Cray Wanderers wait for promotion from the Bostik South-East continues onto Saturday as the Wands who just needed three points to win the title were held at home by Greenwich Borough who require the points at the other end of the table. 

On a gruelling afternoon, Teshuane Tyreece-Walters gave Greenwich the lead from the penalty spot after 6 minutes. Borough were resolute in the first half but Cray gradually wore them down and Greenwich were reduced to ten men when Rhys Paul was sent off for two bookable offences in the 74th minute.  Three minutes later, Cray deservedly levelled when Tom Carlse’s left wing cross was turned in to the net by Karl Dent.   Cray though had the opportunity to win the title when four minutes from time were awarded a penalty of their own when Nelson was fouled but Tom Phipp’s penalty was saved by Oliver Webber.

As a result of the draw, Cray lead the table by 8 points on 73 points from Horsham in 2nd place and 11 from Hastings United but Ashford United who Cray face on Saturday are 12 points behind.

On a murky afternoon with a touch of tension in the air it was Greenwich who settled the better and from out of nothing were awarded a penalty after 6 minutes when Olutoyosi Olusanya broke into the area and was adjudged perhaps harshly to have been brought down inside the area following a tackle from Mitchell Nelson.  Teshaune Tyreece Williams stepped up to confidently stroke the ball into the net and give the visitors the perfect start.

Greenwich looked to frustrate after that with Cray’s best chance before the half-hourwhen  Ben Mundele played in Karl Dent down the right of the area and his near post cross-shot was pushed out by well by Oliver Webber.  Dent then found Jerome Federico who hit a shot wide of goal.  Before half time, Archie Johnson down the left set up Junior Dadson who cut inside but fired over the top from 20 yards and Cray went in at half time a goal down and finding Greenwich a tough nut to crack.

The second half was tense but chances started to appear and Jay Leader headed wide from a corner and Ben Mundele tested Webber with a shot from just outside the area. 

Greenwich came close to adding a second goal when following a free kick out on the left, Jack Sammoutis’ fine ball into the area was met by Olusanya but headed over from five yards.  Cray were unlucky when from a left wing corner Nelson’s header was cleared off the line by Stuart and then Webber saved a Jordan Clarke shot.   Then Tom Carlse almost scored within seconds of coming on as substitute when Clarke found him inside the area, looked to find space and his shot from 10 yards was saved on his goalline by Webber.

On 74 minutes though, Greenwich were reduced to ten men when Paul was shown a second yellow card for a high boot which caught Dent in the head twenty five yards from goal. 

A goal for Cray had to come and did so in the 77th minute when Sean Roberts found Carlse down the left who put in a first time cross which found Dent who slotted home a cool finish from 10 yards and we finally had parity in the game.

The pressure was telling from Cray and from another corner in the 86th minute down the right the ball was flicked off a head to Nelson down the left of the area who was nudged over inside the box by Luke Leppard for the award of a penalty kick.  Amidst great tension in the ground, Phipp stepped up to take the kick but his effort was saved by Webber pushing the ball round the left post for a corner.

Going into the last minute, Dent down the right put over a tremendous cross which was met inside the area by a sharp volley from Carlse which was well saved by Webber possibly off his head but went over the bar for a corner.

Strangely despite being under the cosh it was Greenwich who almost won it when Kayne Roberts broke away down the right and fired a shot from just inside the area which crashed off the crossbar and fortunately for Cray away from goal.

In the end it wasn’t to be for Cray and had to be content with a draw which still gives them a chance to win the title on Saturday if they beat Ashford while for Greenwich they now go level with Guernsey ahead of next Sunday’s game.            

Despite not being able to clinch the title today it wasn’t for the want of trying and although without a win in four games their destiny still lies in their hands and need to go again on Saturday which should be a great occasion.

Cray Wanderers: Nick Blue, Ben Mundele, Archie Johnson (Tom Carlse, 69), Jay Leader, Mitchell Nelson (Capt.), Tom Phipp, Sean Roberts (Freddie Parker, 79), Karl Dent, Joe Taylor, Junior Dadson (Jordan Clarke, 55), Jerome Federico: Subs: Lee Lewis, Barney Williams

Att:  274