Cray Wanderers moved up to sixth place in the Isthmian Premier league table after a high quality performance which produced three points and four goals against a strong Potters Bar Town side.

Cray were looking to bounce back from defeat at Carshalton Athletic last Saturday and began the game well and took the lead in the 22nd minute when Andre Coker turned the ball home from Joe Taylor’s excellent right wing cross.  The second goal arrived five minutes before the break when Lee Lewis made it three goals in the last two home games when he calmly slotted home from Jerome Federico’s pass. 

The Wands then stepped up the gears even further and in the 54th minute, Taylor fired home a third goal and his 22nd of the season.  Then two minutes later Karl Dent got on the scoresheet blasting the ball home from Lee Lewis’s cross.  There was even time for Taylor to hit the crossbar with a header from a Bradley Pritchard cross and two minutes from time hit an upright with a penalty kick after he was upended in the box.

Tony Russell’s side created the first opening of the game in the 7th minute when Mitchell Nelson played a great ball from the left out to Federico who raced down the right and played the ball across to Taylor who shot over the bar from the edge of the box.

Potters Bar did perhaps have something of a let off when Nelson’s ball forward found Andre Coker who broke through to the right edge of the penalty area and was brought down by George Quarrington-Carter who was shown a yellow card and not deemed that Coker was the last man.  From the free kick, Lee Lewis’s shot deflected off the wall and out down the left to Bradley Pritchard who hoisted a ball to the far post where Federico just couldn’t get a firm connection to turn the ball into the net.

The feeling was that a goal was coming for Cray and duly arrived in the 22nd minute when Ben Mundele who played well back in his familiar right-back position won the ball and broke forward and played the ball out to Taylor down the right and sent over an inviting cross to the far post where Coker stole in to score from five yards and his fifth goal of the season.

The goal sparked a response from Potters Bar Town and leading scorer Josh Hutchinson found space but fired his shot wide of the left post from just outside the box.

Five minutes before half-time though Cray scored another excellent goal when Federico and Mundele got the ball going forward and found Karl Dent who sprayed a pass to Federico down the right and the winger pulled the ball across to Lewis who from just inside the area found space to drill a shot into the bottom left corner past Arthur Janata and give Cray a two goal cushion.

The second half began on a sour note for Cray when a ball forward from Lewis Carey sought out Federico close to the right touchline but went down with what appeared to be an ankle or leg injury and required a stretcher to leave the field five minutes after the break.  Joel Rollinson came on to play down the right.

It didn’t take long for Rollinson to make an impact and combined with Pritchard to play a defence splitting pass through to Taylor who with great style and precision fired into the net from 12 yards for his 16th league goal of the season and his 22nd in total to make it 3-0 and effectively game over.

Two minutes later, Cray scored another high quality goal when quick thinking from Mundele down the right saw the ball come to Lewis who broke down the right of the area and laid the ball across to Karl Dent who despatched a crisp, well struck finish past Janata into the bottom right corner for his second goal of the season.

Cray were now in full flow and in the 65th minute almost scored one of the goals of the season when Pritchard won the ball down the left and exchanged passes with Coker to break to the left edge of the area and sent over a terrific cross which was met by a firm header from Taylor which crashed back off the top of the crossbar. 

Perhaps the best chance of the game for the Scholars came with nine minutes left when Imedd Kartita set up Ben Ward-Cochrane down the left of the area and from a tight angle fired a shot towards goal which was cleared off the line by Jay Leader.

Towards the end of the game, Cray sought out a fifth goal and from a free kick 20 yards from goal slightly right of centre Tom Murphy fired a shot just past the left post.

Then in the 88th minute from a throw in down the right Taylor burst into the area and was adjudged to have been impeded inside the area by James Budden and a penalty kick was awarded.  From the spot, Taylor’s shot came back off the left upright and following up headed the ball over from the rebound.

Cray were well worth the three points at the end of the game and remain the top scorers in the division with 40 goals from 19 games played and moved up one place in the table and just outside the playoff places on 34 points.  The Wands are next in action on Saturday when they travel to the Sussex coast to face Bognor Regis Town

Cray Wanderers:  Lewis Carey, Ben Mundele (Charlie Allen, 77), Tom Carlse, Jay Leader, Mitchell Nelson (Capt.), Lee Lewis, Bradley Pritchard, Karl Dent, Jerome Federico (Joel Rollinson, 50), Andre Coker (Tom Murphy, 73), Joe Taylor:  Subs:  Barney Williams, Geofrey Okonkwo

Att:  163