Cray Wanderers completed their Bostik South-East title winning season with a professional and highly polished victory at a grey and windy Hythe Town to finish the season on 82 points and to win the championship by 8 points.

Although there wasn’t much riding on the game there was much to admire about the Cray performance against a good Hythe Town side and two first half goals from Freddie Parker and Joe Taylor taking both strikers to 13 for the season gave Cray the lead at the break. Hythe pulled a goal back through an Ollie Rowe header halfway through the second half but Cray restored the two goal advantage twelve minutes from time when Barney Williams cross-shot was turned into his own net by Rowe.

The Wands started well and almost scored in the first minute when Freddie Parker played the ball out to Jerome Federico down the right and he cut inside and drove in a shot which was held by George Kamurasi.  

The game then went through a quiet phase until the fifteenth minute when Cray went in front when the impressive Bradly Pritchard’s through ball found Parker through the middle and charged into the area, took the ball round Kamurasi and from a tight angle squeezed the ball into the net via a defender a line.  This made it three straight games in which Parker had scored and took his total to the season to 13.

Hythe showed that they posed a threat and a ball was switched out to the left to Sidney Sollis who cut inside and unleashed a shot which went just over the crossbar.

Parker shot wide from Johnson’s pass while at the other end, Hythe won a corner from which the ball came to Charlie Webster who fired wildly wide of goal.  On 32 minutes Cray came close to a second when Pritchard fired in a shot from the edge of the area which was pushed round the right post by Kamurasi for a corner. 

In the 36th minute Cray deservedly went two nil up when Taylor hooked a cross out to Federico down the right and his first time cross found Taylor inside the area who drilled a low shot into the net to also make it to 13 goals for the season.

The second half had more of an end of season feel but the Wands almost scored a third when Carlse combined well with substitute Junior Dadson down the left who curled a shot fractionally past the right post with a well struck shot. 

In the 67th minute Hythe pulled a goal back when from a free kick 25 yards from goal, Ryan Palmer in a central position played the ball into the area and Ollie Rowe met the ball with a firm header and into the bottom right corner to make it game on once again.

In the 78th minute Cray restored the two goal advantage when after a patient build up, Evans played the ball out to the right to Williams who drove in a cross-shot which just brushed the fingers of Kamurasi and deflected off Rowe and into the net before a Cray player could get a touch.

Before the end Cray ended the game on top and Kamurasi had to make saves from Parker, Carlse and a fine stop from Taylor with his legs and then Parker shot over in the last minute.

In the end Cray had picked up another three points on the road and can now plan ahead for an exciting summer but first reflect on a terrific season for Tony Russell’s side in which they have been a very consistent team, playing some great football and at a time when things are going so well for the club on and off the pitch.  

Cray Wanderers: Nick Blue, Barney Williams (Capt.), Tom Carlse, Ben Mundele, Marcus Evans, Bradley Pritchard, Lee Lewis (Sean Roberts, 74), Freddie Parker, Joe Taylor, Archie Johnson (Junior Dadson, 53), Jerome Federico (Jordan Clarke, H/T):  Subs: Charles Etumnu, Joe Vines

Att: 246