelson, Bradley Pritchard, Sean Roberts (Freddie Parker, 79), Tom Phipp, Michael Power, Malik Solebo, Junior Dadson:  Subs: Cain Cruz, Kyrique Garvey-Williams, Joe Vines, Ben Mundele

Att:  89