Cray Wanderers are off on their travels to one of the eagerly awaited games of the season as they fly off to Guernsey for only the second time. Kick off at Footes Lane is 2pm.
Cray Wanderers come into the game high in confidence unbeaten in the league for 21 games and after two successive draws to begin 2018 they came from behind on Wednesday night to beat VCD Athletic with three goals in the last eleven minutes.
The four goals scored took Cray to 67 for the league making them the leading scorers in the Bostik League overall and also more than Premiership leaders Manchester City. The signing of experienced striker Charlie MacDonald adds proven firepower to the side and hit the ground running with two goals against VCD in typically predatory style. There were also goals for Karl Dent, his fourth of the season and a belter from Ben Mundele which helped turn the game around with Cray losing 1-2 late in the game.
Wednesday was Cray’s game in hand on leaders Lewes and the Rooks lead the table by one point on 60 points with the two sides due to meet next Saturday. Before that Cray have two more big challenges against Guernsey and then on Wednesday night against in form Ashford United.
Guernsey have had a difficult start to 2018 with two away defeats at Phoenix Sports and Sittingbourne but the Green Lions lie 20th in the Bostik South on 27 points so fairly safe at this stage from relegation.
Tony Vance’s side started the season with a home win against East Grinstead Town but then lost their next 8 games before embarking on a good run which saw them lose just three of their next 12 games between late September and early December.
Their results and performances at home are generally very good in front of big crowds so there is the possibility this could be the biggest attendance watching a Cray game in the Bostik South this season. At home they beat East Grinstead Town (4-2), Molesey (3-2), Carshalton Athletic (2-1), Shoreham (5-2) and VCD Athletic (4-2). They picked up draws from games with Whyteleafe and Hythe Town and were beaten by Greenwich Borough (1-2), Corinthian Casuals (0-1), South Park (1-3), Lewes (0-3), Herne Bay (2-4), Walton Casuals (1-3) and Horsham (1-3). Away from home they won at Faversham Town (2-1), East Grinstead Town (2-0) and Molesey (4-2). They drew at Ramsgate and were beaten at Lewes, Horsham, Whyteleafe, Ashford United, Hastings United, Greenwich Borough, Phoenix Sports and Sittingbourne. Leading scorer is Ross Allen with 11 league goals.
Guernsey FC (not to be confused with the Guernsey representative side) were formed in 2011 as a means to assist good players on the island to improve and test themselves against teams from the mainland. They were accepted by the Combined Counties league Division One for the 2011-12 season gaining promotion. They followed this up in 2012-13 with promotion from the Combined Counties Premier Division and a run to the Semi Finals of the FA Vase, losing to eventual winners Spennymoor Town.
In 2013-14 they entered the Isthmian League South and reached the playoffs in their first season losing to Leatherhead in the Semi Final and entered the FA Cup for the first time. Since then they have finished 10th, 13th and although last season was a struggle at times they finished 21st so just finished above the relegation places. There was also a big piece of history for the club back on the 20th August, 2016 when Guernsey hosted Thamesmead Town in the Preliminary Round of the FA Cup, the first time an FA Cup tie has taken place on the island and away from the mainland.
The two sides met for the very first time on Wednesday 17th August in a game which finished is a hugely entertaining 0-0 draw. The first meeting at Hayes Lane took place on 19th October with Cray winning 1-0 with a Danny Haynes goal in the first half.
For many Cray supporters this will be the first time they will be going to Guernsey. They are a smashing club who do a lot for the community on the island and have an impressive media entourage at each game home and away and will make all supporters very welcome.
DIRECTIONS TO GUERNSEY FC and ADMISSION PRICES
St. Peter Port
Guernsey GY5 7TT
Adults: £10.00, Concessions £5.00
The ground is located centrally in the island and is easily accessible with parking for several hundred cars in the immediate vicinity and on a regular bus route stopping immediately outside the stadium. It is approximately three miles north easterly from Guernsey Airport and one mile west from St Peter Port, the island’s capital.
If you are flying in on the day the most ideal flight is the Aurigny Airlines Flight 601 at 8.35am expected to arrive around 9.40 am. There is another flight at 11:50am arriving at 13.05pm. This doesn’t give you much time to get from the airport to the ground as it is a 2pm kick off.
If you are flying overnight there are flights on Friday at 8.35, 11.50, 14.00, 16.30 and 19:40.
The return flight after the game is at 18.15pm from Guernsey to London Gatwick arriving back at 19.05pm. If you are coming home Sunday then flights back to Gatwick are at 7.00am, 10.20am, 14.50pm and 18.15pm.
Any supporters who are flying on the 8.35am flight on Saturday or going home on the 18.15 on Saturday, the club will be running a coach from Hayes Lane to Gatwick Airport and back to Hayes Lane from Gatwick upon return. The coach to Gatwick Airport leaves Bromley FC at 6.15am. Any supporters can use these coaches free of charge.
You can also sail there via Poole or Portsmouth. You’d better check before hand as sailings on Saturday would take you there after kick off and there are no sailings on a Sunday.
The ground is around three miles from the airport and there is a bus network which can offer a scenic route if you want to see some of the island. Bus 95 runs to St. Peter Port Town Terminus for just £1. From there you can get bus 51 to Footes Lane. The ground is located centrally in the island, is easily accessible with parking for several hundred cars in the immediate vicinity. The nearest hotel to the ground is the St Pierre Park Hotel which is around 10 a minute walk away. Alternatives are Le Friquet Country Hotel and Grisnoir Guest House which are within half a mile of the ground
THE CRAY MASSIVE ON TOUR – THE ONE EVERYONE’S BEEN WAITING FOR
The nearest bar and restaurants to the ground are The Lobster and Grill as part of Le Friquet Country Hotel & Apartments. Also close by is the St Pierre Park Hotel
If you are looking for a decent bar or pub in Guernsey then they are in plentiful supply apparently. There is the Cock n Bull, The Forester Arms on St George Esplanade whilst The Swan on St Julian’s Avenue is often touted as the best on the island both for food and drink whilst the Thomas De La Rue, Harbour Lights and Red Onion are also to be searched for. There should also be ample places to eat to cover all tastes but I would have thought a bit pricey to dine out to regularly.
Guernsey is one of two main Bailiwicks grouped with Alderney and Sark that make up the Channel Islands along with Jersey. It is a very popular summer holiday destination and also has a thriving commerce industry making it an ideal destination for banking conferences and seminars.
Guernsey has produced one of England’s most underrated footballer’s of recent times with Matt Le Tissier who played with distinction for Southampton represented England but maybe not as much as he should. Guernsey Cricket club are members of the World Cricket League, European League and Sussex League, and the Rugby Club play also at Footes Lane and are members of the National League 3. It has the second oldest Tennis club in the world and there is a great passion for the sport there. The British tennis player, Heather Watson is from Guernsey. Guernsey also represents itself at the Commonwealth Games and have won six medals in all including one gold in the Shooting in Auckland in 1990.