Cray Wanderers returned to league action and picked up a point from an entertaining tussle with Haringey Borough at Hayes Lane.  On a sunny afternoon and in a game bristling with quality, Joe Taylor netted a 73rd minute leveller from the penalty spot to cancel out Dimitrios Froxylias stunning 34th minute opener for Haringey and were denied a winner by some fine stops from Borough keeper Valery Pajetat.

Cray starting the game 14th began the game in positive mood against 2nd placed Haringey and worked the first opening of the game down the left and the impressive Tom Carlse set up Karl Dent for a shot from the edge of the area which was fielded well by Pajetat.  Then from a corner down the left, Dent’s ball to the far post was headed away almost off the line by Rakim Richards.   Then Cray almost opened the scoring with a neat passing move which ended with Bradley Pritchard setting up Lee Lewis for a shot which went wide of the left post.

Borough though had the best early chance when Dimitrios Froxylias played a ball through which was deflected into the path of Anthos Solomou who broke down the right of the area but pulled his shot wide of the right post and something of a let off.  Then Scott Durojaiye hit a volley over the top from 25 yards.

For Cray, Tom Murphy fired in a shot from outside the area which flew into the arms of Pajetat and later drove wide after good work by Pritchard.

The deadlock was broken in the 34th minute with a superb piece of finishing from Froxylias who picked up the ball after a neat exchange of passing down the right and taking Solomou’s pass cut inside and from 25 yards unleashed a fine shot which gave Carey no chance flying into the top left hand corner.

Cray really needed to stay in the game and could have gone 2-0 down before the break when from a free kick, Froxylias’s ball into the box was met by the head of Solomou who from six yards diverted his header into the arms of Carey.

The second half promised more of the same and Haringey almost went two nil up when a ball forward found Solomou who sliced wide of goal from inside the area while Cray were patiently putting on pressure and in the 54th minute Dent who had an excellent game for Cray set up Lewis for a shot from distance which went over the bar. 

Four minutes later, Federico and Pritchard combined to put a ball into the area to Joe Taylor who turned and shot but straight at Pajetat.  Then Dent fired over from a free kick 30 yards out and Pritchard lifted a header towards goal from Carlse’s cross but straight to the keeper.

The last twenty minutes saw a purple patch of Cray attacking and from a free kick 20 yards out, Dent stepped up and his shot was heading for the top corner but a superb one handed save by Pajetat tipped the ball over for a corner.  

Then, Cray came closest to scoring yet when Pritchard found Murphy down the left and his cross to the far was met by substitute Ben Mundele who was unlucky to see his header from seven yards come back off the right post possibly via a touch from Pajetat. 

Haringey though never really were able to clear their lines and the ball came back into the box and Taylor held the ball up well from Mundele’s flick and was adjudged to have been upended by Alexandriou and a penalty was awarded.  In the 73rd minute, Taylor stroked home the spot kick for his sixth goal of the season in league and cup with typical calmness.

Cray now had their tails up and shortly after the goal Pritchard fizzed a hooked volley wide of goal and the Wands were looking for a winner.  It almost came in a breathless finale to the game when Taylor put Mundele through into the box but was denied by a fine blocked save by Pajetat who did well to get a hand to the follow up and Haringey cleared the ball away. 

Then the ball went down the other end and down the right, Chidudem Onokwai sent over a looping cross which hit the top of the crossbar and away from goal.

Still there was a chance for Cray to win it and Carlse set up Murphy who sent a low shot into the arms of the keeper from 20 yards and then good play by Mundele and Taylor helped set up a shooting opportunity for Carlse who from just outside the left of the area sent a wickedly swerving shot to the near post which  Pajetat did well to get both hands to and turn aside for a corner.

Finally as the game wore down after four additional minutes, the last shooting chance came to Dent who cut in from the right and let fly with a shot which went narrowly over the top.  In the end though the game finished with a point apiece but Cray can look back on a very good performance against one of the division’s fancied sides.

Cray are next in action on Tuesday evening with a first ever trip to Bishop’s Stortford, 7.45 pm.

Cray Wanderers: Lewis Carey, Barney Williams (Capt.), Tom Carlse, Mitchell Nelson, Harry Hudson, Lee Lewis, Bradley Pritchard, Jerome Federico (Ben Mundele, 64), Tom Murphy, Karl Dent, Joe Taylor:  Subs:  Freddie Parker, Charles Etumnu, Geofrey Okonkwo, Charlie Allen

Att: 162