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It's a ‘Cray Day' As We Visit ‘The Wands'

                          vs                                         

 

Having lost 3-0 against Tony Russell’s new club Lewes on Saturday, we now visit his former club, Cray Wanderers on Wednesday (24th November) for yet another away game in the Pitching In Isthmian League Premier Division game, kick-off 7:45pm. ‘The Wands’ are in a similar position to us in that they have had five consecutive away League games, and this is their first one at home since Wednesday 29th September! And in fact, they’ve only played five home games all season in the League so far.  

 

Due to last season ending prematurely, we didn’t play our opponents away from home, although they did win 3-1 at the BuildKent Stadium. David Smith gave us the lead after fifteen minutes, but they came back with strikes from Joe Taylor (24 mins), Charlie Allen (62 mins) & Rhys Murrell-Williamson (67 mins) to take the points. When the season was called to a halt, they were well-placed to challenge for a Play-off place, as they were in 5th place with fifteen points from seven games, with games in hand on all the teams above them. They had been consistently challenging over the two seasons that were curtailed and in the combined table, they are 2nd with a Points Per Game (PPG) average of 1.98, compared to Invicta’s of 1.83, which sees us in 4th place.

 

Following Russell’s departure, they appointed the vastly experience striker Danny Kedwell in his first managerial position, although he actually joined the club as a Player Manager, he seems to have only made a limited number of appearances. Although if he does play, he will be a threat to any defence having scored an incredible 249 career goals at differing levels. Danny’s last club was Hollands & Blair, but prior to that he was playing for Havant & Waterlooville, and he has played for several Kent clubs, including Maidstone United and Herne Bay, where we first encountered him during our Kent League days, and where he scored 28 goals in 2004-05. He then moved on to Welling United where he scored 38 goals in two seasons before a year at Grays Athletic, prior to transferring to AFC Wimbledon in 2008 and over three seasons scoring 67 goals and helping ‘The Dons’ into the Conference and in 2011 he scored the winning penalty in the Conference Play-off final against Luton Town to earn promotion to the Football League. This alerted his home-town club Gillingham and they signed him before the start of the 2011/12 season and he spent four seasons with ‘The Gills’ scoring 40 goals in 119 appearances. He then went on to join Ebbsfleet United in January 2015 and served ‘The Fleet’ well with four seasons in the National League before joining Havant & Waterlooville.

 

Kedwell, who holds a UEFA ‘A’ Coaching Licence, has appointed midfielder/winger Andy Drury as his Assistant and he too was planning to continue to play, and he has made a number of appearances this season. Drury has a wealth of experience in both the Football League and non-league football and began his career with his home-town club Sittingbourne in 2001, remaining there for two years before signing for then Gravesend & Northfleet (now Ebbsfleet United) for three seasons. After a spell at Lewes, he moved on to Stevenage Borough and helped the club win the Conference Premier and FA Trophy in 2008/09. He had a short spell at Luton Town when they were in the Conference between 2010/11 and was then signed by Championship club Ipswich Town in January 2011 where he made 64 appearances in two seasons scoring twice, before moving on to Crawley Town and returning to Luton Town, now in the Football League, in the summer of 2014. Drury returned to the non-league game with Conference side Eastleigh in 2015-16 and then on to Ebbsfleet United where he was a team-mate of Kedwell, and he later joined him at Havant & Waterlooville for a spell prior to re-joining Sittingbourne in 2020.  

 

They have also had to rebuild their playing squad and they’ve bought in several players, including defenders Dean Beckworth, who will be skipper having signed from Hythe Town, Joey (not Joe!) Taylor from Sevenoaks Town, the aptly named Freddie Cray from Stansted of the Essex Senior League, Ehizojie 'Martin' Onoabhagbe who has returned to the club from East Thurrock United, Freddie Barton, who came from Bowers and Pitsea, Kasim Aidoo from Eastbourne Borough, Tom Hanfrey from Tonbridge Angels, Marvin McCoy who was recently at Romford and Richie Danquah from Welling United. They’ve bolstered their midfield with Cameron Brodie on a season-long loan from Dartford, plus Zakary Guerfi from Tonbridge Angels. They’ve also added to their firepower up front by signing forwards, Richard Afrane-Kesey from Braintree Town, and Daniel Uchechi, an international for Nigeria at Under 20 and Under 23 level, who re-joined the club after a short spell at Burgess Hill Town. They’ve also recently signed another forward who will be more well known to Invicta fans as he has scored against us in the past! Chris Dickson has signed from Hornchurch having been part of ‘The Urchins’ side who won the Buildbase F.A. Trophy last season.

