Cray Wanderers FA Cup story for 2021-22 came to an early end as Sutton Common Rovers in a first ever meeting between the sides claimed a merited victory with some good finishing and stoic defending to book their place in Monday’s 2nd Qualifying Round draw.

The match was Cray Wanderers 150th FA Cup tie and manager Danny Kedwell added experienced midfielder Nicky Bailey and loanee midfielder from Bromley Archie Burnett to the side and Cray started brightly and Burnett and Fjord Rogers tested Sutton keeper Michael Eacott.

However, Isthmian South-Central Rovers who play a league below Cray took the lead when a clearance from Jack Turner was picked up in midfield by Brendan Murphy-McVey who strode forward and found sufficient space to shoot with accuracy into the bottom left corner of the net.

Cray looked to get back into it and a Burnett cross from the right into the area came to Danny Kedwell but his shot was blocked inside the area possibly by Rogers and a Sutton defender.  Then from a corner, the ball came to Rogers who set up Cook whose stab towards goal was cleared almost off the line by Malachi Robinson.

With a minute to go in the half Sutton Common Rovers added a second goal when Tanton showed good pace down the left to speed into the box and laid the ball across where Fernandez was able to pick his spot to shoot past Turner from 12 yards.  

Two minutes into added on time, Cray were given a lifeline when down the right of the area Rogers was tripped by Niran Butler for the award of a penalty which Cook converted and the Wands were back in the game.

 The second half began with Cray looking to carry on where they left off at the end of the first half and Brodie shot wide from 30 yards from Cook’s cross.  Then Cray were awarded a free kick out on the right and the ball into the box from Nicky Bailey was met by the head of Kedwell forcing Eacott to make a sharp save.

In the 67th minute, Sutton Common Rovers restored their two goal advantage as the excellent Adam Allen picked up the ball in midfield and down the left took an exchange pass and broke into the area and finished with great economy shooting into the bottom right corner.

For Cray, Cook curled a free kick around the wall and claimed by Eacott and then Kedwell glanced a header off target from the impressive Freddie Cray’s ball into the area.  

There were ten minutes of added on time required for a number of stoppages during the second half and Cray’s last half opening came to Andy Drury who shot wide from Harvey Brand’s cross and the game ended with Rovers going through and although Cray were not at their best credit where credit is due to Darren Salmon’s team who claimed a notable cup scalp.

For Cray it is time to move swiftly on after a third straight defeat and the next league game on Sunday (12th September) at home to Potters Bar Town gives a little breathing space to bounce back.  


Cray Wanderers:  Jack Turner, Harvey Brand, Dean Beckwith, Freddie Cray, Joey Taylor (Abdul Saccoh, 45), Cameron Brodie, Archie Burnett (Anis Nuur, 69), Nicky Bailey, Anthony Cook, Fjord Rogers (Andy Drury, 63), Danny Kedwell:  Subs: Lee Lewis, Martin Onoabagbe, Adam Coombes

Att: 187