Cray Wanderers five game unbeaten home run came to an end as a solitary first half goal was enough for Bishop’s Stortford to claim the three points at a wet and soggy Hayes Lane.  The Wands remain 19th in the table after the game with Bishop’s Stortford who are now unbeaten in fifteen games staying 5th and in the playoff places. 

After a whirlwind start from the visitors where they could have scored four in the first ten minutes and the winning goal came to Bishop’s Stortford in the 37th minute when Anthony Church headed into the net from Jake Cass’s flick on. 

The game started in drizzly rain with Cray introducing Bailey Vose in goal but there was a quick tempo to the early stages and Bishop’s Stortford came out of the traps rapidly and from Johnville Renee’s second minute cross, Giles headed over the bar.  Then another cross from the right into the box found Jake Cass but was thwarted by a great challenge and block from Freddy Barton. Then with Cray rocking somewhat Darren Foxley hit a shot from just outside the area which smacked the right post.

In the 8th minute another fine cross from the impressive Renee from the right was headed over by Anthony Church.  Then, two minutes later Cass fired over from close to 30 yards out.   Then Bishop’s Stortford came close when Ben Marlow hit a rasping drive from 25 yards which only just went past the left post.

For Cray, Anthony Cook made a strong run into the box from midfield but keeper Jack Giddens did well to come and claim on the wet surface.

Then the ball was worked down the left to Jamie Yila who played the ball back out of the area to Cameron Brodie shot wide of the right post.

On the half hour, Yila received the ball and made a run to 20 yards from goal down the right and his shot was well struck but well claimed by Giddens.

This was followed by a great cross from Barton down the right which zipped across the box with no-one able to get a touch.  Then Cook set up Jai Reason for another well hit shot which Giddens got down to save.

Two minutes later, Bishop’s Stortford came close again when another cross , this time from the left of the area from Renee was met by a firm header from Harris but was well held on the line by Vose.

The goal that Bishop’s Stortford had been threatening from the start came on 37 minutes and came from a free kick down the right and Giles ball into the box saw Cass get to the ball before Vose to knock the ball across for Church to head in from four yards.

There were few chances in the second half although Reason and Chris Dickson combined to find Brodie who shot well wide from distance.

Cray won a couple of corners down the left and from the second of these, Reason’s ball to the far post was knocked across by Ethan Kaiser towards Yila who diverted the ball

goalwards towards Drury in the box but Giles got a vital touch to clear the ball from the box.

Bishop’s Stortford had defended well and perhaps were not quite as potent in attack as in the first half but still came close to scoring a second when Giles cross found Marlow and his goalbound shot was deflected behind for a corner.

Cray continued to go forward to their credit and were playing well and now with Fjord Rogers and Erald Desa on the pitch. Giddens almost contributed to a scary moment for the visitors when he came out to clear the ball and seemed to slip with Reid in close attendance but Robbins managed to clear the ball away.

Possibly the best chance of the game for Cray came in the 89th minute when down the Rogers found Dickson and turning in the box was unlucky to see his shot deflected wide of the left post for a corner. From the corner, Drury’s header landed on the roof of the net.

Into four minutes of added on time and still Cray probed and searched for a goal and the lively Desa received a pass from Cook and his shot from the right edge of the area was well gathered by a diving Giddens.

In the end Cray just couldn’t find their way through a tough and durable Bishop’s side who showed both sides of their game, strong and potent in attack in the first half and in the second showed solidity and the ability to soak up pressure.

For Cray, there was no disgrace in losing the game and after a difficult first ten minutes when they couldn’t get the ball played well and perhaps on another day may have had more luck in front of goal.  

Cray next concentrate on cup ties with the Kent Senior Cup visit to Corinthian on Tuesday, 14th December and then on Saturday (18th December) in a huge game entertain National South joint leaders Dartford in the 3rd Round of the FA Trophy.        


Cray Wanderers:       Bailey Vose, Freddy Barton, Dean Beckwith (Capt.), Ethan Kaiser, Kasim Aidoo (Erald Desa, 85), Cameron Brodie (Andy Drury, 70), Jai Reason, Anthony Cook, Jamie Yila (Fjord Rogers, 79), Kyel Reid, Chris Dickson:  Subs: Tom Hanfrey, Jack Hanson

Att:  161