Cray Wanderers 2-2 Folkestone Invicta
Cray Wanderers 2-2 Folkestone Invicta

Cray Wanderers and Folkestone Invicta battled out a very entertaining 2-2 draw at Hayes Lane on Wednesday night with the visitors scoring right at the start and end of the match either side of strikes from Anthony Cook and Jai Reason.

Cray started in a 4-4-2 shape with Bromley loanee Sam Skeffington making his debut for The Wands in midfield, but it was the visitors who grabbed the early advantage.

David Smith had a shot saved by Jack Turner, but the rebound came out to Jordan Wright who coolly slotted the ball home into an empty net from the edge of the box.

Smith was denied by Turner soon after as Invicta pressed, before Cray finally settle down and got going.

The Wands drew level on 13 minutes when Skeffington played a great pass to Cook who unleashed an unstoppable 35 yarder that flew into the net just under the bar for 1-1.

With Cray in the ascendancy and zipping the ball around nicely, Adam Coombes saw a free kick deflect wide and Tim Roberts saved bravely at the feet of Chris Dickson.

As the half went on Folkestone had a good spell of pressure, Turner making a superb double save from Kieron McCann and Alfie Paxman, before Scott Heard put the second rebound wide.

Josh Vincent then had a header saved by Turner and Smith dragged a good chance wide after a good cross from Heard. McCann saw his half volley tipped over by Turner and when he was eventually beaten by Heard, Dean Beckwith cleared the ball off the line to keep the score level at half time. 

Cray suffered a blow losing Coombes at half time, but they started the second half brightly changing shape to 4-5-1. Cook volleyed just wide, before Jamie Yila did brilliantly down the left to set up Reason who showed great feet in the box to slide the ball into the net from ten yards and put Cray in front 2-1.

With The Wands looking to extend their lead, Yila and Skeffington combined to played in Dickson who fired over. Folkestone came back into things on the hour, Wright fired over and McCann was denied by Turner, before Cray lost another key player to injury when Cook hobbled off.

Turner also had to undergo treatment for an ankle injury, but managed to carry on clearly in pain. The Wands could have extended their lead when Dickson played in Jack Hanson, but he blazed over from ten yards out when well placed.

The final ten minutes saw Invicta dominate as Cray just couldn’t keep possession of the ball, McCann hit the side netting from a tight angle and he was then denied by a great save from Turner low down at his near post as he shot from the edge of the area.

After a series of Folkestone corners they eventually got their break through on 89 minutes when Heard’s deep corner was turned in at the far post by Callum Davies in a crowded six yard box to make it 2-2.

Folkestone almost won the game in injury time when Oliver Freeman fired over, Heard’s long range effort was deflected on to the bar and then McCann crossed for Wright who fired wide across goal right on the whistle, but Cray held out for the point. 

The draw leaves Cray Wands in twentieth place ahead of their FA Trophy home game with Ebbsfleet Utd on Saturday afternoon, while Folkestone remain in fifth. 

Cray: Turner, Barton, Aidoo, Beckwith, Dancquah, Cook (Hanson 68), Skeffington, Reason, Yila (Hanfrey 79), Coombes (Brodie 45), Dickson.

Subs Not Used: Uchechi, Rogers. 

Folkestone: Roberts, Vincent, McCann, Newman, Davies, Johnson, Heard, Wright, Smith, Draycott (Freeman 82), Paxman.

Subs Not Used: Borrello, Everitt, Collins.   

Ref: Nathan Oakes 

Goals: CWFC – Cook 13, Reason 52mins. FIFC – Wright 2, Davies 89mins

Att: 164

HT 1-1

FT 2-2