Cray Wanderers remain unbeaten in 2020 and made it nine matches without defeat after picking up a point from a goalless draw against Kingstonian at Hayes Lane.  The match like many on Saturday was played in wet, cold and windy conditions but despite the weather this was a decent match between two good footballing sides who couldn’t be separated after 90 gruelling minutes.  The point moved Cray down a place in the Isthmian Premier league table to 4th on goal difference with 3rd placed Carshalton Athletic.

Cray despite being against the wind in the first half began confidently against a very good Kingstonian side and Karl Dent won an early corner which from the left, his ball into the box was flicked away for another by experienced keeper Rob Tolfrey. 

Kingstonian were also looking positive in the early stages and Dan Hector down the left put in a ball to the near post for Eddie Dsane but was blocked by a good challenge from Barney Williams for a corner.  From the left wing corner, Kenny Beaney’s cross went into the net but the goal was disallowed for a pushing offence.

It was Cray though who created the first real chance when Joel Rollinson and Dent combined to find Bradley Pritchard down the left of the area and his ball across was fired over the bar by Joe Taylor from the edge of the six yard box.

Kingstonian then had a spell where they applied pressure and won three corners in succession and following the third from a throw in the ball came to Dsane whose shot from 20 yards stung the hands of Carey who pushed the ball away.

Kingstonian won a number of corners in the first half and before half time came close again from a right wing cross from Beaney which was flicked on by Simon Cooper to the far post where Dsane’s shot was pushed out well by Carey.

Then shortly before the break down the left, Hector put over a cross into the box which was met by Dan Bennett whose effort from six yards was blocked by Carey and the follow up cleared off the line by Martin Onoabhagbe and scrambled away.

The second half saw the wind get stronger but Cray were very much on the offensive in the early stages of the half.

Firstly, Rhys Murrell-Williamson down the right put a good ball into the box for Taylor who turned to find space and his shot was blocked by Cooper.

Cray went back on the attack and Murrell-Williamson was lively down the right and did well to set up Rollinson who from 25 yards shot just wide of the left post.

The deadlock was close to being broken just before the hour when Rollinson played a good ball through to Taylor who from eight yards was denied by an excellent save from Tolfrey palming the ball out and following up Taylor’ s near post was turned round the post by Tolfrey.  From the corner, the ball came to Murrell-Williamson who shot wide of goal.

Cray continued to do the pressing and from a free kick from distance, Murrell-Williamson fired well wide.   Then from a free kick on the right edge of the penalty area, Murrell-Williamson shot over the top.    

With twenty minutes to go, out of nothing and against the run of play, Kingstonian almost took the lead when the ball was worked down the right and came to Fabio Saraiva who hit a shot from 25 yards which could have been wind assisted crashed against the crossbar possibly via the fingertips of Carey and away from danger.

It was Cray though who would come closest to winning the game when Dent played a superb pass through to Murrell-Williamson who jinked his way down the right and into the area and his goalbound shot was pushed behind superbly by Tolfrey one handed.

As the game neared its final stages, Cray came close when from a throw in, Charlie Allen played a good ball up to Taylor whose shot was deflected behind for the first of two corners and from the second, Murrell-Williamson’s ball into the box was headed off the line by Saraiva and Onoabhagbe couldn’t get a touch to divert the ball goalwards.  Then a Dent corner was glanced wide by Mitchell Nelson.

In the end despite the best endeavours of the players in poor conditions the game ended in a draw which on the balance of the game overall was about right.

Cray are now 4th in the league table with 55 points and are next in action on Saturday 22nd February when they travel to Essex to face East Thurrock United, 3pm.    

Cray Wanderers:  Lewis Carey, Barney Williams (Capt.), Ben Mundele, Martin Onoabhagbe, Mitchell Nelson, Charlie Allen, Karl Dent,  Bradley Pritchard, Rhys Murrell-Williamson, Joel Rollinson, Joe Taylor:  Subs: Tom Carlse, Jerome Federico, Lee Lewis, Palace Francis, Stefan Abatan

Att:  239