Cray Wanderers vs Fisher – London Senior Cup, 2nd Round – Wednesday 24th January – 7.45 pm

Cray Wanderers make a return to action on Wednesday night after a ten day break as Fisher FC are the visitors in the 2nd Round of the London Senior Cup.  Kick off 7.45 pm and to be decided on the night.

Cray advanced to the 2nd Round after a 4-2 win at home to Tooting & Mitcham United on 8th November with goals from Yahya Bamba (2), Gary Lockyer and Nyren Clunis. The winners of the tie will be at home to either Dartford or Queens Park Rangers Development in the Quarter Final.

The Wands have been without a game since losing at Billericay Town on 13th January as games at Folkestone Invicta and Whitehawk were postponed and given time for the players to recover and reflect as performances over Christmas and New Year were very encouraging.  Usually the London Senior Cup would mean a chance to give fringe players a chance to perform but out of respect to Fisher may be a stronger side after the recent postponements and restore sharpness. 

The Wands have a tough spell of games coming up and a more congested February with rearranged games and the squad will need to be strong and ready for the challenges which begin on Saturday against Wingate & Finchley at Hayes Lane but first Neil Smith’s side will be giving Fisher the respect they deserve in what should be a great evening under the lights. 

Fisher advanced to the 2nd Round after a 2-1 win at Erith & Belvedere in October with goals from Teddy Jones and Thomas Ngegba and are currently 11th in the SCEFL Premier with 31 points after 22 games.  Michael Williams took over as manager from Ajay Ashanike in December and their last game was a 2-5 defeat at home to Snodland on 13th January.

Away form in the league has seen wins at Hollands & Blair (5-1) and Stansfeld (3-1). They drew with VCD Athletic (2-2) and Sutton Athletic (1-1) and were beaten at Faversham Town (0-5), Punjab United (0-2), Holmesdale (1-2), Welling Town (1-2) and Glebe (2-3). At home Fisher beat Deal Town (3-1), Rusthall (3-1), Welling Town (4-0), Erith Town (4-2), Tunbridge Wells (3-1), VCD Athletic (3-2) and Bearsted (1-0). They drew with Glebe and Stansfeld and were beaten by Lordswood, Whitstable Town, Corinthian and Snodland.  Fisher were beaten at home by Westfield in the Extra Preliminary Round of the FA Cup after a replay and reached the 1st Round of the FA Vase after beating Camberley Town and Bexhill before losing at home to Wembley.

The current Fisher club were re-formed in 2009 as a fan owned project playing at Dulwich Hamlet and in 2016-17 after years of playing away from the Bermondsey & Rotherhithe areas returned to their old roots at Salter Road at the St Pauls Sports Ground.

The previous Fisher Athletic club was founded in 1908 with origins in the Fisher Catholic Club for Boys. They had a steady rise through the 70’s and played in the London Spartan League second tier under Cray Wanderers and won the Premier Division in 1980-81 & 1981-82 and then played at the Surrey Docks Stadium. Fisher Athletic were Southern League South Champions in 1982-83 and in the 1984-85 season reached the 1st Round of the FA Cup for the first time losing to Bristol City at home. They then won the Southern League Premier in 1986-87 earning promotion to the Conference and reached the FA Cup 1st Round again losing at Bristol Rovers. They remained in the Conference for four seasons and were relegated in 1990-91. In 2004-05 they were promoted from the Southern League to the Isthmian Premier and in their first season were promoted to the Conference South after beating Hampton & Richmond in the playoff final. However despite doing well in the South financial problems had set in and a winding up order was granted and in 2008-09 with a very young side were relegated and wound up. Then the new fan owned Fisher club was formed and in 2017-18 were promoted back to the SCEFL Premier following relegation to Division One the season before.

Cray have only previously met Fisher four times and all in cup ties. Fisher, who were a division below Cray in the London Spartan League beat the Wands 3-0 at home in the London Senior Cup in January 1977. Cray though won 2-1 at Fisher Athletic in the FA Vase in November 1980 with Eddie Jones and Alan Whitehead scoring. The new Fisher side beat Cray in the London Senior Cup at home on penalties in March 2010 after a 2-2 draw with Leigh Bremner and George Porter who could possibly feature on Wednesday scoring. Then on 23rd September, 2020 in the 1st Qualifying Round of the FA Cup, Cray won 3-1 at Hayes Lane with goals from Jason Banton (2) and Freddie Parker. 

This should be an entertaining match and a chance to perhaps see some future stars on both sides.

Admission £10/£5 on the gate (cash only) or online at Printed Match Programme £2