Cray Wanderers bounced back in great style from the FA Cup defeat at Canvey Island to record their biggest ever Isthmian Premier win by scoring six goals without reply against Merstham at Hayes Lane.

The Wands who moved up to 4th in the Isthmian Premier table, hit the ground running with two goals in the first ten minutes as Ben Mundele made it three goals in three games with a classy finish in the 5th minute and then four minutes later, Bradley Pritchard scored his second of the season following up a rebound after Mundele’s  shot was saved.  On the half hour, Freddie Parker’s corner was headed in by Jay Leader and Cray were well on the way to the win.

In the second half another quick start saw Murrell-Williamson scored a deserved goal three minutes after the restart to make it 4-0.  Then Joe Taylor got on the scoresheet twice first scoring in the 63rd minute when he scored from five yards after Jason Banton’s shot was saved and then following Parker’s exquisite pass chipped keeper Tylor Dickinson to complete the scoring and also the Wands’ first clean sheet of the season.

The Wands got off to a positive start and down the right, Rhys Murrell-Williamson switched the ball across to the left to Jason Banton who in turn played the ball across and the ball came to Tom Phipp who drove wide of the right post from 20 yards.

Then another quick burst of passing saw Ben Mundele stride forward and fed Murrell-Williamson and his ball into the box was glanced wide of the left post by Joe Taylor.

A goal for Cray was looking very much on the cards and arrived in the fifth minute when good crisp passing saw Bradley Pritchard and Taylor combine to find Murrell-Williamson and then Mundele. The ball fell down the right of the area to Taylor who backheeled the ball to Mundele who smashed a shot high into the roof of the net from 10 yards and made it three goals in three matches for the full back.

Four minutes later and with Cray’s tails up the second goal arrived and after play down the right Murrell-Williamson hit a powerful shot which was well saved by Tyla Dickinson but following up Pritchard scored in his second successive league match from 8 yards and in no time Cray were off and running.

In the 21st minute Merstham’s best opening of the match came when Potchu Mendes Calucane picked up the ball from EJ Mensah’s pass and played a good ball through to Piere-Alexander Morin down the right of the area who from 14 yards fired over the bar.  Then Joedon Gugas-Cowin fired a cross-shot wide down the left.

Cray though were playing well and stepped up the gears whenever they felt like it and patient passing saw the ball worked down the left and Parker and Tom Carlse combined to find Jason Banton and his stinging shot from just outside the area drew a fine save from Tyla Dickinson pushing the ball behind for a corner.  From the corner from the left in the 30th minute, Parker’s ball into the box was met by the head of Jay Leader and his low header found its way into the net into the bottom left corner.

Cray went into the second half with a three nil lead and once again started the second half strongly and following a free kick in midfield, Parker found Murrell-Williamson who exchanged passes with Mundele who strode forward and hit a sweet strike from 25 yards which brought a good diving save from Dickinson.  Merstham never cleared their lines and in the 48th minute the ball came back to Banton down the left who played a fine ball into the area to Murrell-Williamson who drilled a powerful near post shot past Dickinson for his 4th goal of the season and one his performance deserved.

Tom Phipp saw a header well saved almost on the line by Dickinson before in the 63rd minute, Cray scored their fifth goal and again good work down the left by Banton saw his angled drive parried out by Dickinson and into the path of Taylor who from five yards tucked home his 10th goal of the season.

Cray kept coming forward and Richards set up Tom Carlse who found a little bit of space just outside the area and his fierce shot just went past the left post.

Another Cray goal was coming and well worth waiting in the 82nd minute as Parker showed good strength to break away from midfield and then played a terrific pass out to the right to Taylor who with impudent confidence chipped the ball over the advancing keeper and into the net for his second of the night.

This was the pep up Cray needed after the 3-2 defeat to Canvey Island in the FA Cup on Saturday and can now move on to the league campaign in positive mood. The Wands are next in action in the FA Trophy 3rd Qualifying Round on Saturday at Whitehawk, 3pm ko. 

Cray Wanderers:     Lewis Carey, Ben Mundele, Mitchell Nelson, Jay Leader, Tom Carlse, Rhys Murrell-Williamson (Jerome Federico, 76), Tom Phipp (Lee Lewis, 70), Bradley Pritchard (Kyron Richards, 56), Jason Banton, Freddie Parker, Joe Taylor:  Subs: Martin Onoabaghbe, Charlie Allen

Att: 376