 

They are currently 20th in the table, with ten points, but they’ve only played thirteen games and with the new management team settling in and the players starting to gel, they will probably start climbing the table soon, especially once they get a few more homes under their belt. They’ve had three wins (Lewes (H) and Carshalton Athletic (A), both 3-1, and Hornchurch (A) 2-1),  one draw (Haringey Borough (A) 1-1) and nine defeats (Worthing (H), Margate (A) and Kingstonian (A), all 2-1, Potters Bar Town (H) 1-0, Corinthian-Casuals (A) and Cheshunt (A), both 4-0, Brightlingsea Regent (H) 2-0, Wingate & Finchley (H) 5-3 and Merstham (A) 2-0).     

 

Their goals have been spread around the team, but Anthony Cook looks the man to watch as he has seven in all competitions this season, well ahead of Adam Coombes and Jamie Yila, who both have three. Next comes Dean Beckwith and Ejiro Okosieme, who have chipped in with two each, whilst five players have scored one apiece: Chris Dickson, Andy Drury, Danny Kedwell, Marvin McCoy and Daniel Uchechi.        

 

Looking ahead to the game, Neil said: “It’s always good to visit Cray, they are a well-run club with some nice people behind the scenes. They haven’t made the best of starts, but with a new Manager and virtually a whole new team it’ll take a while to get things right, and with the experience they’ve got in the squad, I’m sure they will and I’m expecting a difficult game.”

 

Looking at player availability, he added: “The squad will be much the same that played at Lewes on Tuesday, although Jordan [Wright] will be pressing for a start as he came through his minutes on Saturday without any reaction. “Ollie [Freeman] will also be with us, the plan to get him minutes on the pitch with Hollands & Blair didn’t quite work out on Saturday as their game was abandoned after twenty minutes due to player injury. “The only minor doubt is Ronnie [Dolan], as he received a slight knock towards the end of Saturday’s game, but we’ll hoping that he’ll have shaken it off by the time Wednesday comes round.”     

 

Form Guide

The below shows the results of the last five home League games (that’s all they’ve played at home so far this season) for Cray Wanderers and the last six away for Invicta, with the most recent last.

Cray Wanderers               -             WLLLL (currently 20th in the home form table)

Folkestone Invicta           -             DWDLWL (currently 10th in the away form table).

 

League Progress

The two charts below (courtesy of Football Web Pages) show the position of Invicta (top) and ‘The Wands’ (below) in blue, and the points gained after each game played, in red.

Folkestone Invicta progress chart       

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cray Wanderers progress chart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goal Times       

The below graphs show the times in which both Folkestone Invicta and Cray Wanderers have scored (on the left) and conceded (on the right) their goals in their League games so far this season.

 

On the goals front we have an advantage in both the numbers scored and conceded. Whilst we’ve hit thirty in our games and are 4th equal in the goalscorers table with Bishop’s Stortford, ‘The Wands’ have only scored half that number and are currently the lowest scorers in the Division along with Brightlingsea Regent and Leatherhead.

 

As far as goals conceded are concerned, there is again a bit of a difference, we’ve conceded nineteen,  which sees us level 8th with Bishop’s Stortford again as they have the same goal difference, in the goals conceded table, whilst our opponents have conceded twenty-eight, which sees them currently sitting at 18th in the same table.

Goals scored graph .

                                      

 

 

 

 

                       

Goals conceded graph.   

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Previous Results

As you can see, we’ve played ‘The Wands’ several times over the years, in various competitions, with our opponents having the best in the head-to-head with eleven wins compared to our six, four of which were when we met in the Kent League! And five draws. In the below, Invicta’s score is shown first:

 

Season

Home

Away

Division/Competition

1992/93

3-1

0-2

KL Division 1

 

3-4

 

Kent Senior Trophy

1993/94

5-1

2-1

KL Division 1

1994/95

3-3

2-1

KL Division 1

1995/96

0-0

1-3

KL Division 1

1996/97

1-3

0-2

KL Division 1

1997/98

1-1

0-2

KL Division 1

2004/05

1-3 (aet)

2-2

FA Trophy

2008/09

1-3

1-3

IL South Division

2010/11

1-1

1-0

IL Premier Division

   

1-2 (aet)

IL Cup

2019/20

*

3-2

IL Premier Division

2020/21

1-3

*

IL Premier Division

 

*Seasons curtailed prior to game being played.

