There was late drama at Hayes Lane as early season playoff contenders Cray Wanderers and Worthing shared four goals with two coming deep into stoppage time as the game ended in dramatic fashion.

Cray had led from the 30th minute through Joe Taylor but Worthing levelled on 65 minutes when Ricky Aguiar slotted home. The added on time drama began four minutes into the additional time when Jay Leader put through his own goal however, two minutes later a Bradley Pritchard corner was diverted into the net by Aguiar and a dramatic finish was added to when Jesse Starkey was sent off for a second bookable offence for the visitors.

Cray started the game in 7th place in the league table, two places and three points behind Worthing who were unbeaten in their last four league matches.  On a wet and swirly afternoon the game began slowly with no indication of the late drama to follow. The best early chance fell to Worthing when Lewis Carey’s goalkick was intercepted by Alex Parsons and he found Ricky Aguiar who saw his shot pushed round the post by Carey.   

The Wands had an early blow when Tom Phipp had to come off with an injury on 12 minutes but Cray came more into it and from a left wing corner, Bradley Pritchard’s cross to the far post was headed wide by Geofrey Okonokwo.  Cray then had a good spell and Joe Taylor found Jerome Federico whose ball in from the right was steered wide by Pritchard and the ball went behind.  Then a neat passing build up ended with Pritchard setting up Taylor for a shot from 12 yards which went just over the bar. 

In the 30th minute Cray took the lead with a well worked goal when Tom Carlse, Andre Coker and Pritchard combined down to set up Federico down the right whose ball into the box was inch perfect and Taylor found space to stroke the ball home from 8 yards for his 16th goal of the season.

Cray thought they had scored a second before half time when Bradley Pritchard’s left wing corner went straight into the net but a foul was adjudged to have taken place and the goal was disallowed.

The second half saw a Worthing revival and they controlled the early part of the second half with Alfie Young heading wide from a corner and Dawes shot over from 30 yards.  Then Jesse Starkey saw a shot held by Carey from distance. 

Worthing finally made their pressure tell in the 65th minute when Cameron Tutt played a fine ball in from the right into the area and Aguiar did well to find space to shoot and score.

Cray began to get back on the attack and Lee Lewis shot wide from a free kick 25 yards from goal and then Williams found Mundele who cut inside from the right and shot over from the edge of the area.  The closest Cray came to retaking the lead came when Tom Carlse put over a looping cross from the left to the far post where Mundele was unlucky to see his cross shot go across goal and behind for a goal kick.

It was beginning to look like a 1-1 draw as the game entered stoppage time and in the fourth minute of the additional time Worthing looked like they had plundered the three points when a ball in from the right into the area was spilled by Carey and Shola Ayoola’s ball towards the goal was diverted into the net by Leader and the game looked lost.

However, Cray as in the last three matches had fallen behind and quickly got back on terms and in the sixth minute of injury time and from a left wing corner Pritchard’s cross soared into a crowded penalty box where Carlse went for the ball but Aguiar ended up heading the ball into the net for the second own goal in two minutes. 

The drama didn’t end there as Starkey was sent off for Worthing for his second bookable offence possibly for dissent and the game ended in a rather frantic way but on reflection a draw was probably the right result.

Cray remain seventh on 22 points and are at home next Saturday when Cheshunt are the visitors to Hayes Lane, kick off 3pm.

Cray Wanderers:  Lewis Carey, Barney Williams, Tom Carlse, Jay Leader, Geofrey Okonkwo, Tom Phipp (Lee Lewis 12), Charlie Allen, Bradley Pritchard, Jerome Federico (Ben Mundele 55), Andre Coker (Charles Etumnu 83), Taylor: Subs not used: Joe Vines, Grant Hall

Att:  172