Wands hold on to win

By Ian Townsend

Continued fine home form for Cray Wanderers, as the Gulls travel sickness continues

Cray Wanderers welcomed Canvey Island to Hayes Lane last night, and two first half goals gave them three points which assured they would climb above their visitors into thirteenth place.

Wands had lost only two of their last ten coming into the match- but at home the record was even better, as the last time they’d lost a home match in any competition was a defeat to Hornchurch in mid October. Draws have been their achilles heel- perhaps the difference between last season’s play off chase and this season’s mid table campaign has been their nine of those- and there was a danger for the last half hour last night that the Gulls would come back and leave their hosts with one point once more. On this occasion, however, Wands held out.

The opening twenty three minutes saw Cray establish their dominance. George Porter gave them a fine start, finding the net from ten yards on eleven minutes, and twelve minutes later, after a Tom Bonner effort hit the post, there was Porter once more to make it two.

A third goal would surely have killed off the contest, but try as they might the hosts couldn’t find it, and the visitors grew into the game. Bradley Sach shot over for the Gulls ten minutes before the break, and in the early stages of the second half Wands saw a Yahaya Bamba effort disallowed for offside, before the visitors got back into the match, Sach this time finding the net to give his side a boost.

In the closing stages both Elliott Ronto and Charlie Edwards had chances to level for the visitors, Shaun Rowley called into action in the home goal, but after five added minutes it was three points for the hosts, who climbed to thirteenth.

Of course, it mustn’t be forgotten that Canvey were also Play Off Semi-Finalists last season, and their problem hasn’t been draws, it has been an inability to find anything resembling consistency. Twelve wins and fifteen defeats from their twenty nine matches tells that story clearly, and they’ve had particular difficulties on the road- winning only one of their last ten away from the MovieStarr Stadium and taking only one point from the last eight of those.

Both sides are on their own patch on Saturday, Wands welcoming Kingstonian, Canvey seeing Carshalton Athletic arrive on the island.

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