 

Last Visit To Hayes Lane

The last time we played at Cray Wanderers was on Wednesday 14th August ’19 when we came away with a 3-2 victory, in a game where we clinched victory with two goals in the last ten minutes and is probably most remembered for Jerson Dos Santos’ fantastic equaliser when he hit an unstoppable shot with the outside of his boot into the top corner from around twenty-five yards. The full match details were (no, this isn’t the Lewes team from Saturday again!):

 

Cray Wanderers: Lewis Carey, Barney Williams, Thomas Carlse, Mitchell Nelson, Thomas Phipps, Jerome Frederico-Adade (Tom Murphy, 74 mins), Lee Lewis (Charlie Allen, 46 mins), Joe Taylor, Freddie Parker (Karl Dent, 77 mins), Bradley Pritchard & Andre Coker, (Unused Subs; Charles Etumnu & Joe Vines).

 

Goalscorers - Andre Coker (41 & 50 mins)

 

Folkestone Invicta: Tim Roberts, Josh Vincent (Finn O’Mara, 46 mins), Alfie Paxman, Matt Newman, Callum Davies (Captain), Sam Hasler, Scott Heard, Micheal Everitt (Ira Jackson, 72 mins), Johan Ter Horst, Jerson Dos Santos & Kieron McCann, (Unused Subs; Henry Newcombe, Nat Blanks & Ronnie Dolan).

 

Goalscorers - Jerson Dos Santos (3 & 81 mins) & Johan Ter Horst (90 mins).

 

Attendance: 240.

 

Cray Wanderers Travel Details

Their ground address is Hayes Lane, Bromley, Kent, BR2 9EF.

  • Road mileage, 60.30 miles (travel time, 1 hour, 8 minutes, although it may take longer bearing in mind the time you’ll be travelling). Use the M20 and merge onto the A20 and continue before taking the A222 exit towards Bromley/Chislehurst/Sidcup. At Frognal Corner Roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Perry Street/A222 and then at the next roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Bickley Park Road/A222, before turning left onto Page Heath Lane/B265. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Homesdale Road/B265, then turn left onto Masons Hill/A21 before turning right onto Hayes Lane/B265, go through the roundabout and the ground will be on the left.
  • The nearest railway station to the ground is Bromley South (approximately 0.70 miles from the ground), which is serviced by trains from London Victoria and the south-east coast. Trains run regularly up until about 23:30 midweek and usually later at weekends. There are also about two services an hour from London Blackfriars. If your train into London goes via East Croydon, it may be easier to get off there and catch the 119 bus to the ground (approximate journey time is forty minutes). If you alight at Bromley South, left out of the station and then right shortly afterwards into Westmoreland Road, at the traffic lights by the T-junction near the Police Station and the Churchill building. Turn left after the church, into Hayes Road. Take care to follow the road when it bears round to the left rather than ending up in Cameron Road. At the end of Hayes Road turn right into Hayes Lane, having first crossed Hayes Lane using the traffic island near the mini roundabout. The ground entrance is about 200 yards on your left.

To all those travelling, have a safe journey.

 

Admission

£10.00, with concessions £5.00 (Over 60s, Students and Under 16s).

 

You can purchase your tickets here: Buy Tickets | Cray Wanderers FC (cray-wanderers.com).

Colours

Please note, for those of you that like to wear the right colours at the games, we shall be wearing our usual red and white away kit as Cray Wanderers wear amber and black.

 

 

 

Premier Division Midweek Fixtures

Monday 22nd November

   

Carshalton Athletic

vs

Horsham

     

Tuesday 23rd November

   

Enfield Town

vs

Hornchurch

Lewes

vs

Corinthian-Casuals

Potters Bar Town

vs

Bowers & Pitsea

Wingate & Finchley

vs

Cheshunt

     

Wednesday 24th November

   

Cray Wanderers

vs

Folkestone Invicta