Cray Wanderers made it two wins in a week by advancing to the 1st Qualifying Round of the FA Cup with a classy and impressive performance to overcome the spirited challenge of Hythe Town at Hayes Lane.

On a baking hot Sunday afternoon, Cray got off to a terrific start by taking the lead after nine minutes through Tom Murphy’s first goal for the club.  Hythe were very much still in the game but two goals in the last six minutes of the first half, a terrific finish from Murphy and a cool Joe Taylor strike gave the Wands a degree of comfort at the break.  In the 63rd minute Bradley Pritchard added a fourth with Taylor grabbing his second in the last minute.

Cray began in a brisk manner and had  the games’ first opportunity when from a Freddie Parker corner down the right the ball came to Mitchell Nelson whose snap volley was cleared off the line by Callum Adonis-Taylor.

In the 9th minute, Cray’s strong start was rewarded with a goal which began with a strong run from Lee Lewis who laid the ball into the path of Murphy who from 20 yards let fly with a shot which hit the inside of the right post and across the line hitting the left corner of the net.

The game was set up nicely and Parker and Joe Taylor both were denied by Ryan Nicholls in the Hythe goal while at the other end shots from Frannie Collin, Ryan Cooper and Tom Carlton were fielded by Lewis Carey.  Cray almost grabbed a second when Taylor's shot was pushed round the post by Nicholls.

Hythe were hanging in the game well but in the 39th minute, Cray scored a cracking second goal when down the left, Lewis who had another storming game for the Wands found Barney Williams who took on a couple of defenders, ran to the left edge of the box and laid the ball to Murphy who from a central position 20 yards from goal found space and hit a sweet strike which crashed into the top left hand corner of the net.

Cray ended the half with added zip and in the first of three added on minutes scored a third goal started by Murphy who found Lewis and in turn Parker who swept the ball through to Taylor who did superbly to lash a shot into the bottom left corner of the net with a goal of real quality.

The intensity of the second half dropped although Murphy, WIlliams and Parker came close to adding to the scoreline with Parker seeing a shot cleared off the line by Ollie Rowe.

In the 63rd minute any doubt as to the outcome of the match came to an end with a fourth goal with Murphy the provider with a weighted ball through into the path of Bradley Pritchard who charged towards goal and finished with aplomb from 12 yards burying the ball under Nicholls and into the net.

With the gamelong since won and entering its final minute there was still time for Cray to up the gears again and grab a fifth goal when Neil Spencer made a run towards goal and rather than shoot elected to play in Taylor down the left of the area who made no mistake drilling a shot wide of Nicholls into the bottom right corner and a great way to finish the game.

The draw for the 1st Qualifying Round is on Tuesday 27th August at 1pm.  The Wands next match is in the Isthmian Premier Divison on Saturday 31st August with a first ever trip to Potters Bar Town.

Cray Wanderers: Lewis Carey, Barney Williams (Capt.), Charlie Allen, Mitchell Nelson (Geofrey Okonkwo, 86), Harry Hudson, Lee Lewis, Bradley Pritchard, Jerome Federico (Neil Spencer, 87), Tom Murphy (Charles Etumnu, 66), Freddie Parker, Joe Taylor:  Subs:  Aaron Rhule, Karl Dent, Grant Hall  

Att: 230