So the end of another year and 2018 has been an incredible one for Cray Wanderers on and off the field. On the pitch Cray scored over 100 goals in an Isthmian League season for the first time in 2017-18 and went 15 games unbeaten from the start of the new season to go into 2019 top of the new Bostik South-East. Overall Cray won 24 out of 39 league games and totalled 80 points.
Off the field planning permission was approved on the new ground at Flamingo Park in March by Bromley Council and after an agonisingly long wait on November 26th the decision from the GLA was positive and the hard work can begin on the Wands coming home.
Our Youth teams have had a great year too with a record 2nd Round of the FA Youth Cup reached by the U18s and were one tie away from drawing Liverpool away. The U15s and U12s all were champions and double winners while the U12s Lions were overall ESF Champions of Football while the U9s and U8s Sharks both reached the Selkent Finals day.
Big days ahead in 2019 and here is a pictorial look back at 2018 the year when Football can start to prepare to come home. Please see here a pictorial review of 2018
13 January 2018 – Cray Wanderers arrive in Guernsey ahead of an early year league match.
Perhaps the performance of the year – 17/1/18 – Cray Wanderers 9 Ashford United 1. This result won the club the January Performance of the Month award from the Bostik League.
3rd February 2018 – Two Cray Wanderers legends, John Dorey and Kerry Phillips before the 100 Club draw
March 13th – Bromley Council Planning Decision Result 11-3 in favour of the new stadium at Flamingo Park. Celebrations can begin
A day after the Bromley Council decision Cray Wanderers beat Whyteleafe 5-1 at Hayes Lane
March 18th – Easily the coldest day of 2018, as a Sunday afternoon blizzard hits the game with Horsham.
For the Bostik League Review – Steven Daniels and Jon Smith are interviewed before Cray’s 1-0 win at Corinthian Casuals on 24th March.
Into April and the march to City Hall to deliver reams of planning letters and papers in support of the new ground.
28th April – Michael Power’s two goals at home to Guernsey took him to 100 career Cray Wanderers goals. Now up to 108 goals
Jay Leader with the Cray Wanderers Supporters Player of the Year trophy presented by Adrian Jewell. Jay also won the Players and Managers Award for Player of the Year.
Brandon Scott scores against Walton Casuals in the Playoff Semi Final and then becomes a music sensation as Swarmz and a hugely respected and in demand performer
Into June and Cray Wanderers win the Community Club of the Season award for the Bostik South at the Bostil League Awards ceremony. A great and well deserved accolade for all involved with our tremendous community relations work.
July 2018 – Sam Wright takes a dive into Gary’s pool after England beat Sweden 2-0 in the World Cup Quarter Final.
Pre-season at Welling Town, Gary Hillman, Richard Dimmock, Tony Russell and Sam Wright
The emergence of the ice bath during the hot summer of 2018 as shown at Cray Valley PM in pre-season.
A new item of sophisticated hardware, the Capture Mast camera an ever present since the start of the season with Dan Elliott and Carl Newnham.
August 2018 – Off and running again, opening day of the season and Cray Wanderers celebrate as Jerome Federico scores the third goal in a 3-0 win at Greenwich Borough.
The next generation of future Wands players line up to greet Cray Wanderers and Whitstable Town, August 2018
The mascots before the FA Cup tie with Rusthall, Mikey and Doug Head with Barney Williams.
September 1st – The return of Jenko to Hayes Lane to deliver the 100 Club Draw along with Kerry Philllips
Perhaps the best match of 2018, September 22nd, Cray Wanderers 4 Hythe Town 3, Jay Leader heads home a late winner for the Wands.
The good start to the season continues, Bradley Pritchard scores Cray’s winner at VCD Athletic on 29th September
October 12th – Ed Graney from the Las Vegas Review Journal comes to visit Cray Wanderers and sees in Hayes Lane, our ancestral home and our potential new home.
October 13th – Ed Graney continued his journey with the Wands all the way to Canvey Island
October 17th – The FA Youth Cup is getting very interesting as Holmesdale, VCD, Folkestone Invicta and now Raynes Park Vale are beaten and Cray go through to the 1st Round proper.
October 20 – At Herne Bay, a presentation of a signed shirt for super fan Jon Smith on his 60th birthday.
November 11th – The Two Men In Search of the Beautiful Game reach Hayes Lane for the 2-1 win against Hastings United and provide a tremendous glowing report on the afternoon.
November 17th – Problems with the flight going over and delays but a 2-1 win in Guernsey and a stress free journey home.
The FA Youth Cup saw Cray win at Worthing to advance to the 2nd Round and took on the might of Portsmouth at Hayes Lane on 21st November and although they took their leave from the competition there was much to be proud of
November 25 – The Cray Wanderers legends match before the Ramsgate game and plenty of stories to be told by these fellas at the bar.
November 25 – Mark Taylor from our main sponsors Taylor Technology Systems Ltd receives a framed signed shirt from Dave Francis, Micky Paye and Gary Hillman
November 26th – The announcement we had been waiting for, the plans for Flamingo Park given the Green light by the GLA and Twitter and Facebook goes into meltdown. It then sinks in the Wands will be at a home of their own and the reward of a lot of patience and hard work.
November 28th – Cray Wanderers reach the National News as ITV London News visit the Bull Inn Public House to speak to Cray Wanderers officials and many shared memories are told and a very enjoyable afternoon.
A visit from Santa and his family helping Cray to three points against Sittingbourne on 23rd December.