Cray Wanderers continued their unbeaten start to 2019 and made it ten matches without defeat as the Isthmian South-East league leaders fought out an entertaining 2-2 draw against Ramsgate at the Southwood Stadium. 

The Wands remain 15 points clear at the top of the table and got off to a great start as Joe Taylor was on hand to tap in from Bradley Pritchard’s fine cross after just 11 minutes.  Ramsgate though managed to get back into it on 28 minutes with a great finish from Tom Chapman, the first goal Cray have conceded in open play since 23rd December.  Cray had chances to go back in front before half time but six minutes after the restart, Junior Dadson scored his sixth goal in four games to make it 2-1.  Cray though were pegged back for a second time on 74 minutes when Gil Carvalho tapped in from close range and the two sides drew for the second time this season.

Ramsgate started the game well and Ollie Gray tested Nick Blue with an early strike but Cray too threatened with Joe Taylor shooting just wide from the edge of the area.

On 11 minutes Cray took the lead when good play by Bradley Pritchard down the right ended with a pinpoint cross to the far post where Taylor was on hand to head home just ahead of Junior Dadson and made if four goals in three games for the striker. 

Cray edged the match after that for a spell but on 28 minutes Ramsgate were back on level terms with an excellent goal from Tom Chapman after good work by Rory Smith down the right who played a ball out to Chapman who from the edge of the area hit a sweet strike high into the top left hand corner.

Ramsgate though led a charmed life in defence just after the half hour mark when Dadson got away down the left, seemed to take the ball round the keeper but his goalbound effort was cleared off the line first by Jacob Mensah, then the follow up was somehow deflected against the crossbar by a combination of defender and keeper Luke Watkins and then another follow up by Dadson was blocked by Luke Wheatley and out to Taylor whose shot was deflected behind by Mensah.

Before half time Cray had a couple of other opportunities to take the lead firstly from a right wing corner from Pritchard to the far post which was headed wide by Mitchell Nelson.  Then in stoppage time at the end of the half a Pritchard free kick out on the left was floated into the box and Jay Leader flicked the ball on to Taylor who from five yards somehow saw his goalbound effort pawed away superbly by Watkins.

Ramsgate started the second half well but Cray though were able to soak up that early pressure and broke away well from another Ramsgate attack to take the lead once again on 51 minutes when the ball came to Dadson, who cut in from the left and into the area and crashed home a superb finish into the bottom right corner of the net and Cray were off and running once again.

Ramsgate almost levelled when Gil Carvalho miskicked in front of goal but this was a temporary let off as on 74 minutes, Ramsgate drew level for a second time when Smith worked his way down the right and into the area.  His ball across was helped on by Kane Rowland and fell to Carvalho once again who this time made no mistake to turn the ball home from a couple of yards out.

Cray came closest to winning the game when Archie Johnson was denied by a good save by the feet of Watkins and also the keeper did well to deny Taylor who bore down on goal and made a smothering block.

In the end the game finished in a 2-2 draw and was a fine game of football.  Cray remain 15 points clear at the top and next weekend have a game off before settling into a big March for the club with three matches against teams in the top five with just 10 more matches left to play.  

Cray Wanderers: Nick Blue, Ben Mundele, Archie Johnson, Jay Leader, Mitchell Nelson (Capt.),  Bradley Pritchard, Sean Roberts (Karl Dent, 86), Tom Phipp, Joe Taylor, Junior Dadson, Freddie Parker: Subs: Jerome Federico, Daniel Uchechi, Marcus Evans, Lee Lewis

Att: 270