Cray Wanderers maintained a ten point lead at the top of the Isthmian South East and made it five wins in a row with a hard fought victory against VCD Athletic at Hayes Lane. Two good defences would make chances few and far between and it took two magnificent strikes from Freddie Parker on the half hour and from Ben Mundele seven minutes after the break to make the breakthrough for Cray.

The second half saw a red card and a penalty kick apiece as VCD Athletic pulled a goal on 59 minutes through Charlie MacDonald who was adjudged to have been fouled by Archie Johnson inside the area who was dismissed.  Seven minutes from time there was parity once again as Tyrone Guthrie was sent off for VCD Athletic for a foul on Tom Phipp.  The scoring was completed in the last minute as Mundele was felled inside the area and Phipp converted from the spot to seal the win.

Cray began the game strongly and Karl Dent fired just over from a free kick out on the left and then the impressive Ben Mundele shot just wide of the left post from Dent’s pass.  This was followed by Freddie Parker seeing an effort blocked on the line by Jake McIntyre.

The game then evened up for a spell and McIntyre shot just over the bar from a free kick 20 yards from goal.

Two minutes later on the half hour Cray went ahead with a sensational goal out of nothing when the ball came to Parker in space perhaps just shy of 30 yards from goal who let fly with a crashing shot which flew past Joe Mant and into the top right hand corner for his tenth goal of the season and his third in the last four games.

The second half saw a lot more action and ex-Wands forward Charlie MacDonald was denied by a block from Nick Blue and then Parker was denied a second goal by a fine save from Mant who also saved from Dent on the follow up.

On 52 minutes Cray went two nil up with another piece of superb finishing when Mundele down the left cut inside and unleashed a shot from 25 yards which curled past Mant’s dive and into the bottom right corner for his seventh goal of the season.

In the 83rd minute, VCD were also reduced to ten men when Guthrie was shown a straight red card when he appeared to catch Phipp in the face with his trailing arm and was sent off.

This made it a bit more of a tolerable last few minutes and in the final minute, Cray were awarded a penalty when Parker set up Mundele down the left of the area and his run into the box ended with a foul by Jack Steventon for the second spot kick of the half.  From the spot, Phipp calmly stroked home for his third goal of the season and clinch the three points.   

Cray next travel to Faversham Town on Saturday on 54 points and in good form to begin 2019.

Cray Wanderers: Nick Blue, Barney Williams (Capt.), Archie Johnson, Jay Leader, Mitchell Nelson, Bradley Pritchard, Tom Phipp, Karl Dent (Sean Roberts, 78), Freddie Parker, Ben Mundele, Jerome Federico (Daniel Uchechi, 90):  Subs:  Michael Power, Marcus Evans, Tiwa Fujimade

Att: 147