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Cray Wanderers 0-1 Hastings United
Cray Wanderers 0-1 Hastings United

On a frustrating night for Cray Wanderers they lost their first league game in seven, conceding a second half goal in a bruising encounter with Hastings United at Hayes Lane on Wednesday night. 

Cray started the game positively, Michael Ademiluyi having a goal ruled out for hand ball in the build up. As the game opened up Tom Chalmers went close for the visitors with a sharp turn and shot in the area that went just over the bar.

Ademiluyi posed threat down the right when Cray pressed forward, but Hastings kept them at bay defensively and in a frantically paced and increasingly physical  match chances were few and far between. 

The second half saw Hastings start on top, Ben Pope hit the side netting sliding in at the far post and Knorry Scott saw a powerful shot deflected wide for a corner, before Cray settled down.

Dan Basset fired over from range and Sam Wood hit an effort narrowly wide as Neil Smith’s side started to look the stronger, but then they were disrupted with injuries and forced substitutions.

With Roman Charles-Cook and Sinnkaye Chtsite having to go off and Anthony Cook stepping in at right back with strike Tom Derry playing at centre back.

The key moment of the game came on 74 minutes when Sam Hasler hit a powerful drive from 25yards out and Shaun Rowley parried the ball direct into the path of Pope who slotted the ball into the corner of the net from close range to put Hastings in front.

Cray tried to respond, Bromley loanee Ben Krauhaus was lively playing next to Bassett, but nothing would quite drop for The Wands.

With tempers becoming frayed again late on United sub Lloyd Dawes was sent off in injury time after an awful foul on Derry on the half way line.

Deep into stoppage time Gil Cavallho had a shot saved by Rowley as United pressed again, but one goal was enough for Hasting to take the three points back to the Sussex coast. 

The Wands now have to prepare for a trip to Hornchurch on Saturday, hoping that some of their injured players are able to return. 

Cray: Rowley, Charles-Cook (Chapman 52), Wood, Christie (Krauhaus 62), Jones, Cook, Crook (Skeffington 80), Ijaha, Ademiluyi, Bassett, Derry.

Subs Not Used: Enkh, Bentley.    

Hastings: Rogers, Stones, Chalmers, Dixon, Pope (Dawes 86), Adams (Worrall 60), Hasler, Brefo, Penn, Elliott, Scott (Cavallho 68).

Subs Not Used: Hull, O’Mara.  

Goals: Pope 74mins. 

HT 0-0 FT -01 

Att: 237           

Ref: Steven Scott